Trigger warnings is this new phenomenon on college campuses that try to cocoon our children from words that might cause them consternation, bad thoughts, bring back bad memories and generally make them feel uncomfortable. Now granted that there are many out there in the world at large that deal with some form of post traumatic issue. There are any number of things in the environment that might cause a flashback or force someone to relive a horrible episode from their life. But campus thought police have taken the need to be protective to a ridiculous degree.
Trigger warnings are given out for works of literature (modern and classical), movies, history books and anything that might be deemed offensive. You are told to be mindful of how someone else might react to your words. In fact, mindfulness is another one of those idiotic psycho-babble do-gooder words used to keep people from saying what they truly think. Mindfulness is the psychological expectation that no matter what you do, or where you are, each individual is required to be exponentially tuned into the machinations and soul crushing debilitations of each and every other person in their present surroundings, even to the detriment of their own self-respect and humanity. Mindfulness is the self destruction of the individual in exchange for acceptance by the group. For mindfulness is never about others accepting you for who you are. It’s all about the person suppressing themselves to be accepted by those in the power structure, who ultimately are probably too ignorant to understand unique individuality in the long run.
Now there is a huge difference between calling someone a racial or ethnic epithet, which is the sign of a small ignorant mind, and trying to remember if the person in front of you will be offended by your actions or use of the word “XYZ” in public. Trying to keep abreast of every word you aren’t allowed to use, or being prescient about every appropriate social expectation, in order to circumvent someone else’s psychological issues is exhausting. Eventually the list of banned words and actions is going to be longer than the Oxford English Dictionary and Emily Posts Etiquette Manual combined.
Meanwhile, the reality and purpose of “art” and education is to be provocative. Language is used to elicit responses to situations that will not necessarily be comfortable. Language is used to challenge notions and belief systems so that the student grows, develops and sees outside of themselves. The power of the pen is that it can be used to change the course of history as much, if not more, than a sword.
Here is Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, one of the authors that may have trigger warnings put on her novels.
Furthermore, studying Rousseau, Locke, Voltaire and Hobbes led to the thinkers and doers of the American Revolution. None of it is emotionally easy to read. In fact, these words actually did lead to a war. They also led to freedom, liberty and equality. But should there have been “trigger warnings” back in the day, that some of the information disseminated would cause upset and possible political turmoil, thus leading to a “great expense of blood?” Should there have been words banned and thoughts derided because it made persons uneasy? Should there have been a “trigger warning” because it might bring flashbacks from the French and Indian War?
Trigger warnings are no more than the politically correct coddling of those who have been coddled for their entire lives. If you cannot handle and process the words found in great literature how will these very spoiled children handle the real world? In truth, what have we parents done to our children? What have we allowed educators to do to our children’s minds? Instead of teaching them to hold their own in the world, we taught our offspring that they are entitled to not be insulted or to feel oppressed because someone doesn’t worship at the altar of their self-esteem.
In truth, most of the young people today are not the problem. They want nothing more than a real future. Good jobs. Possibility of a family. Freedom. Liberty. Fruits of their labor. It is the educators and those who have never left the unicorn filled halls of academia that need to keep reinventing their own purposes so that they have a way to keep their useless jobs.
Meanwhile, apparently the celebrity braintrust has not caught onto the trigger warning movement. Lately Gwyneth Paltrow has once again opened her mouth and equated having paparazzi take your picture to being a soldier in battle. And Charlize Theron has said having her picture taken is like being “raped.” Someone needs to explain to these self-centered narcissistic brats that they chose the limelight with all its huge rewards, and having your picture taken is part of the job requirement.
These women did not become celebrities to better mankind or preserve freedom and liberty, unlike those who serve this nation in the military. Those who serve this nation do a selfless act on everyone’s behalf. On the other hand, these celebrity women selfishly promote themselves, for their own betterment, not for anyone else. It’s really simple. Stop making millions, give up your film career and no one will take your picture anymore. There, no more battle. Someone also needs to explain to these IQ challenged women what actually happens when a person does go to war and what rape is truly all about.
Not being a soldier I can’t tell you what it feels like in the middle of a firefight. And yes, as I have written, research has shown that parents of autistic children do have cortisol levels similar to battle weary soldiers. And yes studies also show that parents and autistic children as well, do suffer from a form of PTSD. But noone says living with autistic children or being a person with autism is like being in a war. Only that the stress levels and the emotional toll involved in dealing with the struggles associated with autism have an effect on your health. Psychiatry also notes that there are different kinds and types of PTSD.
But what I do understand about war is that when you are at war, there is always someone else on the other side trying to kill you and destroy those you care about. There is brutality, evil and every form of hell thrown at those in war, soldier and civilian alike. These addle-brained self-indulgent narcissists should ask a Syrian refugee if there is an equivalent between walking the gauntlet of paparazzi and the ravages of war.
No one is really trying to kill these pampered thespians, or destroy the world of these celebrities (OK yes they can have stalkers, but they have protection services as well if need be). Those who grab at the limelight have put themselves into the fray of fascination by their chosen field. Perhaps, they should try comporting themselves with more dignity, then those that need to validate their own lives by trying to denigrate the famous will diminish. Perhaps celebrities should also stop trying to teach us how to think, act and vote. They need to be “mindful” that their actions have a direct corollary with society’s need to know about them.
Rape however, we are all familiar with the real meaning. Don’t forget, men can and do get raped as well as women. Rape, even date rape, is about hate and power. It is about seeing the individual before you as anything but another human being. It is about taking from your victim their humanity. It is meant to degrade, dehumanize and destroy the victim. Rape is many things, but it is not about caring, love or the desire to be a part of someone else’s existence. Rape is the ultimate insult to another’s personhood. It is one of the oldest and one of the most brutal weapons of war.
In truth, when celebrities are photographed it’s because of the fantasy lives that they live. It is because society wants to be like them, not destroy them. It is because they are seen as the epitome of success and desire. They are seen as great talents and part of the best that this planet has to offer. There is no conspiracy trying to destroy them. No one is trying to kill them or those they love when a picture is taken. It would behoove those who deal with these ignorant celebs to explain to them that the world follows them because the world wants to be them. That is nothing like rape or war, that is adulation.
Meanwhile, someone also needs to remind these celebs that by equating the words “war,” and “rape” to their overindulged realities they may have “triggered” someone else’s true nightmare. Maybe these academic polemicists who think that students need warnings before they read Shakespeare or Defoe need to lobby for not allowing celebrities to say anything that has not been scripted by someone intelligent enough to have read and understood some of those “triggering” works of literature. That way these politically correct thought-controlling academicians would finally be doing the country some good by aborting celebrity ignorance before it begins. Of course this lobbying activity would only happen after a PETA sanctioned round-up of unicorns, the ACLU secured all illegal alien fairies, elves plus imps entry into the country, and the Occupy Movement distributed that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to the “white privileged abused” masses.