Monash University Becomes First Australian Uni To Use Trigger Warnings

You are no doubt familiar with the concept of trigger warnings, the primary cultural impact of which has been giving the internet’s most obnoxious dickheads something to shout at everyone who responds to them in any way (“Oh, triggered are we? Are you triggered? Did I trigger you?! You’re so triggered!“).
Before being co-opted by the sort of people you try not to sit near on the train or would avoid inviting to your wedding even if they were a close relative, the word “trigger” had a very specific meaning, referring to the tendency of post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers to experience heightened symptoms of their PTSD when exposed to things reminiscent of their trauma.
In an effort to make the world a slightly better place for people who had had their lives shattered by a traumatising experience, some universities in the US suggested putting small notes about any potentially harmful content that could affect a PTSD sufferer. Simple, right?
Nope, it’s actually the worst thing in the world. Apparently. For some reason, the idea of giving a modicum of warning to a sexual assault survivor that they are about to listen to a lecture about rape is “political correctness gone too far” and the outrageous demands of a generation of “snowflakes” – at least, according to the people who are outraged at the idea of having to see a short sentence in a course outline.
The “debate” (*cough* ungodly complaining of a bunch of assholes *cough*) has been fired up again with Monash University becoming the first Australian university to implement trigger warnings, trialling them with 15 course outlines.
The trial asks courses to include warnings about content that covers potentially distressing content like sexual assault, self-harm, suicide, domestic violence and child abuse.
Union president Matilda Grey says the move is about allowing students who struggle with trauma to control their level of exposure:
“We’re not suggesting that students shouldn’t be faced with challenges during their uni experiences.

“We’re not suggesting that they shouldn’t be faced with difficult, discomforting topics at all.

“But this will allow students who do have a response, whether that be an anxiety attack or a panic attack based on any previous traumatic experiences, to be able to prepare themselves and take responsibility for their actions and manage those responses.”
Despite what pearl-clutching conservatives will tell you, the warnings aren’t about stopping students from engaging with ideas they don’t agree with, but rather about letting them choose how to engage with them; case in point: all of the work in the course will remain examinable, regardless of the nature of the content.
Sound unreasonable? You might want to examine what it is about your personal politics that makes it objectionable to be even slightly courteous to people who have experienced trauma.
Source: ABC.
Photo: Monash University.