The recent Senate hearings that led to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh were both riveting and painful for many viewers. It’s difficult to recall another time when sexual assault and its effects played such a prominent role in our national conversation.
The term “triggered” has gotten a mixed reputation in recent years as it has come to be associated with the efforts of many colleges and universities to protect students from upsetting content or ideas. This new meaning of the term started with the best of intentions. Professors covering material that could be upsetting for those with a history of trauma began to warn students beforehand; hence the term “trigger warning.” Gradually, the term’s use broadened as college communities increasingly used it to warn students about the use of anything that might conceivably be upsetting. (This was unfortunate, as ultimately it is impossible to protect all students from ever being upset by the material, perspectives, or ideas presented in class.) However, triggers are a serious [Read more…]