Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

Dark Themes and Trigger Warnings

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Hey guys, I have for you today my discussion/ranting to the void about Trigger Warnings and dark content in books. To be honest this isn’t the first time that tackle this kind of topic (mostly about trigger warnings actually) Here’s the link if you want to check it out.. But as times passes so do our opinions and beliefs about certain topics.. either in a good or a harmful way.. which brings me to the topic at hand.

First and foremost, let me just be clear on two accounts; One, I do understand the need for content warnings at its most basic use.. (I’ll get to that in a second) and Two, I’m a Dark Content reader with little “triggers” of my own. I do understand that this two instances combined might make my perspective a little biased so fair warning..no pun intended.

When I mentioned earlier the basic use of content warnings, here’s what I meant.. explicit sex scenes (we don’t want children around that) Drug use, Graphic Violence (torture, rape) and suicide… I understand the need to forwarned the reader of this topics.. but what happens when the usage of Trigger Warnings is taken to the extreme.

Is it really necessary to spell everything out beforehand? Because if that is the case then I think it’s a losing battle.. there are as many triggering topics as people out there.. and it’s ridiculous to think we can warn everyone away from them Let me give you an extreme example: I hate Spiders so should I ask every author to put a content warning that will let me know if spiders are mentioned in their books? You might think I’m exagerating but I’m not.. I have seen simmilar complains.. Just recently there was what amount to a “witch hunt” on social media on an author because even though she had content warnings on her book she refused to be specific.. seriously?

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If my Triggering Topic is abuse; I don’t think I should be reading a Bully Romance, right? But the maddening thing is that when I do, I’ll end up blaming the author for my discomfort.. Is that fare? Wasn’t it my choice in the first place to go ahead and pick that book? Guys, there’s a thing called Common Sense and although it’s hardly used we should pay more attention to it..

Instead it seems we are becoming this crystal like figurines that even at mention of a “controversial theme” will be shattered to hell and back. We shouldn’t try to be overprotected, we need to experience levels of discomfort to be able to judge and learn from them.

I’m not saying that trigger warnings or content warnings are bad, they have their purpose.. what I find upsetting it’s how easy we use them to ban, criticize and even “cancel” a book or an author if the way they use them doesn’t cater to our needs.

Let me know your thoughts (good or bad) in the comments below.. how do you think Trigger warnings should be used? Don’t forget that if you want to help me keep on creating content and making you at least smile a bit with my quirky posts and ranty opinions just  visit my Ko-fi page or Paypal.me/cbookramblings and support my work..

As Always

Happy Reading

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7 thoughts on “Dark Themes and Trigger Warnings

  1. Another argument about trigger warnings is that they’re actually spoilers, and I’ve seen this quite a few times, and it’s an argument that I don’t agree with. Trigger warnings don’t give away anything in the plot or where in the book they happen, they alert readers to certain things that occur in the book. I think they’re necessary especially trigger warnings about abuse, violence, and assault of any kind. I also think that if an author chooses to include them, they should be at the beginning of the book.

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  2. Well said!! I agree that trigger warnings are needed for some people but for those of us who don’t have triggers they can be spoilery. I think there should be a designated spot in every book where the authors put trigger warning so that people who get triggered by certain topics know where to go to find them and those who want to go in completely blind can avoid that spot.

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  3. There are some topics that I don’t enjoy reading about so a warning can help me avoid those books. Where I get irritated is when people on social media start talking about people being “harmed” by a book. The only harm that I’ve had books do to me are paper cuts and dropping them on my face when I fall asleep while reading. I’ve been offended, irritated, annoyed, insulted, infuriated, and disturbed by content in books but I can’t recall any of this causing me actual harm. There are always going to be viewpoints and content that aren’t right for each of us. We need to be mature enough to say, “This isn’t for me” and walk away without the need to extrapolate our experience to the world at large.

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    1. This is exactly what I mean. It’s true, We can be affected By the content in a book.. Sometimes that’s exactly the point, but If the emotion that was stired up inside of us is a negative one.. Then We just close that book
      and move on. Maybe somebody else will enjoy It. But don’t immediate go into social media and start a witch hunt simply because the topic didn’t agree with your views.

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  4. Pingback: Sunday Update #3

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