The other day, the group was discussing trigger warnings. The tough part wasn’t whether or not to have them, but which words are triggers, what a trigger does to person, and whether or not to call them “trigger warnings.” To be honest, I don’t like the term, which is why I don’t use these warnings. “Trigger,” for me, is a loaded word, one associated with immediacy and consequences. You pull a trigger and a bullet immediately comes out, right? So, I can see how many insensitive people argue that triggers immediately affect an individual, and the consequences leave the triggered person in a sob-puddle on the floor. Then, that word is used as a noun: “I am triggered.” And here come the bullies: “Ooooh! Snowflake is so triggered! Waaaah!” Ugh, you’ve seen it online, right?
That’s not how triggers works, according to the Facebook group. For many, a word like “obese” gets into their brain and sits for a while. Maybe hours, maybe days. Then, it starts poking at the person: “Hey. Hey, fatty. You’re so obese and worthless and no one loves you. It would be easier just to go throw up. You’ve done it before . . . besides, your significant other is ashamed to be seen with you.” And a lot of the folks in the group have struggled with eating disorders for years — and they’re not entirely into a space where the E.D. has been beaten down like the villain it is. Sometimes villains are sexy, and they get you to come back.
I’ve been in the spiral of self-loathing many times myself, and you know what? That eats into the time I do amazing things! Reading! Blogging! Watching movies! Playing board games with friends! Practicing my violin! Writing more fiction! Walking around the library and crying because I don’t have enough years to read all these books!
The point is, if I can save someone from have a crappy relapse that can lead to self-destructive behavior or a negative, hurtful attitude toward themselves and others, then it’s my job as a responsible blogger to help my readers get to the content they want and avoid that which they do not want to read. Thus, I am adding content warnings. I’ll do my best, and if you can think of any I should add to a future review, please let me know!
*Quick update (7/3/2017): my content warning labels are truly meant to help consumers get the products they want. If consumers find certain qualities in a book objectionable, they should be able to use my content warnings to research the product more on Google and come to a final decision. I’m also happy to discuss and/or spoil parts of the book over DM on Twitter if a consumer has any questions about a certain content warning I’ve posted.