Hello everyone! I have not been very active and I apologise for that but university has been keeping me busy. Today I want to talk about something which I feel strongly about and which I feel is a necessity: Trigger Warnings in books. Nowadays, a lot of discussions have come up talking about how important trigger warnings are and if they should be mentioned in a book. The amount of arguments against this are many. But personally I feel it is important to mention them.
Trigger warnings are warnings for the content in the books which might disturb or affect the reader. These warnings are usually given in the start of the book to give the readers a warning about certain parts or scenes which could trigger them. It is very important to have them because as readers it’s good to know if the book we are reading might affect us in any way.
Mental Health is very important and by assuming trigger warnings are not important we are also assuming how something might affect a person. The arguments I hear against it baffle me so I am going to try and list some of them down and talk about why I feel they are an important part of the reading experience.
It is said that Trigger Warnings are spoilers
Well, I do not think they are. They just mention things in the book which might affect the reader in some way. If you think that by mentioning that there is a triggering scene in a book will be any kind of spoiler, it will definitely not. Arguments have been made that by mentioning them it would “ruin the surprise element”. I think I can safely say that having trigger warnings and preparing the readers for something which might personally affect them will not in any way ruin the surprise. If anything, it will make us appreciate the book for considering our feelings.
It is said that Trigger Warnings prepare you for life because life does not come with warnings so books shouldn’t either
Okay first of all, what ? The fact that life does not come with trigger warnings and we have to suffer and learn from it is the reason that we would like to be prepared and NOT go through the same feelings while reading a book. I find it absurd that people think that preparing us for life means playing around with our mental health. Reading without trigger warnings does not help in toughening us but might actually be harmful for a lot of people.
There are people for whom reading certain things can be traumatic and by saying stuff like this you are actually invalidating it for them. One can sound insensitive and rude. Not everyone can agree to the same things and if you cannot keep an open mind about it, it’s best to not try to erase their opinions and experiences.
Experiences are subjective and what might not affect you, might be harmful for someone else. By including trigger warnings, you are being respectful to all the readers and sending a sign that you care. Even if they might be spoilers( which I do not think is the case) its always better to warn the reader than them suffering.
As a reader, it is always better to go in knowing what awaits than that triggering part be sprung upon us and affect us in any way. Understanding that not everyone has the same experiences, emotions and temperaments as you, will not only make your platform a safe place but will also build trust with your readers.
One great example of this is The Black Veins by Ashia Monet which recently released, The author mentioned trigger warnings at the start of the book along with the chapters they will be there in which made the reader aware and it will be helpful to all the readers. A lot of authors nowadays do mention them either in the book or summary or author’s note. It is of utmost importance that we as bloggers do it to help each other as well as the readers.
To summarise, trigger warnings are very important for a reader and mentioning them is the most suitable way to help the readers and respect their mental health and experiences. Eliminating trigger warnings because You do not feel they are important is a wrong way to approach it and can be harmful for a lot of people. These are my opinions and I feel it is important to be said. Be respectful and Be kind.
What are your thoughts on this ?
How important do you think trigger warnings are ?
Do you have any special things to add to this ?