Everyone's so fucking sensitive.
So said Bette Middler when I saw her in concert a couple of decades ago.
She didn't know the half of it.
Consider this headline from Sunday's Times:
Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm
And the article by Jennifer Medina which begins this way:
Should students about to read “The Great Gatsby” be forewarned about “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence,” as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism — like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “Things Fall Apart” — have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label?
Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.
Because, you know. Well, maybe you do.
At Oberlin College in Ohio, a draft guide was circulated that would have asked professors to put trigger warnings in their syllabuses. The guide said they should flag anything that might “disrupt a student’s learning” and “cause trauma,” including anything that would suggest the inferiority of anyone who is transgender (a form of discrimination known as cissexism) or who uses a wheelchair (or ableism).OK, it was only a draft. And they're reconsidering. But reconsideration doesn't mean changing their mind about it.
“Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” the guide said. “Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.” For example, it said, while “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe — a novel set in colonial-era Nigeria — is a “triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read,” it could “trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide and more.”
Scott Greenfield ain't buying.
Nobody makes it through life without someone or something offending them, no matter how tough they may be. And nobody has the right (or the ability) to micromanage the world so that they never hear or see anything that triggers unhappy feelings. If that hurts your feelings, tough nuggies. Get over it. And I say that with the utmost respect for your feelings.
Nor is Judge Kopf.
By the way, there are no “trigger warnings” in my courtroom, just a mean ass guy who doesn’t spend a lot time worrying about your feelings. Be damn sure you grow up before you begin practicing law. That’s legal realism.
Me? I'm just an old softie.
So here's your fucking warning:
Before you start reading this blog, know that it says all sorts of offensive shit. I curse. I talk about rape and murder and mayhem. I talk about pornography. There are pictures of people, real people, who live (sometimes lived) in the real world and did fucking rotten things like killing babies and raping relatives and strangers. I wallow in the gutter.
I don't much care about your sensibilities. I wrote a whole post once about a lawyer who got punished for calling a judge a cunt. The court didn't use the word. i did. Repeatedly. Don't like it? Go away, motherfuckers.
There. I'm done now. Don't we all feel better? Remember the warning if you ever decide to come back.