Censorship and Trigger Warnings - my viewpoint

This post will be slightly different from what I usually write. It will be more personal, rather than just informative. I wanted to use this opportunity to present my viewpoint regarding the prevalence of censorship and trigger warnings. You may agree or disagree, and that is absolutely fine. However, I will not tolerate any disrespect as I believe in freedom of expression and the importance of respectful exchange of opinions between individuals. And honestly, I would love to finally get some comments on this blog.

So to begin with, censorship is defined as the prohibition of communication or information that may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect etc. It had been used throughout centuries to block out information from the public. I believe that in some ways it can be good, for example preventing children from seeing sexually explicit images and hearing sexual word references (that includes swearing), which they are not mature enough to understand at such young age due to their lack of physical development at the time.

Nonetheless, sexual content is not the only thing that gets blocked out. Very often violence, images of suffering and gore get censored as well, and they are rejected mostly by adult audiences. As a child I remember my mother forcing me to cover my eyes and turning away from the TV herself when there was a scene of a man hanging himself in one of her favourite drama shows. I remember how angry it made me being unable to see what hanging looks like, after hearing reports of it happening in real life.

As I grew older my fascination with gore only grew. After all, what could possibly be so dreadful that my parents forbid me to see it? It was easier with sexual content. Once I discovered what it was all about in biology lessons at school, I lost all the curiosity and so did most other kids, at least until puberty arrived, but that's a different story. However, gore always caused reactions, in my case excitement, for many others it was repulsion and/or fear. This is the case for both kids and adults.

However, the truth is that messed up dead and/or living bodies can be found everywhere in the world, in car crashes, wars, suicides and all kinds of accidents. Nobody can avoid that stuff, and yet almost everyone runs away from it, and some who see it end up with severe PTSD. Don't get me wrong, I am not judging anyone with PTSD, as it is a genuine medical condition. However, the point I'm making is that modern society live in denial and fear of inevitable things, which I believe should be exposed and regarded for what they are, i.e. effects of the evil activities of our fellow humans. There is absolutely no denying that the world is a screwed up place. Just try it, and I can give you plenty of examples of true evil, including the Holocaust, starvation and murders of the innocent, sexual abuse of children and so many more examples of humans acting lower than animals. However, a lot of this content gets hidden, simply because people don't want to know. And to me that is ignorance. If we do not face the full facts, the same mistakes will get made over and over again, and the innocent will continue to suffer.

Denial and ignorance can cause immense amount of harm.

In my opinion there is a similar issue with trigger warnings. Many articles, especially relating to suicide and eating disorders, are absolutely loaded with such warnings. While the intention is good, potentially preventing people from getting reminded of their former problems and thus not acting on any harmful urges, escaping does not get rid of the problem, if it still exists somewhere in the mind. I believe that people should learn to face whatever disturbs them, resolving the root cause of the problem rather than ignoring it. Some things simply cannot be avoided, although I will not deny that warnings are a good thing when they allow preparation for a potential upset.

For people such as myself, memories of a relationship break-up can trigger panic attacks and flashbacks. Every time I see any love or romance, including people on the street just holding hands, the painful memories return. And yet, there's nothing that can be done to stop these things because people just want to be happy, right? Never mind that others suffer. Anyway, the point is that you have to deal with your triggers, whether you want to or not, if your triggers are not the typical stuff. I do not see why anybody should be given special favours, but if trigger warnings are there for specific things, then why not make them more extensive so that everybody gets warned equally?

For all the above-mentioned reasons I strongly believe that most censures of gore and upsetting scenes of violence should be removed. We should be allowed to see life in the modern world for what it really is, with all the pain and suffering. Maybe then some of those who are better off would appreciate just how lucky they are. I certainly thank God every day that my situation is not as bad as that of other unfortunate people. Yes, warnings should be included so that people can make their own choices so as to whether or not to view/read the given content, but I believe that the content itself should remain unadulterated with all the gore and suffering that is out there. Only then we will be able to fully comprehend the extent of human corruption and stay out of that path ourselves.

Comments

  1. I tend to agree that censorship should be almost absent. Life includes the gore, the violent and the ugly. However, I do think that the way we educate our children at present is not preparing people to handle images of gore etc. In the current society it seems to me that we want as little disturbances aa possible, just to have a peace of mind. Only when the kindest of the people is changed through education (from both parents and teachers) I do think that showing disturbing images is not the best idea.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you on that. I personally wouldn't show gory images to kids if I knew that it would disturb them. However, much depends on the maturity of the child and I believe that it is important to be prepared from an early age to deal with things which society finds disturbing, which are part of everyday life, and it is the responsibility of adults to also learn to deal with such things. While shock value might have some benefits (at least in some cases), spoken or written explanations/warnings would likely be more beneficial, but even that is currently often being avoided.

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