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Fri Oct 30, 2015, 12:03 PM

 

"Let’s be honest: life is a trigger."

Great article from Salon

My trigger-warning disaster: “9 1/2 Weeks,” “The Wire” and how coddled young radicals got discomfort all wrong

The next film to piss them all off was 9 1/2 Weeks. The film is about a S&M relationship between a character played by Micky Rourke and one played by Kim Basinger. At first Basinger’s character is drawn to Rourke and they begin an S&M style consensual relationship. As the film goes on, Rourke becomes abusive and the sex becomes non-consensual, but the beauty of the film is that Basinger is eventually able to let go and take something from the relationship–a heightened sense of her sexuality and desires. There’s an infamous scene with Rourke feeding Basinger a number of food items while she’s blindfolded. It’s basically a series of soft core money shots. It is a consensual scene. When conversation began in class, a white male student started talking about the scene as one of consent. Four hands shot up. One said, “no—it is clearly not consensual.” Other students concurred. They argued that if someone is in an abusive relationship, they can never consent to sex because they are being manipulated.

This triggered me. I was furious.

Sexual assault survivor support is about empowerment. The model says, “Hey! It’s not for you to tell the survivor what happened to them; that’s their story, they know, don’t fucking label it.” What these students were essentially doing was stripping every person in an abusive relationship of all their agency. They were telling every survivor that they were raped, even when the survivor may have wanted to have sex with their abuser. They were claiming god like knowledge of every sexual encounter. And they were only 20. If that. Their frontal lobes haven’t even fully developed.

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Reply "Let’s be honest: life is a trigger." (Original post)
lumberjack_jeff Oct 2015 OP
Warren DeMontague Oct 2015 #1
Behind the Aegis Oct 2015 #2
Warren DeMontague Oct 2015 #3
Behind the Aegis Nov 2015 #4
The2ndWheel Dec 2015 #5

Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 06:11 PM

1. but they're bouncy, flouncy, trouncy, pouncy, fun fun fun fun fun!

Oh, sorry, I thought you said "Tiggers"

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 02:13 AM

2. This was a very interesting article.

Sadly, "trigger warning" is going the way of "political correctness", that is to say, it is becoming a joke. While I agree with letting people know if an article is going to be explicit in describing a sexual assault, survivors come in all "shapes and sizes" and each of us have different thresholds. We needn't always bow to the "weakest" of us because there is no way of knowing who they are or what will "set them off". We need to look to a norm, and understand for some, even the norm will be too much. One of the comments I read brought up a good point and something which could easily apply here; how often do we ever see or even consider posting "trigger warnings" for stories about war atrocities? I fully admit I don't like threads with titles which are "surprises". I think that is tacky. When that child drowned while escaping Syria, the subject for the thread was VERY clear what it was about and still people complained about it! So much so, the actual event, the tragedy almost became secondary. That was very, very disgusting.

I have noticed, as have other survivors, how often we are told how we should or shouldn't act, and almost always, it is by someone who has never been a victim, much less a survivor! We someone reveals their trauma, there are those who just can't help themselves in telling the person how they are "doing it wrong" and in essence, victimizing the person all over.

Just as we have the one extreme, everything needs a trigger warning, the other is just as bad, IMO, and those are the people who think anything and everything should be up for discussion. one only needs to look at some of the comments in jury results here to see both these extremes exist here. So much so, that times I often feel: "There's clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you."

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 05:15 PM

3. That's a good point. And, a good song.

I wonder if the way to handle it in this sort of class would be to pass out a syllabus on the very first day, detailing all the movies that will be shown, perhaps with a brief imdb summary, and suggesting that students concerned about being exposed to material that might be upsetting or objectionable to them personally- since everyone is different- do some further research into the titles so they can preemptively and discreetly opt out or request an alternate assignment.

Now if the class were "history of cinema" and someone was bothered by, say, Citizen Kane, im not sure how you would get around it...

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 01:07 AM

4. I think the reason the article really resonated was because of the first line.

"About a year ago I was asked to teach a class about the evolution of the representation of sex throughout American Cinema."

The damn class was about sex and its evolution in film! It's like taking a class about the Holocaust and demanding trigger warnings be sent before the class meets. It is an another example, IMO, of some people taking things to an absurd conclusion. Frankly, I feel some people really don't want their world view challenged. I am not taking about taking a class about slavery and the professor is teaching "those people were happy" kind of crap, I am thinking more in the line of things like this class, world history, politics, and the like. I guess my age is really starting to show because stuff like this makes me cranky. LOL!

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Thu Dec 10, 2015, 02:00 AM

5. Civilization is the physical manifestation of our abstract imagination

The first generation that grew up on the internet is now in college. It's very easy to filter out anything you don't like on the internet. The internet is basically not much more than the human mind on a screen. The internet is slowly becoming real life, as it's the most abstract thing we've done so far.

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