Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Trigger Warnings"

There's a lot being said about the possibility of "trigger warnings" being put on books--some classic, some new--and I have only one thing to say about it: grow up. It is not the job of other people to police what may or may not set you off. Nobody knows but you! Not everyone who has gone through a traumatic event will react in the same way. Whereas you might go into complete mental breakdown over a depicted scene, another person could very well read it and not in the least be bothered. Why then must society (or any business venture, like publishing--self-publishing or traditional, it doesn't matter) cater to your particular whim and issue?

I'm not trying to be hurtful, but there's just way too much politically correct coddling going on in the world. Everyone, it seems, has the right to be offended--and once offence is taken, it is the onus of the other party to fix the issue at hand...even when there is no issue at all. Now, I'm not saying that certain events aren't traumatic--they most certainly are--but those events are far from universal. They're subjective in the extreme. To attempt to apply a universal "patch" to something because a handful of people are upset is not going to garner you any favors...or friends.

The next step in this crusade is outright censorship. And that is a very bad thing.

So, to be short: no, I will not ever place a warning label on my writing. No, I won't bother to let you know in advance--that's the fun of writing, I might "set you up" for something...you're along for the ride. Now, the counter to this is that you may choose to not read my books. And I'm totally ok with that. You have that right, you totally do! But what you do not have is Carte Blanche approval to silence someone because they said something you take issue with.

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