This is our truth, tell us yours
Be aware this post mentions consensual sex
The whole trigger warning/content note non debate has been resurrected by columnists desperate to make a bit of noise in a world where shouting loudly is seen as debate. I wrote previously of the fact we live surrounded by warnings, and some people basically need to get over themselves.
However the “phrase “life doesn’t come with trigger warnings” is troubling me for another reason. Given that we are quite clearly surrounded by any number of warnings in our daily lives, do these people mean I don’t want trigger warnings, because they offend me, or I am so self-absorbed I don’t see the many warnings out there?
A man and a woman meet, sex is certainly hoped for, and probable. It is the first time they have met since the woman was sexually assaulted. Add to the picture the knowledge it is a D/s relationship, one which might be described by those who like labels as total power exchange, and one without safe words.
The woman sits astride the man, orgasmic, trembling, crying, exorcised, whispering fears. Gently caressing her he explains he wished to avoid triggers, his weight above her, certain positions, the suggestion of punishment which canes and whips might bring
A woman who had her bodily autonomy taken away from her reclaiming her own orgasms, loosing herself in pure pleasure, allowed to fly because she knows she will not be allowed to fall. A woman needing to know she is desired, not in the rational forebrain, but in those deep dark recesses that creep out at 3 am.
If your world does not contain trigger warnings, what does that say about you? If you exist oblivious of the fact that your actions might cause hurt to another what kind of person are you? If you go through life not concerned with hurting others who are you really?
A trigger warning is not just a passive piece of text, it is an active acknowledgement that we live interconnected lives, that we are not islands in an ocean of selfishness. When we write them we say more about ourselves than the readers who, after all, we cannot know. We are saying, it’s a small thing, a few words, and I know it doesn’t take away the pain, but I hope it doesn’t add to it. A trigger warning is not simply an abstract, it is an act, a choice to live as if our actions can trigger others, and an awareness of that responsibility.
A world where we accept survivors and victims exist, and we all have a choice. By our words, thoughts and deeds we can try to make the world a better place, or we can choose not to. We can insist our actions matter to only us alone, that our opinions should carry weight, because they are ours, or we can say, I am not a unicorn, I am just a person, writing a few words, hoping they might prevent pain.