The Drain Circles Itself

The site Everyday Feminism has published a helpful “guide to triggering” for those not quite up to speed on such things.

Above the article is a content warning –

Content Warning: This article discusses triggering in detail and mentions common topics of triggering (sexual assault, anxiety, health anxiety, depression, death, non-specific fears and phobias).

A trigger warning about an article about triggering.

But the Mobius Wormhole goes deeper. Above the content warning (which is a trigger warning about trigger warnings) is an editor’s note –

Editors Note: Like this phenomenal article, Everyday Feminism definitely believes in giving people a heads up about material that might provoke our reader’s trauma. However, we use the phrase “content warning” instead of “trigger warning,” as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery. This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence. So, while warnings are so necessary and the points in this article are right on, we strongly encourage the term “content warning” instead of “trigger warning.”

Trigger warnings about trigger warnings are triggering. The culture has become an M.C. Escher drawing sucked into itself and spat out as an anti-mirror of reality.

H/T James Taranto (via Ed Driscoll).

Bonus Points: Quote from the article –

As far as I’ve seen, many preventable instances of triggering happen when somebody is exposed to media like books or movies.

And water is wet.

Bonus Bonus Points: As I write this, my wife and I just finished watching Batman Begins, One of the central themes is fear (both on the parts of Batman, the League of Shadows, and Scarecrow). Right this second, she’s watching the special feature on creating the Batman costume, which is deliberately designed to instill fear.

Wonder how long til it’s on the Badthink Movies list?

Pointless Yet Ironic Accidentalism: “…material that might provoke our reader’s trauma.”[emphasis mine] Advertising revenues don’t seem hopeful here.

About nightskyradio

Random signals from nowhere in particular.

Posted on June 15, 2015, in ...The Hell Is This? and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. “health anxiety”
    *goes to salad bar*
    triggering intensifies

    • This sounds almost like some kind of haiku for hyper-emotional vegatarians.

      • It would be a haiku if zodak swtiched the 2nd and 3rd lines.

        • Yes, but then readers might think the salad bar is an oasis of calm in a stormy sea of triggerings-es. A chronological order is demanded that the salad bar be explicitly shown to heighten the intensity of the as-yet-vaguely-defined hyperanxiety, a separate green leafy fear piled onto the existing agony and leveled up with despair-inducing croutons.

  2. Nice work with the Escher and Mobius metaphors there!

    I think I’d almost be relieved if this was really about “dealing with fear.” I don’t think it is.

    My sense is that this is really about systematically instilling and nurturing fearful panic, and only slightly further down the road, creating any given fearful “other” at the drop of the hat.

    • Oh, OK, forget about the “slightly further down the road” part.

    • Thankew.

      I think you’re right, but I also think there’s an additional layer to it. Consider this quote near the end of the piece…

      If you ever find that you have caused triggering-related grief, please don’t beat yourself up over it. These incidents happen sometimes, and they cannot always be avoided.

      I would instead suggest finding out whether there is anything you can do to help the person feel better, as that would be a far more productive use of both your time and theirs.

      While it looks like it’s saying, “Hey, mistakes happen, don’t freak out just because I freaked out,” it’s really saying “Keep making mistakes and giving me excuses to freak out so I can demand coddling and comfort any time I want.”

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