Content/Trigger Warnings

This really isn’t a post to rant or to discuss if they’re needed or not.

I’m not here to stir the pot as they say.

I just want to say that I think it’s ludicrous to even argue about it.

Have you ever picked up a movie?

What does a movie typically have on its cover? Rating, right? PG, 15, all that, and what happens when it has those ratings above G?

They tell you why you should consider letting a person younger than the rating watch it, but also, does it not tell you if you’re going to encounter drugs, violence, sexual content? Especially if it’s a 15?

I have a point, I promise.

So we have these movie ratings, and I’m not saying books need to be rated but it’s almost like the ratings are used as warnings. Not for triggers, but, it can help those looking for a trigger warning, and it’s definitely a content warning. ‘Hey, this movie’s gonna have someone doing crack out of a hooker’s butt crack, think about that before letting your ten year old or yourself watch it’ [Wolf of Wall Street, btw, I’m not just making shit up as I go…this time]

And what happens if you really want to see a movie and don’t care? You ignore the rating, right? You ignore the warnings of what the film will contain.

So.

What if we put trigger/content warnings on books and then, if you don’t care about them you just….don’t read them? Wouldn’t that be easier than someone stumbling onto something that can be unfortunate for them? I’m not necessarily saying ‘oh thrillers should come with warnings about violence and possible gore’ [Though there’s absolutely nothing wrong in stating that] I’m talking about books that may appeal to YA audiences and ARE meant for YA but hey, there’s going to drug use, or hey this person encounters abuse, all that jazz.

I don’t put content/trigger warnings on all of my reviews but I at least try to be mindful, because it feels rather silly to only think of myself if I’m writing a review on my blog for readers, it’s a bit different in other circumstances, but that’s my PERSONAL choice on other review things, on my blog I am trying to go back and add content/trigger warnings to things I can remember. Why? Because I don’t want to throw someone through a loop and hurt them.

Also.

I read a book last night, and I was so enraged that it did not have any sort of warning to the last chapter which just seemed to come from left field that I was sitting there and thinking ‘this, this is a really good example of why trigger warnings are needed.’ Needless to say, if I decide to review that one on my blog, I’ll make sure to warn you all, so that you’re not left feeling gross and in shock, like myself.

Content/Trigger warnings, they aren’t there to ruin books, they’re there to help, just like film ratings and warnings.

I’m not here to yank anyone’s chain, this is just my opinion on the matter.

Please feel free to tell me what you think down below in the comments, but, please, be mindful of others! ❤

12 thoughts on “Content/Trigger Warnings”

  1. My only thought is that the only thing with ratings in America is movies. And maybe with a different president and a different time in this country’s history I would be more open to the idea. But right now? The idea of giving them anymore say or just thought process over what is over on the Shelves of libraries and book stores is frightening to me.

    The only other thing is that in high school I was and most are still having cannon books like Of Mice and Men forced on them with story lines that are just as bad and not only were there no warnings or labels? There was no opting out or choice in reading them. My point is not of righteous indignation because as a 16 year old I was reading Stephen King so I can’t claim that at all lol. I have issues with blood taught in American HS for a whole slough of reasons that have nothing to do with this. My point is that everyone is different. I am triggered by romance right now but I use common sense and certainly don’t expect a label for that across literary shelves.

    I just fear the snowball we would be setting down to avalanche.

    🙂

    Great post and important topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post, I think content warnings are important and I have little time for anyone who is annoyed by them. If you don’t want/need them, just… ignore them?? However, Susan makes an excellent point about the dangers of excessive control over what is published. I did a module on censorship at uni last semester and it was shocking to learn how much of an issue it still is! I think the ideal solution would be for it just to become the norm for authors to include content warnings. Really thought-provoking discussion post!
    📕MP📚 X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trigger/content warnings are super important! I struggle putting them and since I’m not actually reviewing much atm it’s not a huge issue, but I always appreciate people who go out of their way to put warnings on reviews. Personally I’m ok with reading most things, however animal abuse/torture/death along with rape are the main two things which tend to trigger me. Rape is more so if it’s in a film, I remember one time I was sat with my parents and we were watching a film and this rape scene came on and yeah…I left after it finished because I didn’t feel like continuing on with the rest of that. Pretty sure my dad came up afterwards to say sorry as he hadn’t known there’d be that scene in and it was pretty graphic.The animal one applies to on screen and books.

    Anyhoo this is such a great topic Haley, one which definitely needs bringing into the spotlight again, just to remind everyone that trigger warnings aren’t spoilers or anything, they’re there to keep people’s minds safe and their mental health safe. At least thats my thoughts on it .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hurray! I wish there were more warnings on books about triggers. I once read an ARC for an author and was shocked in the final scene of the book with a horribly graphic scene that was totally out off keeping with the rest of the book. I refused to review the book, which I regret now as I could have warned others had I reviewed it properly. I wrote back to the author about how shocked I was and he apologized for not warning me about the scene. Now, I use shelves on GoodReads to rate romance books for how “hot” or graphic they are. I also have a note on my blog saying that I don’t review certain genres, so I don’t come across much that I need to do warnings on. But as a reviewer, I feel I have a responsibility to put out warnings if they are needed. I wish all reviewers felt that way. And I wish authors and publishers would feel that way, too. Readers could make more informed purchases.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. this is a great post, i definitely need to do better with content warnings. i always struggle because its so easy to forget when youre v in to a book, its likely youll remember ur own triggers but others might slip past 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would like some content warnings – especially in the YA category. I have three teenagers (two on the young side of that) and sometimes I come across a book that I THINK will be fine (in my opinion) and then it is not. I don’t think it would turn me away from books – it would just give me a thought process, and I think it would help.

    Liked by 1 person

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