Quickies

Quickies: Trigger Warnings, Books About Abortion, and Nicki Minaj’s Wax Figure

  • A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving – “A short game sheds light on government policy, corporate America and why no one likes to be wrong.” (I know this puzzle is from last month, which makes it practically ancient in internet years, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.)
  • The Trigger Warning Myth – “How have trigger warnings, of all things, been elevated to explanatory value akin to academic and professional pressures, increased accessibility to college, familial and broader economic pressures, reduced sleep, sexual assault epidemics, social media image policing, and any number of other factors that experts have identified as serious contributors to mental health problems on college campuses?”
  • Dangerous Tropes – “How the Michelle Pfeiffer hit Dangerous Minds put an overtly paternalistic twist on a saccharine genre.”
  • 3 surprisingly sane books on abortion: When absolutely no women’s lives are ruined by one procedure – “None of these authors talk down to their heroines, infantilize them or put someone else in control of their decision. The first two are fiction, while the latter, billed as nonfiction, uses the story of two characters having different types of abortions to offer practical advice for women about how to handle the process safely and know what to expect.”
  • Azealia Banks is Right; That Wax Figure of Nicki Minaj is Peak Shade – As Banks tweeted, “Wow, they finally give nicki minaj a wax figure and it’s a statue of her bent over on all fours…… White people yo….” From Courtney.
  • When A Budget Motel Is ‘Home,’ There’s Little Room For Childhood – “California ranks third in the U.S. — behind only Kentucky and New York — in the percentage of children who don’t have a home, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness. And the evidence of this is clear in San Bernardino, which is littered with dilapidated neighborhoods and abandoned blocks, even in the city’s center. Here, budget motels have become a last refuge for desperate people with nowhere else to go. Joe Mozingo, the Los Angeles Times staff writer behind the series San Bernardino: Broken City, says that kids who live in these motels get exposed to some troubling conditions.”
  • When Public Servants Refuse to Serve the Public – “Is it possible to agree on what religious freedom is not? It’s not a right to wear a Marine uniform but refuse to fight. It’s not a right to be a county clerk and decide which citizens you will serve and which you won’t.”
  • Dutch newspaper uses n-word in headline of review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book – And blackface! Classy. From Radium.
  • Rose McGowan Is Starting A Revolution – As McGowan says, “I don’t enjoy being treated as basically a couch that talks–and as important.” I enjoyed this profile about her, from her upbringings in a cult, to her experiences with sexism and misogyny in Hollywood, to her recent Twitter feminism.

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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4 Comments

  1. August 18, 2015 at 5:09 pm —

    The big problem I have with trigger warnings is when you hear people say they’re being triggered by things they admittedly never experienced. Except PTSD is specifically post-traumatic stress disorder. The word you’re looking for is not ‘triggered’ but ‘disturbed’.

    Personally I worry more about the ways in which people take potentially traumatic events lightly. How many romance novels involve situations where consent is at best dubious? How many love songs go into full stalker mode? (To the point that people play songs deliberately written about stalking at weddings?)

    • August 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm —

      I usually just take people at face value if they tell me they’re being triggered by something. It doesn’t affect me to add a content note, whereas it might save someone from having a panic attack.

      And the whole point of trigger warnings is not to prevent every single trigger out in the world. But there are certain things that we can at least alert people to, like sexual violence or child death. You don’t have to have been through a trauma to be affected by it or to not want to read about it at a certain time of day. Or it’s nice to just have a heads up. I have “triggers” (even though I dislike the word) that most people wouldn’t even think of, but I don’t expect anyone to know that. I don’t think most reasonable people expect that either.

      • August 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm —

        Yeah, it’s just that people don’t get how PTSD is. Like, the movie Rosewater? True story. It’s the scent of rosewater that affects the guy, not actual discussion of torture.

        But my biggest issue is with people who conflate PTSD (a.k.a. a serious mental condition) with being simply disturbed by something.

        • August 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm —

          I agree–I think it’s misguided when (well-intentioned) people say that all trigger warnings are only for people with PTSD. That’s why I prefer “content notice” instead, because just because I haven’t experienced a trauma doesn’t mean that I want to read about something traumatic. Although we should be respectful of those with PTSD, we shouldn’t need someone to actually have it to be sensitive about what people want to avoid reading.

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