What Trigger Warnings Are Not

Trigger warnings are not censorship.

Trigger warnings are not "keeping you from speaking your truth."

Trigger warnings are not "stifling your free expression."

Trigger warnings are not about you not saying things.  They are about how you say things.  They are about courtesy, by giving people a chance to prepare themselves for potential consequences if they read what you go on to say.  They are about compassion and concern for your fellow beings.  They are about giving other people the option to look away, instead of shoving painful stuff in their face with no warnings.  They are about giving other people the right to make an informed choice about what they can handle in that moment and trusting them to make their own decisions, instead of making the decision for them. 

I have not always been the best at remembering to add TWs to posts here.  For that, I apologize.  It's a reflection on my privilege that I don't *have* to always remember what to put warnings on.  I am trying to do better with it.  Again, if my forgetfulness has hurt anyone, I'm sorry.

I just wanted to post this because a women's spirituality community that I spend a fair amount of time on had a bit of a dustup last month about diet/weight-loss threads being triggering to people with disordered eating pasts.  And we discussed trigger warnings, and a few people said things like "Well, I'll try to add TWs since you say it would help, but I won't let it stop me from speaking my truth here!  I won't censor myself.  Etc."  And I know the issue has come up before, but I wanted to do my part to clear up the misunderstanding a lot of people seem to have about what trigger warnings are...and what they aren't.

Speak your truth.  Don't censor yourself.  Say what you want and need to say.  But if it's a graphic description of how depression feels, or your experiences of sexual violence, or the eating disorder you struggle with, etc...put a goddamn trigger warning on it out of courtesy to the people around you.

That is all.  Carry on.


Related Posts with Thumbnails