The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Trigger Warning': How Feminism Promotes Harmful Stereotypes

Posted on | May 23, 2014 | 63 Comments

Is there any stereotype of women more harmful than the idea that women are emotionally delicate creatures incapable of handling stress, prone to hysterical crying at the slightest provocation? And doesn’t the contemporary feminist trope of putting “trigger warnings” on potentially disturbing material tend to justify that stereotype?

But we are just too stupid to understand these things, which is why feminists like Soraya Chemaly must explain them to us:

In an article title “Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm,” the New York Times yesterday described ongoing debates on college and university campuses about whether or not trigger warnings should be used in advance of discussions that include, among other things, violent, racist and misogynistic content. This argument is a repeat of a long-standing one about the uses and efficacy of warnings regarding possibly disturbing and re-traumatizing content. Conversations about trigger warnings, however, seem more and more like superficial proxies for ones about deeper problems on campuses regarding diversity, equity, the corporatization of education, and, the dreaded word, privilege.
Triggers, images, sounds, smells and, yes, texts, that provoke specific emotional and physical responses in people, are not about “squirming.” They are complex, unpredictable and highly individual reactions to material that evokes pain and fear. The idea of trigger warnings started in feminist spaces because experiences with, for example, sexual and domestic violence, are so common that it made sense, out of compassion, to warn participants before revealing graphic descriptions of incest, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide.

Let us ask: Is it the case that “experiences with, for example, sexual and domestic violence are so common” universally among women or, rather, is this particularly true “in feminist spaces”? Because “the dreaded word, privilege” may reference, among other things, known correlations of socio-economic factors, e.g., the higher incomes of households headed by married couples, so that the offspring of traditional families are “privileged” in comparison to the children of unmarried or divorced parents. And it can be further demonstrated from social research that women and girls in non-traditional households are at greater risk of “sexual and domestic violence,” and to have “experiences with . . . incest, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide.”

What we may surmise — trigger warning for logic — is that “feminist spaces” are disproportionately populated with women who have suffered such traumatic experiences and who, rather than dealing with their psychological problems through therapy, have instead decided that “the personal is political,” so that their feminist politics are actually an attempt to rationalize their personal problems.

It is not at all uncommon for women who identify themselves as feminists to admit that they suffer from mental illness, without seeming to recognize the significance of these admissions.

Women’s Studies Professor Lisa Johnson wrote an entire book about her borderline personality disorder, an affliction the National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH) describes as “a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships.” And she is just one of many examples of this tendency: Over and over, when you read the autobiographical writings of feminists, you encounter admissions of psychiatric problems — clinical depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, et cetera — so frequently that you wonder if the entire feminist movement is on Prozac.

Crazy is an acceptable synonym for feminist, and “trigger warnings” are evidence that the lunatics are running the asylum.

Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot: Trigger warning for Amanda Marcotte.

“I don’t particularly like babies. They are loud and smelly and, above all other things, demanding. No matter how much free day care you throw at women, babies are still time-sucking monsters with their constant neediness. . . .
“I don’t want a baby. . . . Nothing will make me want a baby. . . . This is why, if my birth control fails, I am totally having an abortion.”

Amanda Marcotte, March 14

This kind of bloodthirsty fanaticism — “I hate babies! Kill all the little time-sucking monsters!” — is profoundly abnormal.

Parenthood is often difficult and, even under the most ideal circumstances, parents must deal with unpleasant tasks. (Yesterday, I babysat my infant grandson for several hours and had to change two poopy diapers.) Yet there are more than 6 billion people on the planet, a fact that suggests the vast majority of humans are capable of coping normally with the ordinary duties of parenthood.

So why does Amanda Marcotte have this homicidal impulse, this horrifying hatred of the mere thought of having babies? Even if we could dismiss Marcotte as an extreme example of feminist psychosis, why is it that the feminist movement has such a reverential attitude toward abortion as the ultimate expression of “women’s rights”?

Answers to such questions are possible, and we may speculate why a political movement of women would focus its energies so zealously on the destruction of life in the womb — i.e., despising motherhood as the natural consequence of women’s sexuality. Foregoing speculation about the psychiatric motives behind feminism’s Death Cult, however, we can say simply that women who have such a bizarre revulsion toward their own maternal capacity are emotionally disturbed.

And so . . . trigger warning: The mentally ill feminist writer must warn her mentally ill feminist readers that she is discussing topics that could cause these emotional trauma cases to go spiraling off into the vortex of craziness that swirls around them.

Trigger warning: “You are a victim, permanently damaged by whatever awful things you experienced in your wretched childhood, your unhappy adolescence and your dysfunctional adult relationships.”

Trigger warning: “Embrace victimhood as your identity, and blame all your problems on patriarchy, Christianity, capitalism and the Republican Party, which are all more or less the same thing.”

Trigger warning: “Take another Prozac and vote Democrat!”

So there they go, the Feminist Lunatic Parade, marching toward their delusional utopia of Equality, inviting other women to join them: Kill your babies, become a lesbian and you can be a feminist, too!

And they wonder why normal women won’t sign up for that trip.




 

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Comments

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Modern feminism is less Neo-Victorian and more Sappho-Victorian.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    With all the intellectual rigor of Wymyn’s Studies and Ethnic Studies (where the common practice of not even holding classes ought not be condemned, considering the alternative), too!

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    I told my stepdaughter in loco parentis meant “because your parents are crazy.” She bought it.

    Not sure what that says, though.

  • Guest

    “patriarchy, Christianity, capitalism and the Republican Party, which are all more or less the same thing”

    :D

  • Guest

    drinking, smoking, and building things.

    i can get down with that :D

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  • Jane the Actuary

    Actually, this is an interesting theory.

    The other thing I’ve observed is that “literature” is becoming increasingly graphic, and people who object to this are called “prudes.” Hence, the “trigger warning” is necessary because a generic “content warning” and the acknowledgement that some content might be too graphic for readers, has become unacceptable.

    Besides which, of course, the use of the “trigger warning” communicates to the reader that your politics are, well, correct.

    http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/05/trigger-warnings.html