There is nothing more alarming than white anarchist/leftist men undermining/disregarding/”critiquing” safer spaces policies.
If you meet someone like this in your political circle - you get the fuck away from them. They are either exasperating and exhausting company because you’ll always be explaining to them why they’ve just been an oppressive dickhead for the hundredth time. Or they are abusers looking to dismantle the small safety nets and systems of accountability we have tried to build around us. Yikes.
So here’s why thinking safer spaces and trigger warnings are bullshit is bullshit, directed at anyone who agrees with the post linked to above. Don’t complain about the length, this is me taking the time to reeeaallly explain it to you so you can’t act clueless about it anymore. It’s always the people less likely to need trigger warnings and enforced safer spaces that complain about them so consider this your education.
First off - of course exposure therapy helps people like that blogger who has OCD - but it should be done under supervision of a doctor/therapist or at least preplanned by the individual - like when they want to be exposed, how often and how far along the scale of extremity someone wants to have exposure to. Removing all trigger warnings or not letting people know beforehand that a conversation/situation might be triggering does not give them the choice to be exposed to things or the chance to decide if they can handle it right now. Exposure therapy is a gradual thing so trigger warnings help people avoid something that is too big a jump in their recovery, therefore TWs are still valid and useful if you do believe everyone should be doing that.
Which brings me to my second point - if you do believe everyone should be doing that you’re a total asshole.
While I understand the blogger has OCD and that this must affect them a lot and make life incredibly difficult - they cannot compare their OCD with other people’s trauma especially from things like rape or drug addiction. They cannot apply their way of dealing with things to everyone else because, even if their OCD is ruining their life on the same scale as how being sexually assaulted or drug dependent has ruined someone elses, their experiences are totally different.
Also this might be a bit of a shock to those who are convinced people should “get over it” - but exposure therapy is not applicable to every fucking problem under the sun. Do you have any experience of being around people with drug and alcohol addictions? Do you think it’s okay to expose some addicts to the substance they’re addicted to or to talk in detail about how fucked you got on it in front of them? No. So we create safer spaces where drugs are not consumed publicly, we ask first if we can talk about it and we do what we can to prevent causing that little twinge of “maybe I could have one beer/line and it’ll be ok ” in people who we care about but can’t stand to watch destroy themselves anymore.
Do you think a rape victim should have to see their rapist all the time hanging out in supposedly radical circles where we supposedly challenge sexism and rape culture and interpersonal hierarchies? No? Removing safe spaces policies means this will happen. Do you think a victim should be reminded vividly of the worst experience of their life unless they are ready for that? No? Removing trigger warnings means this will happen.
We still need these because, guess what asshole, some things are just too painful and will not go away. I cannot stress this point enough. This is fundamentally why we disagree because I understand this fact and you and so many white men (the demographic most sheltered from the trauma of gendered and racial violence might I add) refuse to understand it or are somehow incapable. I mean do you think someone can do exposure therapy to get over the trauma of racism when they’re also experiencing it again and again anyway? Do you think exposure therapy and ‘getting over it’ works for long term trauma for daily oppression just like it works for a one off traumatic experience or for a disorder like OCD? Get real!
Sometimes it takes years before someone is ready to begin any kind of recovery - so what about protecting them from further damage in the mean time? Sometimes people are too broken down, too exhausted, too changed by trauma to be able to face things head on in this macho way and that’s alright actually.
It’s okay that we don’t push ourselves to handle what we can’t. It’s okay that some of us might never be able to handle certain things ever again - as long as we are still living and fighting. Some wounds don’t heal fully and all we can do is tend to them for the rest of our lives so they don’t get deeper. This is valid, whatever you say. If you still think everyone should be doing some kind of exposure therapy, you have a long way to go before you’re able to think outside your own experience and understand that people have needs that don’t mirror your own and that these needs are still valid even though they aren’t the same as yours.
I understand why the blogger who has a serious disorder might object to seeing people use trigger warnings for things that aren’t linked to that because that is their main association with it - but the fact that people have expanded the use of trigger warnings beyond it’s original medical use is only a useful thing in my eyes.
This is not appropriating it as a “fashion accessory” or using it to indicate you have a disorder that you want to parade around. This is applying a useful system in a more widespread way so that more people will benefit from having the choice to be exposed to certain things. Maybe online people get over zealous and warn for everything under the sun - but so what? It’s doing the opposite of harming people. Just because fewer people are triggered by something doesn’t mean it’s less valid, doesn’t mean it downgrades the importance of trigger warnings in general (I’d like to reassure the original blogger it doesn’t) and just because something isn’t linked to a diagnosed-by-doctor medical disorder doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the ability to traumatise/upset/trigger someone.
Think for a moment: If you advocate doing something that potentially harms more people than helps - like ignoring safer spaces and abolishing TWs - and would rather complain about the ways people have tried to help each other then what does that say about you and your outlook on the world and how you relate to other human beings? No really, have a little soul search right about now.
AND FINALLY the tired old argument of “the world isn’t a safer space anyway”
YEAH. WE KNOW. WE LIVE IN IT BRO.
People deal with sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism daily. Sometimes people want a place they can go to where they can have a break from it, organise together with clearer heads. You’ll find political organising goes better when we all stop oppressing each other. We’re not hiding from it - we’re used to real life being utterly shit and full of bigots and face up to it all the time in very real ways. In fact many of us are tougher than you for dealing with systematic oppression the likes of which you’ll never experience. So don’t act like we’re wrong to demand a time and place to have a break from it if we want. Give us the respect we deserve because really you don’t know shit about how real life can be for some people.
“There should not need to be a “space” where people are “safe” from sexual assault, bigotry or whatever, it is running away from the problem, and does not address why the rest of it is unsafe.” - is the funniest most out of touch bullshit in the whole blog post.
Unfortunately there does need to be a space where people are safe from assault because that’s the sorry state of the world right now. Welcome to reality - we have to actively enforce a space to gather where we won’t tolerate being raped and oppressed. Also we know full well why the rest is unsafe and suggesting otherwise is completely patronizing. People dedicate a lot of their time thinking about/discussing/fighting against why it’s unsafe. Just because you weren’t there and rarely think about it anyway doesn’t mean those conversations and political actions haven’t happened. We are not running away from the problem if we refuse to associate with rapists and bigots. We’re at least trying to build an alternative here. What are you doing?
“You do not deal with racism, anti-semitism, sexism etc by setting up a “safe space” where these things are supposed not to happen. You deal with it by challenging it.” This blogger lacks so much insight, this last quote barely makes sense. We are confronting oppression head on by:
- not allowing such behaviors to appear and thrive in our groups
- calling out oppressive behavior and trying to educate individuals
- physically removing harmful racist/sexist etc individuals from the space if needs be
- physically harming harmful racist/sexist etc individuals if needs be
- trying to raise and spread consciousness on why these things are wrong to society in general
Not tolerating all these forms of oppression is the first step to challenging them. No space can be completely safe because even someone with the best intentions can be an asshole unintentionally but it’s not about creating an oppression-less vacuum where we can all hide from the real world, it’s about creating and promoting a culture where people don’t let it go unnoticed and unchallenged and deal with it directly there and then in non-abstract ways.
An excellent post about why this blog post is bullshit.
Oh wait now I get what triggers are
Yeah, see, THIS is a trigger. Something that prompts a horrible flashback that makes someone go into a literal panic attack. It is NOT something that makes you slightly uncomfortable, so can we all just stop tossing that word around like it’s nothing.
No??? Because that flashbacks are NOT the only type of trigger jfc. I say this as someone with PTSD, STOP. I didn’t even realize I had PTSD for a long time because people like lavastormsw perpetuated the idea that all people with PTSD have flashbacks and this was the only type of PTSD trigger, despite the fact that this is not the case (and the DSM acknowledges this so)
Not to mention that PTSD isn’t the only mental illness or disorder that involves triggers. Triggers are also a medical term used for people with phobias, autistic people (meltdown triggers), panic disorder, alcoholism, addictions, eating disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and other disorders.
So no, you don’t know what a trigger is, lavastormsw. You’re not helping people with mental disorders, you’re actually hurting us. You can’t know what someone’s triggers are, and even if they seem strange to you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect them or mock them.
reblog as text, bold is mine for emphasis.
Thank you for expressing all of the awkward feelings I’ve been having about this post. :/
Police murder man @ movie theater for disobeying orders
February 17, 2013
On January 14, 2013, a young man with Down syndrome went with his companion to see Zero Dark Thirty at the Regal Cinema in Frederick, MD. At the end of the movie, apparently because he wanted to see it again, he refused to get out of his seat. A Regal employee, rather than allowing him to stay and dealing with the situation later with his parents and the companion, called not one, not two, but three off duty Frederick County police officers who were working security for the theater at the time.
According to published reports, when the officers/ security guards asked him to leave, he mouthed off at them and “resisted arrest”. Those of you who know my son Landon can visualize what this would look like. In response, the officers wrestled him to the ground where he asphyxiated in handcuffs. The handcuffs were removed and EMS called and according to the police news release he later died at hospital. I don’t know how that reconciles with the coroner’s finding of asphyxiation which I thought was pretty immediate.
The price of a ticket at the cinema is between $9 and $11. The additional cost to Regal of allowing him to watch the movie again was ZERO. But instead a beloved young man died on the floor of a movie theater in his neighborhood at the hands of people he was taught would protect him.
The police officers remain on duty and were allowed to invoke their rights as police officers not to provide statements even though they were not on duty or performing official duties at the time. They were security guards in police uniforms.
The county police are investigating and the story has received local news coverage. Please share this everywhere both to ensure justice but also to raise public awareness.
Where is our humanity when a young, obviously disabled young man dies for the price of a movie ticket? My son is worth a lot more to me & society than eleven dollars.
- Student-Loan Debt.
- Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance.
- Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy.
- “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.”
- Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously.
- The Normalization of Surveillance.
- Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism.
Click the link.
I kept saying “Yeeeeeeeeeeeees” and “Exaaaaaaaaactly!!!”
Baby Bear Diagnosed With Social Anxiety
Bear psychologists have diagnosed a local cub with social anxiety disorder after he exhibited extreme shyness around others.
i love this bear with all my heart
Even in the sense of “moving on”, being told to “forgive” someone who hurt you badly is no different to being told to “just get over it” which is, y’know, impossible.
forgiveness is my choice when i have been wronged
While it often has problematic articles, my therapist sent me this article from Psychology Today about the power of non-forgiveness and how the cultural tendency to tell people that forgiveness is the only way they will get over something isn’t always accurate or appropriate. I found this article really helpful.
a friendly tip: if you feel the urge to self harm get an ice cube and hold it in your hand for a while. it relieves the compulsion in a less destructive way. therapists have used this with their patients and i have tried it myself it works pretty well
Okay wow this is now my favourite post on Tumblr. Signal boost into infinity.
Please stop cutting!!!!! Spread the word #RUSHERS !!! REBLOG TO SHOW YOU CARE!!! THIS IS VERY SAD…WE ALL SUPPORT YOU, WHOEVER YOU ARE <3 WE HAVE YOUR BACK AND WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY AND STRONG! MUCH LOVE FROM THIS RUSHER XOXOXO IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO TALK, I’M HERE AND…
I am so glad that it already reached 800, but, because I haven’t said it yet, please don’t cut. Talk to someone, anyone (helpful, that is) because WE CARE A LOT.
I usually say “If you broke your leg, NO ONE WOULD TELL YOU TERRIBLE THINGS.” or “If you had pneumonia, you might be able to get over it without help but doing that would be so so stupid.”