Trigger Warning (1 Viewer)

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pete

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So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”

Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/judith-shulevitz-hiding-from-scary-ideas.html
 
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This article raises some interesting points, especially around the creation of so-called safe spaces and the ultimately weakening effect they can have on people (ie making us ill-prepared for dealing with the 'real' world by creating trauma-free bubbles for us to exist in).

"But the notion that ticklish conversations must be scrubbed clean of controversy has a way of leaking out and spreading. Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer."

Though this idea seems to be expressing itself a little ridiculously in places (in US unis), I don't see anything wrong with it fundamentally. Most places are unsafe, unless you're a person who experiences a lot of privilege (white, cis-male, middle/upper class, straight) and yeah, the world should be made safer for folks who don't experience that privilege. But we should be able to disagree with the tactics without disagreeing with that principle.

Trigger warning are really useful in saving people from debilitating flashbacks and PTSD-realted episodes. They are not censorship.
 

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You'd hope that we could eventually move to a place where serious issues are dealt with in a more robust fashion than with bubbles and puppy videos.

But I've never really felt unsafe my whole life (white, cis-male, middle class, straight), so I'm not in a position to definitively say what should be what.

I think we should still keep the cookies though.
 

7 - No tomorrow

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I have a suspicion that we are going to look back in 20 years at this campus rape thing and see it as a bizarre outbreak of mass hysteria.
It happens all the time and virtually no one gets called to book for it. Admittedly, it's a total fucking minefield, but the status quo is not acceptable.

The UVA event is extremely unfortunate.
 
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Trigger warning are really useful in saving people from debilitating flashbacks and PTSD-realted episodes. They are not censorship.
Aren't they infantilising though? I think debilitating flashbacks are at the extreme end of the spectrum and, while many will develop some type of PTSD over their lives it's usually minor and so should be dealt with through (slow if necessary) acclimatisation to the stressing object rather than absolute avoidance.
 

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