Trigger Warnings

What Caught My Eye will be coming back, eventually. In the mean time though, here's an interesting piece on the idea of triggering, and the politics contained therein

Fifteen to twenty years ago, books like Wendy Brown’s States of Injury(1995) and Anna Cheng’s The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation and Hidden Grief (2001) asked readers to think about how grievances become grief, how politics comes to demand injury and how a neoliberal rhetoric of individual pain obscures the violent sources of social inequity. But, newer generations of queers seem only to have heard part of this story and instead of recognizing that neoliberalism precisely goes to work by psychologizing political difference, individualizing structural exclusions and mystifying political change, some recent activists seem to have equated social activism with descriptive statements about individual harm and psychic pain. Let me be clear – saying that you feel harmed by another queer person’s use of a reclaimed word like tranny and organizing against the use of that word is NOT social activism. It is censorship.

Emphasis mine. 

Maybe this is the myopia of youth, but it seems sometimes that politics has fractured in the past decade or two. We see this to an extent on the right with the divisions between the Tea Party and mainstream Republicanism, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives etc. 

It seems however on the left, the split has become fractal. I count myself among the left, weakly-learned though I may be, and so it seems to me as a member of this group that we have split the moral atom. To me it seems that of late that there is not group that isn't divisible into smaller pieces. Post-modernist theory has allowed this to divide even a person, breaking us down even further into our privilege, our oppression, and intersectionality

Where this seems to leave us, as pointed out by the above linked article, is a place where groups big and small, each fighting for a similar vision of a better future, spend all their energy demonizing each other rather than fighting for the bigger cause. It seems that the project is so clear to each group that it blinds them to their common goals. 

I'm unfamiliar with the term neo-liberal, and so will have to do some reading. However I have watched the rise of the trigger warning, and wondered... what exactly does that mean for personal strength, and freedom of speech. I'm certainly sympathetic to the aims of trigger warnings, but what happens when we build the apparatus for people's filter bubbles? What happens when polite warnings of triggers turn to censorship, both by the triggered and using the warnings as cause.  

I will be re-reading the linked piece eventually: I don't think I have nearly finished digesting it. I can't recommend enough that you try to digest it too.