My trigger-warning disaster: “9 1/2 Weeks,” “The Wire” and how coddled young radicals got discomfort all wrong
I'll admit: I learned about trigger warnings through tumblr. Or maybe it was from Samantha Field. Anyway, I believe in extending every courtesy to people who have been through trauma, so the title of the article caught my eye. After I read it, I thought of the worst experiences I've had in my life, and what might trigger them. I'm naturally very sensitive, so I've had to adapt pretty drastically just to get along in the world. In a song I'm trying to write, the chorus goes in part: "If my feelings matter, then this life is unbearable."
I also have immediate family who teach college, and I have heard from them about the petulance and intellectual laziness of college students. I think the bit about "radicals" in the title of this article is kind of funny: so many college students think they're radicals, but there they are, in college, having put through all the paperwork and loans and working for the grades and test scores . . . they will probably go on to seek well-paid jobs.
I digress. To me, one of the most important quotes from Rani's article is this:
It’s not fun to talk about inequality. It’s not fun to talk about slavery. It’s not fun to talk about the complexity of sexual desire. It’s terribly, terribly, uncomfortable.
She nails it. Sexual desire is complex and messy, and to confront it in its reality is not comfortable, which is why even the best-meaning Mormon sex therapists fall into the trap of simplifying and sentimentalizing it.