November 22, 2019, 07:03:37 PM

Author Topic: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?  (Read 818 times)

Offline Eclipse

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Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« on: October 13, 2019, 09:28:12 AM »
Saw this on Facebook about trigger warnings apparently there was a giant twitter storm about Leigh Baardugo first non YA  fantasy novel which passed me by.  What ever you do don’t give this readers a grimdark book.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1378245525817971?view=permalink&id=2136829583292891&anchor_composer=false


https://meltotheany.com/2019/08/26/ninth-house-ninth-house-series-1-by-leigh-bardugo/amp/
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 09:38:55 AM by Eclipse »
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Online ScarletBea

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 09:49:44 AM »
Oh for goodness sake!
Yes, books address difficult and complicated subjects - stay away from them if you'd like, but don't make it as if it's anything other that you don't like/aren't comfortable with the themes.

After reading the blurb this isn't a book I'd like, too much 'real world' and universities and americans. For grimdark, give me Anna Stephens any time.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 09:51:39 AM by ScarletBea »
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2019, 09:56:44 AM »
I don't know. People nowadays got offended at everything, so it's better to stay on the safe side. Anyone, even famous authors, could probably have their entire lives upended by just the right lawsuit in the right circumstances. Better be safe, I think.

Offline The Sword in the Tome

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 12:42:26 PM »
It's an interesting subject, and I would need to give it more thought in order to form a proper opinion on it.  Before "trigger warnings" were even a thing, I do have several memories of warning people (in person) about the depraved contents of a particular book.  For instance, A Clockwork Orange.  It's a novel that I highly rate, but I understand it's too dark/twisted a story for many readers. 
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Offline Rostum

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 01:28:33 PM »
Are trigger warning out of control. Were they ever a good idea?
Certain groups throughout time, usually argueing it's for the greater good or won't someome think of the children have sought to impose their views on the masses and by playing on a desire not to upset or offend a lot of people go along with it. Triggered strikes me as such a ridiculous term it implies you should never be challenged in your way of thinking or have to accept there are alternate viewpoints and because you are offended of feign being so others should change their convictions instead of taking a rational view and accepting for right or wrong that others have other viewpoints.

If you really feel a rating system is necessary for books then you are one step away from censoring them. Then you are one step away from burning them. This isn't about what someone feels they should be reading but about someone telling you what they think you should be reading.

Never trust anyone who wants to tell everyone else what they should think or do.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 06:14:22 PM by Rostum »

Offline Lanko

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 05:46:42 PM »
    The second link... the trigger warning list even contains terms such as "rituals", "gore", "loss of a loved one", "murder", "blackmail".

    Not saying people, specially probably affected recently by any of this, wouldn't feel something, but come on.

    TV doesn't have "this show/episode might eventually have A, B, and C".

    And a blandless lifeless list without any kind of context will do far more harm than help. Specially because it can be exagerrated and any book can be made to look like a complete piece of shit if we put scenes/actions into meaningless classifications.

    Imagine if, for example, Harry Potter was subjected to something like this. Would a parent, or even a kid/teen by themselves pick a book if they saw it containing a list like

     "Warning! This book contains:"

    • orphaned child
    • murdered parents
    • abusive adoptive parents
    • abusive teacher
    • rituals
    • blood
    • class/social discrimination
    • mentions of torture leading to insanity (the female witch and that guy's parents who killed the snake)
    • adults attacking a school and killing children/teens
    • and more

    Seeing it like this makes it look like an almost surely repulsive book, doesn't it? And people who got through a lot reading it would never have read it.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 05:52:27 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2019, 08:13:41 PM »
Warning : this post contains the word blood not once but twice!

I can’t see why blood written down in a story is a trigger warning you don’t actually see it like in a medical tv series.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 08:16:27 PM by Eclipse »
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* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline xiagan

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 08:49:26 PM »
I checked and my copy of Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning (short story collection) is still firm between the other Neil Gaiman books on my shelf. So I can say that my Trigger Warning isn't out of control (yet).

And I fully agree with @Rostum's post. Additionally I think that there are enough echo chambers and bubbles where people only hear/read/see what they agree with. It's highly necessary to broaden everybody's horizons and confront people with the reality and not a soft-washed version of it.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 07:55:56 AM »
I support trigger warnings. They aren't for avoiding offending people, they are so people who have genuine trauma (or just a strong wish to avoid certain sorts of content/storylines) can avoid those things. Having trigger warnings is much better than someone saying, "I don't read fantasy any more because there's too much violence against women." (Which someone has said to me, and honestly, I can't argue against. There's a lot. And it's not labelled.)

What's the difference between trigger warnings and asking someone if there's x, y or z in a book? (Which I see on GoodReads all the time.)

I mean, there's a whole WEBSITE for "does this movie contain x, y or z that I don't want to watch". (It's called "Does the dog die?" but it covers much more than that. I look at some of the things on the list and wonder why anyone needs to know that, but y'know what? It's not for me, and that's fine. There are allowed to be things in the world that make life better for people who aren't me.)

So, as an example: I have a friend with a strong needle/surgery phobia. As in, she has had therapy about it and she can faint having blood drawn or watching same on television. She pays attention to the warnings attached to media rating, and she asks friends if a book contains surgical or torture scenes. Yes, reading a medical scene triggers her phobia and makes her woozy.

Offline Yora

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 08:51:28 AM »
I think any fiction should have a presentation that makes it clear from the start what kind of story it is. That is all that is needed.

When you can expect that something gruesome or horrific lies ahead, people have plenty of opportunity to stop before they get there. Introducing horrific content without warning is a mean and cheap trick, but there's no practical way to stop anyone from doing it.
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Online ScarletBea

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 12:19:22 PM »
I support trigger warnings. They aren't for avoiding offending people, they are so people who have genuine trauma (or just a strong wish to avoid certain sorts of content/storylines) can avoid those things.
I understand what you're saying, but it just seems a step too far, in my opinion.

Quote
What's the difference between trigger warnings and asking someone if there's x, y or z in a book? (Which I see on GoodReads all the time.)
For me the difference is the "certainty" or "official-ness" of the warning, and that's key.
Because of course nothing is (almost) ever as it seems, not black-white, as Lanko's example with Harry Potter shows. Asking a friend or a community about specific things is very different from having a warning in the actual book, e.g. yes, book X has got torture, but it lasts half a page and is essential for the character's development, vs. book Y has got torture because it's about a guy who does torture for a living on behalf of his king...
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Offline Yora

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 01:11:51 PM »
A lot of people have phobias, and the thing about phobias is that they are irrational. You can develop phobias against pretty much anything. I had a pretty severe phobia against fish until my 20s and still get startled by pictures of weird fish. Which almost all people across the world would see no reason to be scared of. We can't put thousands of warning labels on every piece of entertainment or education.
It's also not psychologically healthy. When you have a phobia or trauma, what you need to learn is that talk or depictions of your fear can not harm you. Which is not easy, and not something you can simply decide to do. It has nothing to do with being silly or irrational. But putting warning labels on everything does the opposite. It reaffirms people's fears by telling them "mentions and depictions of your fear are so dangerous that we all have to make sure you never encounter them" and encourages them to never face them.

Trigger warnings do not help people to overcome their fears and improve their lives. They make people's fears worse and increase their anxiety. Fiction should not have surprise shocks and give the audience ample opportunity to decide that the story is going into a direction they don't want to go to. Which usually can be made quite apparent by the cover, and it's just simple decency. But warning labels are psychologically harmful.
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 01:52:39 PM »
I don't see that trigger warnings are out of control, but I do see some people being out of control about trigger warnings. As for their effect on my life? None. They aren't forced on me as I open a book to read. They don't try to catch me unawares when I browse the internet. Is this happening to anyone else here?

I believe the original idea with trigger warnings was to allow people with unavoidable psychological reactions to certain types of content to avoid it. PTSD, for example, is not just an irrational phobia that you can learn to deal with by facing your fears; it creates permanent changes in your brain which trigger intensely unpleasant unavoidable episodes (like flashbacks) when faced with certain stimuli.

I don't see any reason not to have trigger warnings in a place where they are easily avoided by anyone who doesn't need them, which is (or should be) most people. They could be in the back of the book or just collected on a crowd-sourced website like has been done with other media. The people who need them can then be responsible for seeking them out themselves, a bit like an adult might.

Sure, some people seem to believe that trigger warnings should be a guide they can follow as to not have their world view questioned or experience discomfort at unpleasant events, thereby avoid becoming offended – which they seem to believe is a terminal condition. The good news is: you can just ignore those people.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 04:23:14 PM by Magnus Hedén »
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2019, 02:11:05 PM »
If you really feel a rating system is necessary for books then you are one step away from censoring them. Then you are one step away from burning them. This isn't about what someone feels they should be reading but about someone telling you what they think you should be reading.

Never trust anyone who wants to tell everyone else what they should think or do.

I think I must have fallen asleep during the part of the history lesson when we learned about how as the first step of their master plan, the National Socialist German Workers' Party introduced trigger warnings.

Seriously, what possible rationale is there to say that trigger warnings will lead to censorship and book burning? And what evil forces are controlling what you think and do via the pernicious use of trigger warnings? I am quite flabbergasted by this entire statement. Please do enlighten me as to its base in logic and reality.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Are Trigger warnings getting out of control?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2019, 04:15:50 PM »
The use of trigger warnings in this way is about shaping thoughts of parents about what they allow their kids to read. If an adult or child finds something they are reading too grotesque the likelyhood is they will put the book down.

A great example is the half a war series where Joe offed a Character and a whole lot of outrage on Goodreads sank the overall rating under the one star reviews. With a lot of people stating they didn't read past page 234.

A fictional Character died and readers didn't want that to happen? Should Joe re-write it just for them or should they suck it up? Despite the books being YA those smacking the book down were largely (petulant) adults.