Trigger Warning…

So I read an article the other day and I’d like to talk about it. You can find it here.

Monash University in Melbourne has introduced a directive to include Trigger Warnings in their lecture material. 

I want to say, this is fantastic. As someone who lives with anxiety, depression and PTSD, I absolutely welcome this. The trigger warnings are only a guideline to be used by lecturers for content that may be distressing to their students. 

So what is a trigger warning and what is the point?

A trigger warning is a note at the beginning of the presentation that advises of the content topic and that some viewers may find the content distressing. It allows those that may be affected to make a choice about whether to sit through the content or to move away. The point is it gives those living with mental issues, the choice. A choice not previously given to them. 

With the raised awareness of PTSD we see warnings in movies for returned veterans who may find some of the scenes distressing. So why not students?

With a prevalence of sexual violence in universities around the world, and with veterans who return from war going back to university it’s a welcome change. I’m lucky enough not to be completing a degree that addresses any kind of troubling issues, but I know there are degrees that do. For example, politics or psychology, dealing with issues such as sex crimes, child abuse and mental issues. It’s confronting for people to start with to be shown these issues, let alone students who may have been victims of these crimes, why should t they have a choice as to whether they interact with this content in a room full of people or if they choose to interact in the privacy of their own home.

Naturally, there are people out there who disagree and want to claim it’s just pandering to snowflakes, I think those people can piss off and I sincerely hope they never find themselves in a situation that affects them in such a personal way. I want to say to anyone struggling with triggers, you are not a snowflake, you’re working on issues forced upon you by the most disgusting people the world can serve up and it’s not your fault. 

I have seen triggering material, social media can be a minefield for me, mental health, domestic violence, animal abuse, sexual violence, all triggers for me. All confronting. Quite often they don’t come with a warning. If I was undertaking a degree that used some of this material, I would absolutely expect a warning, it prevents me from not having a choice. Which coincidentally is a trigger for me. 

So thank you Monash for leading the way in helping those of our community who are already struggling. Other Australian universities, you’re up. 

Right wing assholes, you can just fuck right off. 


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