yoko and the politics of a trigger warning

August 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

this was a comment that i was writing to aaminah that kind of is taking on a life of its own…

life is triggering.  life is painful.  yes.  and i have found that once i said…ok…triggers are here and here and here and i got to walk through them.  that is when i realized that life is also fun and beautiful and maddening and sad and ecstasy and a whole lot of things that i had been hiding from because i was afraid of being triggered.  i understand that other people need to deal with things differently.  but for me.  i want the ecstasy and love and fullness of life.

also, i realized that everyone has trauma.  everyone has been traumatized either in small ways just from living in an alienating society.  or in large more abrupt ways.  we are all broken.  we are all alienated.  we are all traumatized.  and sooner or later we have to figure out a way to live with all of our traumas and triggers.

and this is in part why i question the politics of trigger warnings.  cause if we are all traumatized then how do decide which traumas should be noted and watched out for and which shouldnt?

let me give an example.  i agree with bfp that i like the way that cara does trigger warnings.  i think she does them much more responsibly than most.  and honestly the thing that cara posts about that is most likely to trigger me is not sexual assault or violence against women.  it is the beatles.  yep, the beatles.  cause the ex/abuser was a HUGE beatles fan.  HUGE.  owned every vinyl album.  saw himself as the reincarnation of john.  and of course i was yoko–the girl who broke up the band.

my body/brain starts racing and bringing to mind not so nice images when i see certain beatles pictures, especially the arcane and obscure ones. the kind that a true beatles fan salivates over.  the kind that cara loves.

now, in no part of the universe do i expect for cara to put a trigger warning on her posts about the beatles.  i love that cara has the dorky side that is all about beatle mania and collector items and genuine geekiness.

actually it was cara that first taught me how fucking awesomely cool yoko really is.  and now yoko is one of my favorite artists. if i had decided to hide from my fear of being triggered, i would never have found yoko, the artist.  and would not have realized that so much of my ‘crazy dreams of things i want to do someday’ is actually art.  cara gave me yoko.  and yoko gave me confidence.

and frankly, john, its just a pop band.


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