A Response to University of Chicago’s Trigger Warning Proclamation

CW: University of Chicago’s letter

When I hand someone a plate of food, I warn them that the plate is hot. Before introducing my friend to a new tv show, I tell them what it’s about so they have context. Before going outside, I check the weather to see if I need to bring an umbrella.

NONE of these things kept us from living our lives. NONE of these things are examples of coddling. We still enjoyed the food, debated the tv show, or went for that walk. In fact, these little warnings allowed us to explore these activities MORE. The person eating the food didn’t have to worry about a burn the whole night. My friend was able to analyze the show with me and not spend time trying to figure out which character was which. And I was able to take a longer walk because I had the equipment I needed.

Trigger warnings are not forms of censorship. They help people prepare themselves so that THEY CAN HAVE THE UNCOMFORTABLE DISCUSSION. When we go into battle, we arm ourselves so that we can keep fighting.

At the beginning of The Odyssey, we already know that Odysseus has survived and is safely on his way home for his final battle. Does that mean that we’re not going to read the rest of the book? Guess you’ll have to take out the first chapter so as not to risk coddling any students.



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