warnings

  • Jun. 24th, 2009 at 11:23 AM
sloth: penny from big bang theory laying the verbal smackdown (penny will tell you why you are wrong so)
Summed up here

My own thoughts, casual as they may be: 

1) flashbacks to RaceFail what with all the survivor-blaming and "privilege? what privilege?" discussion

2) I really, really like the idea one commenter had, of including a "Warnings: to the best of my knowledge there are no warnings needed for this fic" to fics so that any reader who is wary can be assured she/he isn't taking a chance in reading an unmarked fic. I think I'm going to start doing that. 

3) Given that a lot of the discussion seems to hinge not just on warnings in general but also warnings for misogyny related crimes, such as rape, consent issues, assault, and abuse in its myriad forms (with the derailing tactics of attempting to move away from dubcon warnings to "do I need to warn for allergies now, too?"), there is something that just boggles me. These works of (fan)fiction, depicting - I'm assuming sympathetically, empathetically - events of graphic violence are works where the author tends to occupy, or see through the perspective of, the one assaulted. The second most common viewpoint is that of the rescuer-figure who has come to help the survivor of assault. In both fictive instances, the author tends to (not always, not in every case, but for the majority in my sampling of this genre) present an empathetic portrayal. The level of irony is astounding when this empathy given to fictional characters in fictional settings is not extended to real survivors of assault, real supporters of those who have survived assault, in the real setting that is the social networks of our journaling sites. If a dubcon fic made you cry and ache for the characters, why can't you cry and ache for fellow members of our community? Why is it permissible to allow fictive voices be heard, but silence the real ones?

4) There is no 4. The 4 is a lie. 

5) I do have a trigger. It's not related to any consent or assault issues. It is a somewhat common trope in fanfic, but I navigate around it just fine, and heed warnings when authors are considerate and compassionate enough to post them. I was recently triggered by a non-fanfic source and spent a few days randomly breaking into tears and trying desperately to regain my equilibrium. It's hard. It hurts. I don't know anyone with enough malice to deliberately want to hurt me in that way - but it didn't stop me from being hurt. It didn't stop me from flashing back and contemplating self-harm. Triggers are different from squicks, which you can walk away from. Triggers are embedded in you, and the impact they have is enormously damaging.

6) Regarding the notion of warnings = spoilers, why not post warnings separately under a cut with the addendum that if the reader has triggers, they may want to check out the warnings; if the reader has no triggers and would like to avoid spoilers, to ignore the warnings; if the reader has no triggers but likes spoilers, read the warnings; etc. It's a little extra work, but it seems like a middle ground between avoiding harm to readers and preserving authorial control over spoilers, etc. 


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