Culture

The Phrase ‘Trigger Warning’ Is Now Also a Trigger

Must use "content warning" instead.

Well, it’s all come full-circle. According to the Feminist Internet, the phrase “trigger warning” is now in itself also a trigger.

The blog Everyday Feminism recently re-published an article explaining the idea of “trigger warnings” to those of us who are not as culturally literate and sensitive as they are, and began it with the following disclaimer:

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.”

Yes — now even trigger warnings need trigger warnings. And the thing that makes even less sense here (yes, that is possible) is that Everyday Feminism’s “content warning” uses the word “trigger” — not just once, but twice!

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).

Ugh. Seriously? Where was the content warning for that content warning?

The original article, titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Triggering,” was first published on a blog called “The Body Is Not an Apology.”

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.        

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