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Monash University to protect students from reality - trigger warnings so kids can avoid growing up

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On Wednesday night the ABC's 730 program brought us news of Monash University's decision to fold to student demands over "trigger warnings".

A "trigger warning" is an alert that something you don't want to hear might be coming up.  The idea is that students should have the right to submit a list of verboten topics and to be warned in advance and given time to leave the room before a word of unpleasantness is spoken.

One of the groups that lobbied for protection from maturity is NOWSA.

What is NOWSA?

nowsa-2 Nowsa-2

What exactly is NOWSA?

NOWSA is the acronym for the Network of Women Students Australia. The Network Of Women Students Australia was established in 1987, and founded on ideals of creating a grassroots, autonomous network concerned with issues that impact women and women students.

Every year, NOWSA hosts a conference in collaboration with an Australian University Union. The conference provides an opportunity for women identifying students to engage with personal, political, social, and cultural issues that effect women. The environment allows students to share resources, skills and knowledge. Attendees also have the opportunity to work together to develop strategies to improve the experiences of women in Australia.

ENDS

The trigger warning bell at Women Identifying Students shindigs goes off a lot.

Here's the official list of iss-ewes which cannot be spoken of unless the sisters get Trigger Warning and time to avoid reality.

PS - check out their source at the tail end - and please take this as my one and only trigger warning for the language used by the students who identify as women.  Most unladylike.

Trigger Warning Policy

What is a trigger?

A trigger is something that evokes a strong negative response in the viewer/reader. A trigger may cause an intense reaction such as a panic attack, flashback, or symptoms associated with PTSD. It may invoke aspects of a persons mental illness or it may cause great anguish to the person viewing or reading it.


A trigger warning alerts the reader/viewer to the fact that a discussion contains potentially distressing material.


A trigger warning (TW) is a short note before a blog post, picture, video, or other content that warns readers/viewers about an aspect of the content that may trigger them. At the very least, it allows for people to assess their current mental state before continuing to consume content that may negatively alter their wellbeing.

Why do you use trigger warnings?

Trigger warnings are used at NOWSA to preserve the conference as a safe and inclusive space for all attendees wishing to engage in discussions while at the conference. The NOWSA Organising Committee values the mental health of others, and understands that sometimes these warnings are needed to continue to overcome, heal, and avoid content that would negatively impact on an individual.

How do I format a trigger warning?

For NOWSA attendees, it is important to include trigger warnings in the published description of your workshop and at the beginning of the workshop, and to then give a quick break for people to be able to leave inconspicuously. It is also beneficial to give another quick trigger warning immediately before discussing the topic.

For example, if you are presenting a written piece of work that details an experience of sexual assault, at the beginning of the piece you may write:

“TW: sexual assault; sexual harassment.”

For spoken trigger warning, you may say, for example:

I would like to trigger warn that I am about to go into a detailed discussion about an experience of sexual assault. Please feel free to leave at any time throughout this discussion if you wish.”

Attendees should also make efforts to drop trigger warnings in general discussion, conference floor and workshops.

When you do warn about triggers, please be respectful, make sure you cover as many as you can think of, be clear, add extra emphasis if needed, and only warn about things that are triggers. To trigger warn unnecessarily undermines the system because it puts ‘being annoyed’ or ‘being mildly angry’ alongside ‘being greatly distressed or triggered’.

Here is a more extensive list:

Please note this is still a work in progress, and don’t hesitate to send the NOWSA Organising Committee an email if there is something you think should be added.

  • Ableism
  • Ableist slurs
  • Abuse:
    • Physical
    • Mental
    • Emotional
    • Verbal
    • Sexual
    • Financial 
  • Blood
  • Body image
  • Body horror
  • Child abuse
  • Classism
  • Corpses, skulls or skeletons
  • Death/Murder
  • Drug use or talk of drugs (legal, illegal or psychiatric)
  • Eating disorders
  • Eye contact (scopophobia)
  • Fat shaming
  • Flashing lights 
  • Food
  • Gore
  • Harassment
  • Hate crimes
  • Insects
  • Islamophobia
  • Kidnapping 
  • Medical procedures
  • Mental illness
  • Misophonia
  • Nazi paraphernalia
  • Needles
  • Panic attacks
  • Pedophilia
  • Pregnancy
  • Queerphobia
  • Queerphobic slurs 
  • Racism
  • Racist slurs 
  • Rape
  • Scarification
  • Self harm 
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Serious injury
  • Sex
  • Sexism
  • Sexist slurs
  • Sex shaming
  • Sexual assault
  • Slimy things
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Suicide
  • Racism
  • Classism 
  • Body-shaming 
  • Cultural shaming
  • Xenophobia 
  • Transphobia 
  • Transphobic slurs 
  • Transmisogyny 
  • Trichitillomania
  • Trypophobia
  • Violence
  • Vomit
  • Warfare
  • Weapons

Sources: Kyriarchy & Privilege 101 Fuck Yeah Trigger Warnings The Feminist Network

ENDS

Isn't Ableism a little beauty!

TRIGGER WARNING - ABLEISM - sorry for the unintentional distress, I'm walking.

The women, sorry, students-identifying-as-women have plenty more concocted crap in their books.

There's a safer spaces policy - providing a refuge from femmephobia and other made up boogey men.

A policy to encourage a lifetime habit of complaints and grievance - it runs for a few pages and just when you think all the angles are covered, up pops this last little gem:

Individuals may wish for their grievances to be resolved within their relevant autonomous collectives or caucuses (Indigenous, WoC, Queer, Disabilities, etc) to ensure that the mediation process is appropriate and safe.

 

We now have an optional education system, where reality can be avoided and responsibility for protecting students from the real world rests with the university.
 
Shame the real world doesn't work that way.
 
But I'm sorry, we can't discuss that, trigger warning.

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