“Microaggressions”, “Trigger Warnings”, and the New Meaning of “Trauma”

02Jan15

When I joined the Marines, I met a man who had survived a helicopter crash during a training exercise. The first time I saw him his head and face were covered in burn scars. A balloon filled with saline, that looked like a dinosaur’s crest, was implanted in his scalp to stretch the skin so hair could grow. Something that looked exactly like the checkered buttstock of an M16A2 was imprinted on one side of his head. He greeted me when I checked in to my unit, and totally ignored the shocked expression I must have had when he approached. He shook my hand, asked a few questions, then left with a friendly “See you later, PFC.” His demeanor left me with the absurd thought, Maybe he doesn’t know how strange he looks.

He had been assigned to my reserve unit while undergoing treatment at a nearby military burn center. I wound up becoming friends with him later, and eventually worked up the nerve to ask him about the crash. Of course, I quickly followed my question with, “But if you don’t want to talk about it, nevermind. Sorry.”

He brushed off my concerns. “Nah, no problem. The day I can’t talk about it is the day it starts to haunt me.”

He told me about loading up with his platoon in the helicopter that day. He described what it was like to see the ground coming through the window and realize they were about to crash. He talked about grabbing his seat belt release, being knocked unconscious on impact by his rifle butt slamming into his temple, and waking up on the floor with his head on fire. He told me how he crawled toward the exit, in flames, past screaming, burning Marines trapped in their seats. He recounted his memory of shouting that he would come back to help them. He told me how he managed to drag himself over the edge of the helicopter’s ramp and fall into a rice paddy. He told me about other Marines who saw the crash and ran to save him and some others. He talked about all the friends he lost that day, more than a dozen. He talked about how much he missed being an infantryman, and how he had made peace with the fact that he could never be one again.

What struck me was how easily he was able to tell the story. I had never heard of someone making a decision not to let trauma affect their lives. I had a great uncle, still alive then, who had been a Marine in the Korean War. He came back traumatized, took years to get back to normal, and to his dying day never told anyone in the family what he experienced. Even after I became a Marine, he gave me only the barest details of his service. As far as I know he never told his Marine son either. Unlike my friend, my uncle couldn’t talk about his trauma.

I’ve experienced trauma myself. I don’t know how many murder scenes I’ve worked as a police officer. I remember the shock I felt when I walked up to a car after a seemingly minor accident and saw a two year old’s head lying on the floorboard. I stood helplessly outside a burning house as a ninety-two year old woman died inside, while her son screamed hysterically beside me. For years after my time as a soldier in Iraq I’d have a startle response if I unexpectedly saw a flash, like from a camera, in my peripheral vision (it reminded me of flashes from roadside bombs). Soldiers near me were shot, burned or killed by weather in Afghanistan.

My childhood wasn’t rosy either; early one morning when I was eight I heard pounding on our kitchen door, then was terrified to see a family member stumble into the house covered in blood after being attacked by a neighbor. Even today, after thirty-five years, I still sometimes tense up when I hear a knock at the door. When I was ten, my eleven year old best friend committed suicide because of a minor sibling dispute. He wrote a note, left a will, snuck his father’s pistol from a drawer and shot himself. I was severely affected by his death, and ten years later got a copy of his suicide note from the city morgue. After I read it, I finally felt that I could heal from that horrible event.

I’m no stranger to trauma, and I’ve dealt with it by writing and talking about it. I suppose I’ve always defined “trauma” the traditional way: a terrible experience, usually involving significant loss or mortal danger, which left a lasting scar. However, I’ve recently discovered my definition of trauma is wrong. Trauma now seems to be pretty much anything that bothers anyone, in any way, ever. And the worst “trauma” seems to come not from horrible brushes with death like I described above; instead, they’re the result of racism and discrimination.

Over the last year I’ve heard references to “Microagressions” and “Trigger Warnings”. Trigger Warnings tell trauma victims that certain material may “contain disturbing themes that may trigger traumatic memories for sufferers”; it’s a way for them to continue avoiding what bothers them, rather than facing it (and the memories that get triggered often seem to be about discrimination, rather than mortal danger). Microaggressions are minor, seemingly innocuous statements that are actually stereotype-reinforcing trauma, even if the person making the statement meant nothing negative.

Here are two examples of “trauma” from the “Microaggression Project” (http://www.microaggressions.com/):

My dad jokes with my younger sister that he remembers selling Girl Scout Cookies when he was a Girl Scout. She laughs, understanding the fact that since he’s a boy means that he could not have been a Girl Scout. Thanks, Dad. I’m a boy and a formal Girl Scout.

The assumption that Girl Scouts will be girls. That causes trauma.

24, female-bodied, in a relationship – so Facebook shows me ads with babies, wedding dresses, and engagement rings. Change gender on Facebook to male – suddenly I get ads pertaining to things I actually care about.

Facebook thinking a woman might be interested in marriage and children. That causes trauma.

A horrible example of microaggression: asking someone if they've been to Europe. Photo credit http://purpmagazine.com/lets-discuss-nu-microaggressions/swag

A horrible example of microaggression: asking someone if they’ve been to Europe. Photo credit http://purpmagazine.com/lets-discuss-nu-microaggressions/swag

As one might expect, “Microaggressions” and “Trigger Warnings” are most popular in our universities. In late 2013 A group of UCLA students staged a “sit-in” protest against a professor for – no joke – correcting their papers. These “Graduate Students of Color” began an online petition stating “Students consistently report hostile classroom environments in which the effects of white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other forms of institutionalized oppression have manifested within the department and deride our intellectual capacity, methodological rigor, and ideological legitimacy. Empirical evidence indicates that these structural and interpersonal microaggressions wreak havoc on the psychophysiological health and retention rates of People of Color. The traumatic experiences of GSE&IS students and alumni confirm this reality” (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/931/772/264/ucla-call2action/).

A college professor expecting graduate students to write grammatically correct papers. That causes trauma.

In addition to correcting grammar, the professor insulted the “Graduate Students of Color” by changing “Indigenous” to the proper “indigenous” in their papers, thus reinforcing white colonial oppression of indigenous people. Oh, and he shook a black student’s arm during a discussion. “Making physical contact with a student is inappropriate, [the aggrieved Graduate Student of Color] added, and there are additional implications when an older white man does so with a younger black man” (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/25/ucla-grad-students-stage-sit-during-class-protest-what-they-see-racially-hostile).

A white professor gently touching a black student’s arm. That causes trauma.

More trauma-producing microaggression: asking someone about their ethnic background. "Typically, microaggressions are associated with subtle forms of racism, but they do go beyond race. For instance, 'You throw like a girl,' is a verbal microaggression, and the action of a White individual clutching his/her bag because a Latino is approaching, is a behavioral microaggression." From http://lagente.org/2014/01/gentistas-share-experiences-with-microaggressions/

More trauma-producing microaggression: asking someone about their ethnic background. “Typically, microaggressions are associated with subtle forms of racism, but they do go beyond race. For instance, “You throw like a girl,” is a verbal microaggression, and the action of a White individual clutching his/her bag because a Latino is approaching, is a behavioral microaggression.” From http://lagente.org/2014/01/gentistas-share-experiences-with-microaggressions/

I’ve reviewed these reports of “trauma”, and have reached a conclusion about them. I’m going to make a brief statement summarizing my conclusion. While I mean this in the nicest way possible, I don’t want victims of Microaggressions or supporters of Trigger Warnings to doubt my sincerity.

Fuck your trauma.

Yes, fuck your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.

If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma”, especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say or think. Get your own head right before you try to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a “failure at life”, doomed to perpetual disappointment.

Reason.com

Reason.com

Oh, I should add: fuck my trauma too. I must be old-fashioned, but I always thought coming to terms with pain was part of growing up. I’ve never expected anyone to not knock on my door because it reminds me of that terrifying morning decades ago. I’ve never blown up at anyone for startling me with a camera flash (I’ve never even mentioned it to anyone who did). I’ve never expected anyone to not talk about Iraq or Afghanistan around me, even though some memories still hurt. I don’t need trigger warnings because a book might remind me of a murder victim I’ve seen.

And before anyone says it; being Hispanic doesn’t make me any more sympathetic to people who experience nonexistent, discriminatory “trauma”. Discrimination didn’t break me (or my parents, or grandparents). I’ve been discriminated against by whites for being Hispanic. I’ve been threatened by blacks for being white. I’ve been insulted by Hispanics for not being Hispanic enough. Big deal. None of that stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do. It wasn’t “trauma”. It was life.

Generations of Americans experienced actual trauma. Our greatest generation survived the Depression, then fought the worst war in humanity’s history, then built the United States into the most successful nation that has ever existed. They didn’t accomplish any of that by being crystal eggshells that would shatter at the slightest provocation, they didn’t demand society change to protect their tender feelings. They simply dealt with the hardships of their past and moved on. Even my great uncle, the Korea Marine, never expected us to tiptoe around him. He wouldn’t talk about his experience, but he didn’t order us not to.

So again, fuck your trauma. If your past bothers you that much, get help. I honestly hope you come to terms with it. I hope you manage to move forward. I won’t say anything meant to dredge up bad memories, and don’t think anyone should intentionally try to harm your feelings.

But nobody, nobody, should censor themselves to protect you from your pathological, and pathologically stupid, sensitivities.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Valley-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00HW1MA2G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09XSSHABSWPC3FM8K6P4
http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Our-Resolve-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B0099XMR1E/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0S6AGHBTJZ6JH99D56X7



483 Responses to ““Microaggressions”, “Trigger Warnings”, and the New Meaning of “Trauma””

  1. I really enjoyed the read – thanks.

    Slightly off-topic, but I can’t be the only one who thinks the term ‘micro-aggression’ sounds like the after effects of an insect bite. That frenzied scratching, and working yourself into a rage, all over a tiny blip on your leg.

  2. This article harms all of us who experience harrowing forms of microaggression on a daily basis. This morning a man at the bus stop I was at coughed without covering his mouth and he continued to chew his bubble gum loudly. I felt harmed. This article merely re-traumatizes me.

    Oh and thanks for fighting for our country.

  3. 4 mo

    (Here via a friend’s link)

    “Trauma now seems to be pretty much anything that bothers anyone, in any way, ever. ”

    THANK YOU! A million times, thank you.

    When I first began hearing about this trigger warning nonsense, I swear to you , I thought it was a joke. And then I learned that it was not. Boy, did I learn. As to micro-aggressions, I’ve only heard about this the last couple of years or so.

    I have ZERO patience for this idiocy. None. Grow up!

    “If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma”, especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy.”

    I said something to this effect on a blog discussion and got accused of “lack of compassion” and who knows what else. (Even after saying that I’ve been through counseling at various times in my life for various things, so it’s not like I was putting down anyone who’s had to go to counseling!)

    How do we have an entire generation of such emotional infants? I look at all the examples you gave of people in generations past and all they endured and achieved in spite of it all and I ask myself, how are these insufferable CHILDREN going to function in the world?!

  4. 5 Heimdall

    Everybody that has attained adulthood has had some sort of trauma in their lives.

    For you pussies all worried about microaggression and other forms of horse shit, watch episode 9 of “Band of Brothers.” That’s trauma.

    For everything else, go rub some fucking vagisil on it. I’m so sick of you people.

    • 6 mo

      @ Heimdall

      That sound you hear is me applauding.

    • 7 cbpelto

      RE: Everybody?

      No. Not everybody who has attained ‘adulthood’ has had some sort of ‘trauma’ in their lives.

      That is only true if you consider these whiners as not quite having achieved ‘adulthood’.

  5. 8 matt

    Well put, although I do roll my eyes a bit when people use sensational behavior by a tiny group of campus activists to advance their own counter-narrative about the degeneration of society and The End of America as We Know It ®. (It all goes back to a nefarious conspiracy between college professors, the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party man). Ironically these folks are a right wing mirror the left wing radicals who attribute all problems to the hidden hand of The Patriarchy and White Privilege. It seems that people like easy answers to complex political questions.

  6. 9 Todd

    Chris,

    Thanx for posting what most Murican Veterans (myself included) feel about our wussified society.

    Got your six,

    Todd

    • 10 Magus

      So you think that ignorant meatheads like yourself constitute “most” American veterans?

  7. 11 Todd

    and…to anyone who has never had to embrace the suck….most of the idiots whose “psyche” is so fragile that a leaf blowing in the wind scares them into counseling………grow a pair you POS!

    • 12 a different todd

      and to people who are threatened by the idea of people getting therapy or counselling instead of nursing a drink or ten every night and repressing serious emotional problems to the point where if someone comes close to mentioning whatever it is they’re hiding they get explosively angry, stop puffing yourself up. im sorry if you think being a stoic tough guy figure is more important to you than admitting a little vulnerability.

      • 13 cbpelto

        RE: interesting Statement, That

        Your poor use of normal English, e.g., no capitalization, run-on sentences, etc., indicates you’re one of the people this article by CHA is all about.

        Sooooo….just when DID you ‘graduate’ from the vaunted American public education system? I suspect it was much more recently than a good number of the rest of US here.

        • 14 PJ Street

          Who appointed YOU the language and English monitor and speaking of crappy word structure and sentences, YOU are a total failure and in NO position to offer advice or to criticize.

          • 15 cbpelto

            RE: Who?

            Anyone with more than two synapses to rub together between their ears can see this.

            And YOU are another of the ‘a different todd’ ilk.

            Thanks for self-identifying.

            And I DO love the ‘projection’ about being a ‘total failure’.

            Do get back to me when you’re Jumpmaster qualified and hundreds of brave paratroopers will trust you with their very lives in a C130.

            You haven’t lived, until you’ve almost died.

          • 16 KKSquiggle

            You’re really sassy for nobody with a counterargument.

        • Ever read, or even look at, “Finnegans Wake” ??

          • 18 cbpelto

            I prefer Clancy and Niven & Pournelle to Joyce.

          • 19 Graves

            FYI, Pournelle has returned home, can type with all of his fingers though he has to look at the keyboard, and is writing emails and essays again. His recovery is going quite well and with good speed.

          • 20 cbpelto

            P.S. Currently going through Clancy’s Ryan series, from beginning to end.

            In Debt of Honor now.

          • 21 cbpelto

            RE: Pournelle’s Stroke

            I wonder if he applied the immediate action drill of having a strong, double-strength Irish Coffee.

            It’s been discovered that a combination of alcohol and caffeine is good to have immediately after having a stroke.

          • 22 Graves

            Dunno, all I’ve talked about with him since were well-wishes, speech to text software and the proper response to jizya.

      • 23 john

        Vulnerability is something that all human beings share in. Each persons vulnerability manifests itself in different ways at different levels at different times in their lives. The problem is that when people use their vulnerability as a bulldozer to clear everyone out of the way it comes across as more than a little disingenuous. Complaining about people who seem stoic and tough it out, is certainly one way to clear the field but I don’t think it’s really admitting to your vulnerability at all.

        • 24 cbpelto

          RE: Vulnerability

          It has its place. But whining about petty matters is not one of them.

          And besides, ‘vulnerability’ is not the point of this article. This character, a different todd, is just trying to change the subject from pissing and moaning about being ‘offended’ by petty things and thinks to whether or not men who have had REAL traumas can be vulnerable is your typical Progressive-Liberal schizophrenic subject-matter change.

        • John;

          I agree. We’ve all got our bugaboos and wubbies that will cause us to “feel” something we don’t like. Chris startles from camera flashes, but doesn’t chew the ass out of someone who uses a camera flash next to him.

          Asking someone “have you been to Europe?” is not a microaggression. It’s polite conversation.

          I get that everyone – literally everyone – has a trigger. It’s expecting all other humans on Earth to consider yours (and guess what it is in the first place), and then walk on eggshells around you, that is completely bonkers.

          If I touched that guy’s arm and did not mean for it to be “racist” then it wasn’t racist, even if he wants to believe it was.

          The issue isn’t having “issues”; it’s the hyper-sensitivity about them, and the race to victimhood that bothers me, and others.

          • 26 cbpelto

            RE: Things We Don’t Like

            I don’t care for heights.

            That’s why I took up jumping out of perfectly good airplanes in flight….. 😉

            God is alive….and Airborne-Ranger qualified. — Chaplain, US Army Airborne School Chapel, Benning School for Boys, a.k.a. The Infantry School, c. 1971

      • 27 Virginia Neill

        If “a different todd” had taken the time to pay attention to what he was reading, (if he actually did read the article), he would have seen that officer Hernandez suggested therapy, not booze, for those who couldn’t deal with their personal weaknesses. But then again, today’s young geniuses only need to read the “trigger warnings” in the title and first paragraph to see all they need to know.

      • 28 Dug

        different:
        Maybe you missed the gist of the article:
        He is saying “don`t try to control my behavior to accommodate your pathology.“ If you need psychological or spiritual help, don`t we all! But that does not entitle us to control the behavior of others to keep us comfortable in our state of delusion.

      • Drinking every night to drown your emotions, holding in your emotions to the point of being explosively angry, and worrying about how tough you look, have absolutely nothing to do with stoicism. In fact, they’re all the opposite of stoicism.

        And people shouldn’t be pressured into therapy they don’t want or don’t need : and no, it isn’t the solution to every problem.

        But, yes, people who do feel they need it shouldn’t be afraid of doing it, and yes, its much better than drinking and repressing.

    • 31 Bob

      “grow a pair” is a sexist microaggresion

  8. 32 FrozenWinters

    Living in society involves modulating what one says either out of concern for another or with the intention of winning over good intentions. There are just as few legal obstacles hindering you from flipping the bird at an arbitrary person as there are bringing up a traumatic experience.

    I, for instance, was a victim of sexual violence and experience nausea and vertigo when I encounter media or conversations depicting sexually explicit behaviors. My friends, knowing this, avoid exposing me to this material because they are not total assholes who want me to suffer a major depressive episode that will affect my productivity for a month. If you think this means I should drop out of university and seclude myself from society, then fuck you. Likewise, I like to browse websites that will show trigger warnings and support the rights of these communities to enforce policies that allow me and many others to enjoy a comfortable experience.

    Check your privilege.

    INB4: I am a straight, white, male, educated in private schools, with a current >90% average in a top mathematics program.

    • 33 mo

      @ FrozenWinters

      “Living in society involves modulating what one says either out of concern for another or with the intention of winning over good intentions. There are just as few legal obstacles hindering you from flipping the bird at an arbitrary person as there are bringing up a traumatic experience.”

      What’s your point? If someone does that to you for no reason, you either ignore it or you confront them about it. What you don’t do is claim you’ve been traumatized by it and then whine about “microaggression”.

      “I, for instance, was a victim of sexual violence and experience nausea and vertigo when I encounter media or conversations depicting sexually explicit behaviors. My friends, knowing this, avoid exposing me to this material because they are not total assholes who want me to suffer a major depressive episode that will affect my productivity for a month. ”

      Guess what? It’s not your friends’ responsibility to shield you from this or that. YOU have the responsibility to care for yourself in this way.

      And if your friends either accidentally (or maybe deliberately if they got angry for some reason) don’t shield you from this or that, it’s not their fault you have a depressive episode. Your friends can’t “make” you have a depressive episode. That’s an issue YOU have to deal with.

      “If you think this means I should drop out of university and seclude myself from society, then fuck you. ”

      Thank you for being a perfect example of what’s being talked about here!

      People like you DEMAND everyone else shield them from life. But when reality hits (as it eventually will) and you realize it simply cannot be done, you cannot handle it and start spewing your hatred and vulgarity.

      “Check your privilege.”

      Hilarious!

      The only thing more ridiculous than microaggressions and trigger warnings is the “check your privilege” chant – a meaningless phrase that means… nothing. It’s just more emoting and hatred for no reason, except that the truth has been said to you and you will not have it.

      Again, thanks for being such a perfect example of everything that was said here.

      • 34 a different todd

        “Guess what? It’s not your friends’ responsibility to shield you from this or that. YOU have the responsibility to care for yourself in this way.”

        This is a canard and a deliberate misconstruing of that posters opinion and you know it. It is their friends responsibility to exercise tact and allow someone to deal with a recent trauma way that allows them adequate time to resolve emotional experiences. I’m sorry that you feel chaffed and constrained by not being able to go up to burn victims and go “EW GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?” but your apparent need to be insensitive weighs less than their healing according to their own ability to do so.

        You don’t pick a scab because you’ll just reopen the wound; you give it a reasonable amount of time and in most cases it will heal on its own. Same principle here. Being raped or molested is like having a huge, deep scar, it’s going to take a decent amount of time to heal. Don’t try to flip the issue by saying “ITS NOT MY JOB TO MOLLY CODDLE YOU, PUSSY” cop out.

        • 35 Graves

          Slay those Strawmen!

          No, it isn’t the duty of strangers to moderate their behavior around the possibility that somebody in the area has issues, nobody is saying not to go to therapy, and yes, we do expect you to be able to handle being in public if you are going to be in public. Nobody cares about how your friends treat you, we care about how you intend to make everyone else change their behavior, and no, we won’t let you do that. Just because I have the right to scream at you until you cry doesn’t mean I intend to, but if I don’t protect that right, I won’t have any right to say anything which isn’t on a short approved list. Not going to let that happen, no matter whose panties are in a wad.

        • 36 mo

          @ a different todd

          “This is a canard and a deliberate misconstruing of that posters opinion and you know it. ”

          Nonsense. Even if friends wanted to shield someone forever from any bad feelings/events/whatever, they can’t do it! Friends can’t be with you 24/7. Not even family members are with you every moment of every day! No one can can moderate your every interaction with other people and with the rest of the world. Nor should they be expected to do so.

          Good grief. GROW UP!

          • Yes–thank you. The straw-man constructing social-justice cry babies here are ultra-pathetic. “Check your privilege.” I live by right, not by any privilege, and I am responsible for supporting my life, as you are responsible for supporting your own. Dear God, what incredible pussies you social-justice maggots are.

        • 38 M

          The only thing worse than FrozenWinters’ attitude, are the people that defend it.

          • 39 vic rattlehead

            Because child molesters are better than free thinkers to progressives

    • 40 hanunn

      FrozenWinters, he never said you should “seclude” yourself. He’s suggesting you get help, because you can’t expect society to censor and monitor itself to suit you. Nice that your friends do this for you, but you can’t expect this from the rest of the world. A free society means freedom of speech, even if it triggers you.

      Check your entitlement.

      • 41 mo

        @ hanunn

        “Check your entitlement”

        Oh, that’s brilliant! I will have to note that for future use!

        • 42 Andrew

          First of all, this article never states that you need to seclude yourself from society. If you think that’s your only option, perhaps you need to face your plight like the article calls for. If you don’t acknowledge the problem with your friends and look at it straight in the eyes, how do you expect that problem to ever be lessened/eliminated from society? It makes sense that you would suggest to isolate yourself, because you have a hopeless mentality – that is regressive. When you hold the expectation that the world be censored for you, that’s demanding entitlement. You are not entitled to a world where you don’t have to see any sexual violence because it’s a real problem that needs attention. You can’t sweep everything under the rug all of the time.

          • 43 vic rattlehead

            I really think if your a pussy and exclude yourself from things because something bad happened at some point in your life, you really don’t deserve any sympathy, you deserve to be excluded.

      • 44 a different todd

        don’t equate freedom speech with reasonable sensitivity, tact, decorum and courtesy. thats a naked attempt to glorify being rude and impertinent.

        • 45 alphaderp

          So you’re saying… that people shouldn’t actively try to offend each other!
          What a revolutionary and not obvious concept that mo totally didn’t cover! You’re not strawmaning at all, no! that would be as ridiculous as me being sarcastic in this post!

          The argument we are making isn’t to be purposefully rude, it is that people have the right to say what they want. Just because you “might” offend someone, doesn’t mean you should be punished for saying it. For example, if someone wants to make a racist joke, I’d argue that it was well within their rights to say it. Even if it was at my expense. Sure, I’d be offended by it, but that doesn’t give me the right to censor them.

          What scares me about your side is the fact that some people want that right. The right to censor some or all speech that offends them. If this sort of thing was ever put into practice, we’d be one politician offended by his opponent’s position from complete implosion of freedom of speech.

          What you are saying is that the idea that person B might find or see something written by person A that offends them or brings up painful memories. Though this is reasonable, how does your perception of this situation change, if person B was a politician. Do you see why this concerns me, and, if I may speak for the crowd, us? Do you see what we’re so afraid of?

        • 46 vic rattlehead

          what part of “congress shall make no laws” is up to interpretation?
          dont like it? well i hear North Korea is nice in the winter

    • “Living in society involves modulating what one says either out of concern for another or with the intention of winning over good intentions. There are just as few legal obstacles hindering you from flipping the bird at an arbitrary person as there are bringing up a traumatic experience.”

      Agreed.

      “I, for instance, was a victim of sexual violence and experience nausea and vertigo when I encounter media or conversations depicting sexually explicit behaviors. My friends, knowing this, avoid exposing me to this material because they are not total assholes who want me to suffer a major depressive episode that will affect my productivity for a month. ”

      It’s terrible that you were sexually assaulted. That should never happen to anyone. It’s good that you have friends who ensure they don’t bring up topics that upset you. I do that with some of my friends as well. Your friends’ actions with you, and my actions with some friends, are voluntary. Nobody is arguing against people voluntarily avoiding certain topics in an effort to avoid upsetting someone. My essay wasn’t about being nice; it was about the expectation that nobody should ever hear anything that upsets them.

      “If you think this means I should drop out of university and seclude myself from society, then fuck you. ”

      That was a masterpiece of illogical thinking. Where in my essay did I suggest anyone drop out of college or secluded themselves from society? I said people need to learn how to handle whatever they’ve suffered and not expect society to change for them.

      “Likewise, I like to browse websites that will show trigger warnings and support the rights of these communities to enforce policies that allow me and many others to enjoy a comfortable experience.”

      In a private community where membership is totally voluntary, no problem. In a university where other students have every right to see and hear material that you consider offensive, you have no right to demand the removal of whatever offends YOU, nor is anyone legally or morally obliged to protect you from a morbid sensitivity.

      “Check your privilege.”

      I’m alive, and American. You bet I’m privileged.

      Grow the fuck up.

      “INB4: I am a straight, white, male, educated in private schools, with a current >90% average in a top mathematics program.”

      That’s nice. I’m a straight Hispanic male, educated in private schools, who left community college to become a cop.

      What does any of that have to do with this debate?

      • 48 KKSquiggle

        When the author of the article comments on it and FUCKING SLAYS ❤

      • 49 alphaderp

        Ooh… looks like you were disqualified from this year’s oppression Olympics, FrozenWinters! Better luck next year!

      • 50 ndarkwater

        “It’s now very common to hear people say “I’m rather offended by that.” As if that gives them certain rights; it’s actually nothing more … It’s simply a whine. It’s no more than a whine. “I find that offensive.” It has no meaning. It has no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I am offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?” –Stephen Fry, in conversation with Christopher Hitchens, Hay Festival, 2006

    • 51 AB

      > check your privilege

      aaand your entire argument goes out the door.

      • 52 mo

        @ AB

        ” check your privilege”

        “aaand your entire argument goes out the door.”

        Yes. However, it was never an actual argument at all. It was just emoting and claiming victimhood. It’s the tactic of guilting someone into silence by trying to make them feel bad about whatever it is you’re claiming to have suffered.

        Remember, these days, all you have to do is say you’ve been through [XYZ Bad Event] and it is automatically assumed that you have the moral high ground. A Victim can never be questioned or criticized on anything they say. Anyone who dares to try is immediately labeled not compassionate/cruel (or other, more ugly terms) and they are immediately bullied and shamed into silence by shrieks of “Victim blaming!” (Either from the person claiming victimhood, or by the others in the discussion.)

        It’s just another way of shutting down discussion. Don’t fall for it.

      • 53 a different todd

        obviously that phrases triggers something in you, OPEN UP AND TALK ABOUT IT NOW!!!!!!!

    • 54 Dorothy Grant

      Frozen,

      As one person who’s been raped to another – get a good therapist, man. Not a campus quack, but a good cognitive behavioral therapist who can help you identify and change how you think and react. They’re hard to find, but it’s worth the search. Your friends are trying to help, but they’re actually messing with your head.

      I know. The more you let your friends help you build the walls around yourself and in your mind, the more they’re going to build your identity up as “Frozen, who was raped so don’t say anything about…” and the more you’re going to view the world first through a filter of “Does this have anything to do with sexual violence,because I’m a victim?”

      That dreck will wreck your mind far harder than the actual incident, because you’ll spend years defining your entire self by a very bad set of memories and reactions, instead of finding a way to put the fear and anger to rest and move on with your life.

      The way out is through. It sucks. It’s hard. It’ll cling to you in odd moments for years. But if you face it head on and determine you’re going to get past this, and you’re not defined by what happened to you as opposed to who you choose to be, you’ll be amazed at what you can become, and what you can do… and how much better the world is.

      • That was awesome, Dorothy. Thank you.

      • Awesome! Dorothy.

      • 57 B. Wyse

        To put your comment in a nutshell…
        “When you are going through hell, DON’T STOP”

        Secondly, to Frozen, I am very sorry for whatever happened to you. And I know that “victim services” for men are practically nonexistent And that many therapists trained at our institutions of feminist indoctrination are less than helpful to male victims. Could I suggest talking to Dr Tara J. Palmatier at http://shrink4men.com/
        Good luck to you.

      • Thanks Dorothy, you just helped me refocus a problem area in my life. You rock!

      • 60 Carol

        Excellent! For sometime I was a psychiatric crisis worker. Our number one rule (endorsed by the actual psychiatrists); when a person or group experiences trauma, get them to talk about it!! Find someone they want to talk to; offer professionals but don’t let the person hide from it. Not talking about it creates so many more problems. What ever happened is not your fault and you deserve support and care. Dorothy is right about the painful process but it is the way to better mental health.

      • Well said, Dorothy.

    • I believe the proper response is “fuck you and your privilege.”

      Sorry you had a rough life, sorry you haven’t come to terms with it yet.

      Go get some help. Deal with it and move on with your life instead of letting what happened to you define your life.

      (And for the record, my dad died when I was 10. I still remember the night my mom woke me up to tell me he’d been in a car wreck. I still remember how I reacted when I was told he was gone. I got over it. I moved on. I still miss my dad 33 years later. But I don’t freak out in hospitals or demand everyone else cater to my “trauma.” In other words. Grow a pair and grow the fuck up.)

    • 63 AydinPaladin

      Hello,

      I am a woman who has PTSD from bullying on a level you cannot even imagine. I also have MDD and SAD. I am ALSO a PhD student. I have never, ever, ever asked for special priviledges for my disorders. Instead, I got help to manage them. This is called “being a human”. Unless you want to live in a dystopian Vonnegut future world where people who don’t have disadvantages are forced to self-disabled (which, judging from your discriminatory post, you probably are) then you know what you’re supposed to do? You’re supposed to just try harder and show the world that people with certain problems are just as able to succeed as those without. Unless, of course, you’re saying that people with certain issues are so, I dunno, incapable, that they can’t do anything and need constant support and assistance to live as normal people? Because that’s not ableist at all (that’s sarcasm, by the way).

      As an instructor, yes, I will give you extra time on a test if you have a legitimate excuse; of COURSE I will. As a SCIENTIST with dyscalculia, of course I will.

      But if you want to never come to class because my course offends you for (???) reason, then no, I’m sorry, you don’t get a free A, kid.

      • 64 EMT

        Not sure I’ve ever met or read something from another person with dyscalculia. I knew intellectually they existed, but… you know. Thank you.

    • 66 Fred

      >> Check your privilege.<<

      Check your butthurt, buttercup. You're not going to last six months in the real world. Maybe after your third pink slip, you'll figure out that the world doesn't give a *DAMN* about you, past what you can produce. And it sounds like all you're producing now is a steaming pile of butthurt.

    • 70 elohel

      Nice job strawmanning. For someone educated in private schools, you’re rather silly.

    • “Living in society involves modulating what one says either out of concern for another or with the intention of winning over good intentions.” it involves minding what you say IF the person doesn’t deserve to drink out of a big hot cup of shut the fuck up, which i promise you, anyone who dares utter the words “check your privilege” deserves a big gulp of it.
      If a little nausea and depression is enough to take you down from productive work, try my motivation mantra. It goes a little like this: ” the responsibility to take care of myself is mine and mine alone, if i stop working i WILL LOSE MY HOME, and STARVE. i will be submerged in student debt, and i will have shamed every family member and friend who ever believed in me if i fail.” if you really care about keeping your job, this little mantra will most likely do the trick, i know it works wonders for me.

      • 72 mo

        @ zeropi

        “If a little nausea and depression is enough to take you down from productive work, try my motivation mantra. It goes a little like this: …”

        Amazing,how motivating that mantra is, isn’t it? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had jobs I hated so much that I’d wake up, realize where I had to go that day and just cry. I’d get to work and sometime throughout the course of the day I’d go in the office washroom and cry some more. I could barely make it through each day. Fridays felt like I’d been let out prison. But by the time Sunday afternoon came around, I started feeling physically sick and absolutely dreading waking up the next day.

        But guess what? I still went to work every day. I got there on time. And I did my job to the best of my ability.

        I don’t know how these emotional infants function in life. I honestly don’t.

        • 73 Pyrodice

          I have actually held such a mind numbing job that I drove an hour in, and an hour back, spent 10 hours doing call center work where people would call because their cell phone didn’t work, and they were almost always mad about that. It paid $9/hr. My first 2 hours were just the day’s gas money. The next 2, taxes.
          I never missed a day, I was never late. I just reminded myself I wasn’t in the military, every day, and remembered that I COULD quit, but i shouldn’t.

    • 74 Omar

      Your whole post, as well as it seems your life, is an excuse to be weak and not move on and own your own life. It’s not the world’s job to make you comfortable because you can’t get over a traumatic experience. There are literally billions of people who have experienced and still experience worse than you and persevere without being so weak.

      Check your privilege.

      And I know this will be over your head but your hypocrisy knows no bounds. You expect the world to have concern for your feelings bc you think you’re a precious little snowflake, yet you choose to have no concern for others which is what your “check your privilege” bs, ignorant, self centered, spoiled cliche line really says about you.

      Grow up.

    • 75 pollo

      i honestly don’t care if some stranger had his way with you, it doesn’t give you a right to demand everybody around you to stop talking about sexual experiences. your friends do it because they care for you and are your friends, but strangers are in no obligation of catering to your feelings.
      [Last sentence edited out by Chris Hernandez. Seriously man, that’s a little too far.]

      • This deserves a little explanation. I didn’t edit Pollo’s post because it was offensive. Plenty of other posts are offensive, both to me and others. I edited it because of one thing I said in my essay: “I won’t intentionally try to dredge up your bad memories.” In his last sentence, Pollo, in essence, made fun of Frozen Winters for being raped. That’s free speech and shouldn’t be censored, but I have no moral or legal obligation to allow it on my site. There’s a huge difference between giving Winters an intellectual beatdown for his stance, which he deserves, and making fun of him for being sexually assaulted, which he doesn’t deserve.

        I’m all for heated debate, but I’m not about attacking someone for being a victim. Attack them for something else, talk about whatever you want; if you accidentally “trigger” something or “microaggress” them that’s their problem. If you intentionally try to attack them for something related to their trauma, that’s different.

    • As Chris Hernandez would say, “Fuck your privilege, little frail flower”. The world doesn’t owe you special consideration simply because your tender little psyche might get a boo-boo if you are exposed to “sexually explicit behavior”.

      Grow up. Go talk to some muslim sex slaves (“war brides”) if you want to meet someone who has a _real_ reason for feeling sorry for themselves, you twit. Go talk to the few Holocaust survivors left. Otherwise, get out of our faces, you whiney child.

    • Until you have spent two years completely paralyzed by abject *horror*, spent two entire years afraid to move from a couch because of ACTUAL trauma, ACTUAL obsessions, you don’t know what actual trauma and triggering are. My partner of ten years spent two years in abject psychological terror- a terror that led to him being incapable of doing almost anything, a terror that led to three almost successful suicide attempts.

      A terror that caused him to have a complete and absolute meltdown when the subjects of which he was afraid were mentioned in any context whatsoever, meltdowns that would drive him into feedback loops that ended with him reduced to tears, loss of appetite, loss weight, loss of agency to helplessness for weeks. THAT is trauma.

      THAT is a trigger, not being mildly discomfited or upset at the mention of one thing or another. And Trigger Warnings did not help him recover from that Tartarus. In fact, Trigger Warnings only made things worse, because it kept isolating him and coddling him, making him incapable of dealing with the aspect of reality that was causing him distress.

      Social justice tactics provide no healing, they only prolong psychological sickness by stating that, essentially, the victim is incapable of dealing with reality or the possibility of being made uncomfortable or being exposed to an unpleasant opinion, so therefore everybody else must acquiesce to their requests, no matter how irrational they may seem, lest they be offended- and those who do not comply must be tagged and labeled.

      But there’s also a problem with a lot of these tactics, such as the screaming of ‘micro-aggression’ ultimately- they are thought policing. When you make people afraid of having opinions solely because they might be branded something as noxious as a ‘micro-aggression’, you’ve got a problem. You have moved away from healthy debate and into the realm of Sanctioned Expression versus Punished Expression. You can’t have that framework in a free society. In fact, it patently undermines the framework upon which a free society is based. I should know- I escaped a dictatorship that began by policing of thought and expression. All tyrannies begin by the use of force to silence unpopular expressions.

      Social justice is an intellectually and morally bankrupt concept that exists only as a mean of thought policing. The only viable means to create an equal society os a movement that respects the rights of individuals, not a movement that seeks to create tribalist identities, group think and group peer pressure manipulation, which is exactly the tools that social justice seeks to use.

      Check your premises.

      NB4: I am a gay, hispanic, male, immigrant, atheist, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Masters in Music in the Spring. Since you obviously decided it was time to compare cocks.

      • 80 B. Wyse

        Well hung my friend…
        Seriously, congrats for sticking by your partner, he is blessed to have you.
        And remember, SJW stands for Socialist Juvenile Whiner.

      • 81 jasonmierek

        “Check your premises.”

        Nice.

        Also, am I the only person who wonders if “microaggressions” are actually a positive sign of societal change? After all, don’t they imply that most of the “macroaggressions” have been eliminated to the point where the smaller problems can be seen clearly?

    • 82 Pyrodice

      Privilege doesn’t exist. The opposite of oppression is FREEDOM, not fucking “privilege”.
      Privilege implies someone with even MORE rights is granting you temporary use of what is theirs.
      All human have the same rights.
      Some are just threatened with punishments for exercising theirs.

    • Everyone’s leaving all these super serious, long essays of comments to this man’s reply, and I’m just sitting here tripping over the fact that he used “Check your privilege” unironically.

      Masterfully written blog post, Mr. Hernandez. I agreed wholeheartedly and consistently throughout the article.

    • 84 Kids These Days

      What you SHOULD do is get help. But no, instead you’re going to live in an online hugbox ad manage to be a complete buzzkill for any normal person.

    • “Check your privilege ?” Three most overused words since ‘I love you’

    • Check MY priviledge?

      Holy shit, that’s rich, coming from a person who literally thinks that his mental health and stability is the responsibility of every other person on Earth (except, I guess, him?).

      Who is the one who is entitled, here? That you expect every person around you to make sure to keep you away from the things that might make you sad, and warn you before they talk about things that make you sad (which, by the way, is talking about things that make you sad, in and of itself, so do you need a trigger warning for the trigger warning? That could get pretty fractal, how many trigger warnings deep do you need me to go before you’re insulated enough from the thing that makes you sad?)

      Look, I’m sorry that you were abused. That is truly the shit end of the stick, and you didn’t deserve what your abuser did to you. No one ever does. Abusers, and especially sexual abusers, are the worst form of humanity.

      But if you are still so traumatized by the event that you have a physical reaction to sexually explicit material, you need to get help. Please. Don’t continue another day expecting people to insulate you from bad things. That is so unhealthy and so wrong, I can’t even begin to tick off all that is wrong about that.

      • 87 jasonmierek

        Thanks for highlighting the infinitely regressing, paradoxical (what you call “fractal”) nature of the “safe space” concept. If a college student feels “threatened” by a conversation in a seminar course, and demands a “safe space” in which to have the conversation, once the conversation is broached in this new “safe space,” won’t the topic still be “threatening” and the new space rendered unsafe?

        And could much of this stem from the fact that “literal” now means “figurative,” and so folks no longer even have the words to distinguish between a literal existential threat and something that just feels shitty? Whatever happened to the schoolyard meme about the effect of words being different from those of sticks and stones?

  9. 88 Thomas

    First time visit here, but I’ll be back. This is the most intelligent write-up I’ve seen on the problem with modern liberalism.

    I’m a junior in high school and fairly liberal (pro gay rights, moderately anti-gun, pro marijuana legalization 21+, ambivalent on abortion), but I still think this kind of thing is pathetic. I’m a wimp myself, but at least I know enough not to be proud of it.

    Trauma is from things like war and rape (no, catcalling doesn’t count). The little things can be unpleasant or even truly damaging, but that’s part of life. I’ve had an incredibly easy life (worst thing that’s ever happened to me is my dad dying when I was 9), and even I can think experiences that have changed who.I am for the worse. There’s no excuse to trivialize the problems of those who have experienced true trauma.

    My take on microaggressions is that when the word is used legitimately, it basically means insensitivity. It’s good to think about other’s feelings, but come on. The only reasons I see to use the word.”microaggression” are to (1) make it vague exactly what you’re complaining about and (2) artificially give a statement extra power by uaing a loaded word.

    Luckily my peers are mostly reasonable people, and I plan to go to a community college after high school. Hopefully it will be a while before I have the privilege of oppressing a demiasexual dragonkin of color.

    • 89 xbradtc

      Bravo, young man. You’re gonna do just fine.

    • Um… on the “moderately anti-gun” — I grew up in a place where guns were well nigh illegal for private ownership. I’m here to tell you everything you ever read about gun control is a lie.
      Consider reading Robert A. Heinlein’s Red Planet.
      Guns are there to protect you from potential tyranny and from the people who don’t care what’s illegal.
      And lest you think I’m a gun nut, I grew up in Europe and plan to learn to shoot REALLY soon when I have time. My friends talking about guns BAFFLE me. I have no more interest in guns than in cars “they exist for a purpose.” BUT the second amendment is there for a reason.

      • 92 ImaulBears

        American here, I always thought the reason for the 2nd Amendment was to be able to protect oneself against the government. Sure one could use it against other citizens, and claim self defense. But I believe the whole reason was so that if a President, or Congress, or anyone, tries to infringe upon my given rights, and I haven’t broken a law of some kind, I can defend myself.

        • 93 dg54321

          Both reasons are valid, and the second was written to recognize the innate right of all people to defend themselves against “tyranny”.

          Now whether that’s the “tyranny” that comes from a criminal attempting to exert their will upon you, or a government mired in “tyranny” attempting to take away your rights, the 2nd doesn’t care.

          Free people ought to be armed and ready to exert force to defend themselves and their rights. Against anybody who attempts to take either life or liberty from them. Be that the government or private sector criminal.

        • Yes. Mentioned above. I was just pointing out that yhe anti gun “guns increase crime” thing is also not true. Sorry if unclear.

          • For Sarah and others here:

            I believe it would be even more accurate to say that the authors of the Bill of Rights – and the Second Amendment – meant it to _specifically_ mean as an antidote to tyranny. It wouldn’t occur to then to apply it to self-defense. The ability to defend yourself and your loved ones from harm was a given, back then (as opposed to now, when progressives think it more moral to allow yourself to be raped and strangled with your own panty-hose than to shoot someone trying to rape and kill you). It didn’t need to be stated any more than it needed to be said that you have the right to breathe air.

            However – as they had just finished defending themselves against a tyrannical government intent upon abusing them and their right to self-ownership, the natural rights and freedoms all men are heir to, it was necessary and desirable to be explicit about the right to be armed and prepared to fight any future attempts at tyranny, especially by our own government. (And “Well-regulated” in the vernacular of that era simply meant well-trained and equipped, not “regulated” by the DOJ, FDA, EPA, ATF, TSA, or any other tentacle of our oppressive government.)

          • Yep. Again, I didn’t express myself properly first time out, as I wanted to put down the “more guns more crime” lie.

        • It was written to protect the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. Full stop.

          That includes using them for whatever legal reason he deems necessary (since a specific use was not delineated – this was on purpose.)

      • 98 Thomas

        I was mostly trying to explain what I meant when I described myself as a liberal. I migt have talked about myself more than I needed to, but hey, talking about myself is fun.

        When I say moderately anti-gun, I don’t mean that I would be in favor of banning them–I don’t think many sane people would go for that. However, I don’t understand why civilians need machine guns that can quickly kill large numbers of people. I also don’t think guns should be allowed in crowded public places. I’m sceptical of how much help a gun would be against a corrupt government, but that doesn’t change the right to have one.

        Thanks for pointing that out though. I’m sure everyone here was judging me for that bit, so I’m glad for the chance to elaborate. I’ll look for the book you recommended.

        • 99 Heimdall

          Thomas, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with “need,” and everything to do with rights. My rights are not subject to what some other person thinks that I “need.” Do you understand that that is a fundamental of any tyranny?

          Here’s the thing. Every law on the books must be enforced by people with guns and badges. The idea of banning even those evil machine guns means the state could kill me for simply having owned one if I refused to part with it, even if I had not actually ever injured, or even threatened to injure, anyone at all.

          I’m not trying to put words in your mouth here, but consider this. The argument that I could go around mowing people down simply because I might happen to own one is exactly analogous to the idea that because I have a penis, I’m a rape threat to every woman that crosses my path. They’re both non sequiturs.

          • 100 Thomas

            Generally people only get to own dangerous things if there’s a good reason. The law would not be okay with someone keeping cyanide in their home, whether or not they ever intended to use it for anything, because there just isn’t any good reason for the average person to need or want cyanide.

            If someone is shot by a cop for possessing an illegal gun and they aren’t a threat, the cop would have used excessive force and would be guilty of murder. They would most likely get away with it, but that’s another problem.

            I can’t argue with your third paragraph though. That argument makes sense.

          • Wrong sir, in a free country you are allowed to own things which may be used illegally so long as they are NOT used illegally.

            As to not being allowed to own dangerous things, your analogy falls apart. A car in the wrong hands is dangerous, a knife in the wrong hands is dangerous (and in the UK they’ve enacted knife bans but violent crime keeps going up) Like most liberals, sir, you make a major mistake in your thinking — “things” are not dangerous, sir, people are.

            “Things” do not have minds or wills of their own. A fully-automatic weapon (A machine gun is a very specific class of military arms, not any fully automatic weapon per se) is no more dangerous than any other arm. Indeed, less so, in unskilled hands, than a semi-automatic rifle or pistol.

            Using a “machine gun” effectively takes training, lots of it. Otherwise it tends to spray for the sky. So we come back to, “weapons” not dangerous in and of themselves, “people” actually dangerous.

            Our host, being a combat vet, is a wholly dangerous man, armed or unarmed. But a pistol lying on a table is not. It’s an object. A thing.

            In reality, it’s a tool. Tools are no more or less evil than the use to which they are put.

          • 102 Thomas

            Sounds like it’s an ideological difference, in which case there’s no point in arguing any further. Also, I would appreciate it if you could not be condescending. If you didn’t mean to be condescending, I’m sorry for misunderstanding.

            Just to be clear, I have notging against gun owners.

          • 103 Heimdall

            Thomas, at one time, less than a century ago, people in this country were not disallowed the ownership of machine guns. The 2nd and 9th amendments both protect the right to own what any infantryman might be carrying to the battlefield, including machine guns.

            You should read up on National Firearms Act of 1934 and the landmark US v Miller.

            The cyanide v machine guns analogy is a non sequitur.

            If you understand the validity of the 3rd paragraph, but not the first two, then we have a case of cognitive dissonance.

          • 104 Thomas

            Okay, the analogy was fucking stupid. You are right. But accepting what I can’t argue against wgile rejecting what I can is cognitive dissonance? Okay then.

            Sorry if I’m being less respectful than before. I’m naturally a terrible person, so trying to be nice in an argument gets exhausting fast.

          • 105 Ken

            Thomas,

            Generally people only get to own dangerous things if there’s a good reason.

            This is an unbelievably arrogant statement. From all of us, let me thank you for deciding for us what a “good reason” might be and what actions we might take that you consider “dangerous”. Thank you for looking after us and treating us like children, rather than adults.

            Can you tell me why you think so little of your fellow citizens, but so much of politicians? Why are you so eager to put the power to decide what might be “dangerous” and what might be a “good idea” in the hands of politicians, while denying such power to your fellow you citizens. Did it ever occur to you that it’s far less dangerous for each household in America to have a machine gun, rather than to ONLY have employees of the police state to have machine guns?

            Sounds like it’s an ideological difference

            Pretty much. You don’t believe in liberty. Others do. Those who don’t believe in liberty believe that subjects have to show a need to do something to the lords. Those who believe in liberty believe that government employees have to show why citizens aren’t allowed to do something.

          • Thomas, not to pile on, mate, but it isn’t illegal to own cyanide, either…

            The thing is that our nation isn’t really in the business of pre-crime. We are a free country full of sovereign individuals, who are given the benefit of the doubt and assumed to be adult enough not to go out shooting and poisoning people unless proven otherwise.

            They couldn’t stop Chechen terrorism in Russia, arguably one of the most repressive eurasian regimes.

            Friggin Egypt and Libya had a bunch of violence. Venezuela? Forget about it.

            Government cannot control, nor prevent violence by passing laws. They can only use those laws to punish the lawbreakers. And in the case of guns, do you really think a guy bent on murder will be dissuaded from his murderous path by the looming threat of a gun felony? 5 to 20 years, when he’s already bent on committing a crime that will put him in prison for life, or even face the death penalty?

            Naw, gun control is a laughable myth. You seem like a smart enough lad, go think on it for a bit, from that perspective, and see what you come up with.

        • Machine guns (and anti-tank guns) MIGHT be needed against a corrupt government.
          Look, it’s the only way to bring one down. We did it for the Germans, but what if there’s no one to do it for us?

          • 108 Thomas

            I didn’t mean that they wouldn’t be needed. I meant rhat they would be nowhere near enough. If the government turns on its people, we’re screwed.

          • I’m not a military history expert, but I understand it’s pretty hard to hold a country where the citizenship is armed enough to make it uncomfortable. There are more ways to fight than head to head.
            I think it was Solzhenitsyn who said that had a few komissars not come back from their secret arrest rounds, Stalin’s terror would have died on the vine.
            (I’m not browbeating you, btw, I find the discussion interesting, is all. If it doesn’t bother you and you like discussion, come on over to Accordtingtohoyt one of these days.)

          • Again, sir, incorrect. Guerrillas, and that’s what it would start as, a guerrilla war, have been hideously effective in the past, are now, and will continue to be in the future.

            See: Afghanistan.

          • 111 Thomas

            That makes sense, Hoyt. Sorry for my ignorance.

          • People are always claiming that .gov is too powerful for us to resist. That’s BS. Look what the Jews of Warsaw accomplished with a few rifles and handguns. Now imagine that happening with millions of semi-auto rifles, handguns, shotguns, etc. The Left would love to have us believe we don’t stand a chance, have us throw up our hands (yes, current Ferguson pun intended) and give up. Forget that. Japan knew better back during WWII, and so does our government now.

            Why do you think they are still trying so hard to take our guns away? If they weren’t a problem, they wouldn’t care if we had guns. The answer is obvious.

          • 113 Heimdall

            Good point, accordingtohoyt. Thomas, if you think that it can’t be done, read about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943. Seven Jews, with no formal police or military training, held up about a division and a half of the Wehrmacht (that’s ~45000 soldiers, btw) for about 4 weeks. Ultimately, the NAZIs had to pretty much burn the entire thing down to end the stand-off.

            And the Jews weren’t even armed with anything better than rifles and pistols.

          • Hi. I’m Sarah Hoyt. 🙂 (It occurred to me I hadn’t introduced myself.)

          • 115 Thomas

            Nice to meet you Sarah Hoyt. Don’t think we’ll see much more of each other though. If more people here were as respectful as you I would stick around.

          • 116 Scot

            “Sorry if I’m being less respectful than before. I’m naturally a terrible person, so trying to be nice in an argument gets exhausting fast.”

            So you understand that you can be less respectful, yet you object when others are less respectful? Do you see a disconnect in that attitude?

          • Thomas – if the American people went toe-to-toe with the US Army, we’d lose.

            But the trick is never joining a fight on the terms of your stronger opponent.

            The disorganized rabble in Iraq and A-stan gave our army lots of trouble. What do you think 14 million motivated Americans could do on their own turf?

            That’s assuming tha rmy chooses to fight against it’s own people in the first place.

            Yes, if we face off against the hellfire missiles and M1 tanks in open combat, they’ll mess us up.

            So we just won’t do that… For some interesting insight, look into guerilla tactics. Look at what the guerillas in the Revolutionary war did to the brits, or the VC did to the US army in Vietnam.

            Our Army fights 3rd gen wars like a boss. They are better now at 4th gen than they were, but they still are not that great at it.

          • 118 Pyrodice

            Worth tacking on, as long as a military force has to sleep in the territory it’s fighting for, a gun can make a lot of difference.

        • 119 Scot

          In your later comment you said: “Generally people only get to own dangerous things if there’s a good reason.”

          That’s not exactly true. No one asks you why you want to buy a jerry can of gas (except for 9/11 and the OK City bombing the mass killing with the greatest loss of life as far as I remember was committed with gasoline), or why you want to buy fertilizer (OK City bombing), or why you want to buy bleach and ammonia, or any number of other dangerous things. Heck, they don’t even ask why you want to buy a chainsaw. Or a baseball bat.

          Bottom line is that ‘things’ aren’t really dangerous, it’s ‘people’ who are dangerous. If I lived in a different state (and could afford one) and bought a machine gun, no one would be in danger because I did so.

          • 120 Thomas

            I communicated that poorly. Those examples all have common non-violent uses. There’s plenty of good reason to own them. It’s a moot point though because as Hoyt explained to me there is a perfectly good reason to own machine guns, so the cyanide comparison doesn’t hold up.

            I guess really I’m just afraid. I go to a “good” school, but every day I go to class there could be a shooting. Of course any gun or even a knife can kill, but my chances of survival are better if it’s harder for them to get a machine gun. Of course, my wanting to feel safe doesn’t come close to outweighing anyone else’s right to bear arms.

          • 121 Ken

            Again, if you believe in liberty, it’s silly to claim that you should have to provide a “good reason” to the government to do something. In a free society, citizens are PRESUMED to be free to do what they want. If the government wants to prohibit some action, the burden is on THEM to provide a “good reason” to prohibit that action.

      • 122 alphaderp

        I’ve always believed that either no one can be allowed to posses guns, or almost everyone must posses them. Anything in between is dangerously volatile, because there are enough bad guys with guns to cause actual damage, but not enough good guys with guns to stop them. Personally, I’d feel safer with the prior, but this is America, the country that makes arms for practically the entire rest of the planet. To expect us to keep all those guns out of the hands of those who want to cause harm is beyond illogical. the only sensible solution is to make sure that those who don’t want that have the means to defend themselves.

        • 123 Graves

          You were never on a playground, I guess. No guns means that outside of the immediate presence of the police, the strongest person who is willing to impose their will is in charge. I’d rather have equality, thank you very much. God made all men equal, Samuel Colt enforced it.

        • Er… I’m curious how you think you could keep the guns out of the bad guys hands. No, seriously. Bad guys don’t care about laws.
          I grew up in Portugal, where at the time no one really could have guns except the police. Armed robbery continued. Guns are still very restricted. They have way more gun crime than in the US (at least from when I visit. Whether it’s reported, I don’t know.)

        • But the problem is that your hypothetical of “no one possessing guns” is absolutely impossible. Until you can understand that, you won’t really hold a solid place in the discussion.

          I think that that, more than any one other thing, is the largest mental block that anti-gun (pro-gun-control) folks carry around with them – they actually believe that they can succeed in keeping guns out of the hands of bad men by passing a law saying it’s illegal.

          If they follow the law, are they really bad men? Bad men could give a shit less about the law. That’s why they MURDER people with guns…

          …so are you really arguing that putting a felony gun possession charge on top of murder is going to dissuade a man from murdering?

          What’s 5 to 20 years when you’re already facing life or the death penalty?

    • 126 Pyrodice

      As others are remarking on the guns comment, remember that it’s the wimps of the world who need defense. The quarterback is going to beat you in a fight whether he has a gun or not, if you don’t have one.
      I hope you never need one, we all hope that, for the most part….
      But t should the day come when you’re one of the 11,000 who need one this year, you’d better have one.
      They’re sorta like fire extinguishers, or seat belts, in that regard.

      • 127 Thomas

        Personally I would rather try my chances of being defenseless when I’m attacked over those of hurting myself or someone else due to a lapse in judgment. I mean that both in terms of gun safety, and because I often have suicidal thoughts. I can understand why others want guns though.

        When I said I’m a wimp, I meant mentally. The smallest things get to me. Right now I can’t sleep because someone [i]disagreed with me in the internet.[/i] Yeah.

        • 128 Thomas

          Formatting didn’t work the way I hoped it would. I was trying to do italics.

        • 129 Ken

          Now you’re projecting your fears onto everyone else. To claim that my right to own a gun should be denied because of your inability to properly handle a gun is … childish.

          • 130 Thomas

            That’s not what I said at all. First I was explaining why I wouldn’t take the advice I was offered. Then I was trying to explain (not justify) why I came to the conclusion I did, before Sara Hoyt explained why I was wrong. I thought it was pretty clear that I was talking about my own personal failings.

          • 131 Ken

            Thomas,

            I’m not sure who you’re trying to kid. Projecting is EXACTLY what you did. It’s all right. Most people do it. It’s not all right to recognize it when pointed out to you. People generally, and particularly on the left, think “I don’t like X” or “I think X is icky” or “I have a (irrational) fear of X (despite having no real understanding of X)”, then badly conclude “X should be illegal”. Your “I’m afraid of guns” routine is typical of those on the left, along with “so I’m generally in favor of gun control”.

        • Thomas – I’m sorry you struggle with that so much. I can’t imagine a disagreement on the internet bothering me that much. Have you considered getting help? Seriously, the opinion of a stranger on the internet really shouldn’t be getting you that worked up.

          As for a lapse in judgement and gun ownership – I honestly think that this is a big reason that a lot of people are against guns. They know that they could not be trusted with one, and so they don’t think anyone should.

          I applaud you for understanding that not everyone is similarly unstable – I’ve owned guns my entire life, and never once worried about a lapse in judgement. Thank you for recognizing that you and I are different, and staying open minded enough to see that just because you don’t want a gun, don’t need a gun, and don’t feel comfortable with guns, is not a good reason to agitate for taking MINE away.

          Good on you.

        • 133 Pyrodice

          If you have a fear that you would *accidentally* misuse a firearm, there is routine training that should be suggested. Self-confidence does not, in itself, constitute an anti-gun position.
          If you are worried about *intentionally* misusing a gun, I recommend therapy and/or (yes, in this case,) not owning a gun. That’s a personal situation though, and we recognize that suicide is the primary misuse of a firearm, though as a political anarchist, I recognize that every competent human does have the RIGHT to choose the disposition of their life, unto its end.
          Of course, if you’re thinking about killing someone ELSE, you might want to ask around if there are other ways to ensure justice. If he deserves it, sometimes you just gotta lights fire under law-enforcement to get the to do what we pay them for.
          (If he doesn’t deserve it, there’s other therapy for that.)

    • 134 Thomas

      You guys can stop now. I understand why I was wrong.

    • 135 Thomas

      Jesus fucking Christ guys. I mention that I hold an opinion that runs contrary to your own. I don’t argue it (until I’m challenged on it), just mention that I have it, albeit perhaps unnecessarily. Sara Hoyt gives me an explanation that makes sense, and I do a 180 on my opinion in less than two days. Then I apologize for holding the “wrong” opinion before. And you still aren’t happy.

      • 136 DistantCharisma

        Welcome to the internet, my friend. Where everyone is entitled to their opinion unless it in any way runs contrary to mine.

      • Deep breaths, buddy.

        Ask the universe for the strength to accept the things you cannot change, to change the things you cannot accept, and for the wisdom to know the difference.

        Go get some sleep. There isn’t a person on this blog that should matter to you so much that it is effecting your well being like it obviously is.

        Strength.

    • 138 jasonmierek

      “Hopefully it will be a while before I have the privilege of oppressing a demiasexual dragonkin of color.”

      Can I sue you for scalding the inside of my sinuses with the coffee that just sprayed out my nose? 🙂

  10. 139 brinster

    Here’s the link to that article I referred to this morning Chris. Got it off Instapundit. Looks like he’s thrown a lot of traffic your way; and deservedly so. Keep it up! Sorry about the link length.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2893811/Branded-racists-bigots-homophobes-age-THREE-thousands-children-blacklisted-schools-using-innocuous-playground-taunts.html?utm_content=buffere55c2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    • You can use URL shorteners, but some people don’t trust the links (because they’ve been used to send people to bad places).

      • Well, everything after “html” could have been chopped, but yeah using a URL shortener wouldn’t be unappreciated. As for jerks, at least with TinyURL there’s a preview option, appending “preview.” at the start of the domain (preview.tinyurl.com/blah), which will give a pause while displaying the target address.

  11. Reblogged this on Cedar Writes and commented:
    Very good piece on the mystifying phenomenon of ‘microaggression.’ I agree with this guy. Trauma is not micro. If you’re upset by minor things that’s sad. But to blow them up into ‘trauma’ is to demean not only the denotation of the word, but the suffering of those who actually know what trauma feels like. Grow up, get tough, live a good life.

  12. 143 Shadow Merchant

    My dad, a combat veteran, sometimes spoke of “hedgerow envy”. Men who didn’t wear the uniform, or spent their war in quiet Stateside rear-echelon assignments, often nursed a sense of regret and resentment that they had no real part in the historically significant events that occurred in their young manhood.

    The term originates from the D-Day invasion, where our boys fought from hedgerow to hedgerow through Normandy and earned glory that will last longer than the United States itself.

    In extreme cases, this form of envy manifests itself in the Stolen Valor phenomenon, where men (they are always men) wear uniforms and medals to which they have no legitimate claim.

    To coin a phrase, I think we can presume that a severe case of “Selma Envy” has settled on American college campuses, where a couple of generations have come and gone without anyone facing more than the smallest particle of racial or sexual discrimination that would have been recognized as such by a normal well-adjusted adult of 50 years ago.

    In its most advanced state, this results in hoaxes like the UVa/Rolling Stone rape case, or the supposed Ku Klux Klan klavern meetings taking place on the Oberlin College campus last year. For at least a couple of decades, it has been quite safe to assume that any noose or swastika found on a college campus was placed there by a perpetually aggrieved minority as part of a false-flag operation to “raise awareness.”

    In its milder form Selma Envy results in the manufactured outrage and moral preening of the campus social justice warriors that you have responded to in this article. Taking offense at trivial insults and redefining ordinary words as weapons of political warfare is what you do when you have not suffered any real hardships in your life, but wish to drape yourself in a scrap of the moral virtue earned at great cost by previous generations of civil rights activists in the remote past.

    thanks for speaking truth to power. You have a good site. I’ll be back.

    • Interesting observations. I’m not familiar with the Oberlin story and will have to look it up. One thing I have to dispute though, the Stolen Valor cases have not all been men. They’re rare, but the female poser does in fact exist.

      I like the term Selma Envy and the comparison with stolen valor. Thanks for commenting, and for that perspective.

    • 145 Days of Broken Arrows

      Excellent point. I’ve long said that such envy took hold in newsrooms across America by reporters who missed out on writing about the ’60s because they were too young. Their obsession kept the ’60s in the media, and now their mindset has bled into college campuses.

  13. 146 Raymond "Ray Guiducci"

    Quickly : Reading and reflection : Excellent Experience. Expanded my views of my own
    avoidancy gymastics & hobble me anyway.
    Maybe I should instead of “breakdancing”as awhirling dervish to avert “stressors” at high
    cost in some nother spectrum. Impliedly the
    its proffered that it may be better for me to
    “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead?!?!?

    • 147 Raymond "Ray Guiducci"

      typo as is ” & hobble me anyway “is error. & should be “that hobble me anyway” the Author regrets the error. 1/4/15 Ray sf ca.

  14. 148 Michael G. Gallagher

    I’ve never “embraced the suck” as you military people call it, but while working on my doctoral dissertation in Asian studies (Chinese tech development) I had to immerse myself for many, many hours in Maoist babble. This micro aggression nonsense and other noxious garbage being spewed out by the American left sounds a lot like the material I had to study, but just in an American context rather than a Chinese one. After i finished my Ph.D. (this was the late 1980s) I went off to mainland China for a year to teach English under the mistaken impression it would get me a job in academia. But I was lucky enough to be in China just as Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms were finally hitting their stride. As far as I could tell, everybody was trying to put as much distance as possible between themselves Mao, and Marx. I was also living in Miami when the 1980 Mariel Boatlift came to town when Fidel dumped 150,000 Cuban refugees on Miami in about two weeks. I’ve had other encounters with Karl that I won’t go into here. These subcreatures you’re writing about in your blog are Marxist apparatchiks with a liberal outer skin. Every move these people make to protect and expand “rights” is designed to expand their control and limit other people’s freedom, Their activities need to limited as much as possible by any means (almost) necessary.

    Mike in Seoul

  15. 149 IrishIce

    Chris, great job. As a therapist specializing in trauma, I’ve been lucky to avoid the malarkey you described because those people (rightfully) don’t seek therapy. As you and others point out or imply, these folks are attention seekers, not persons genuinely seeking a way through to wellness.
    Fir a time, there was a hue-and-cry to change PTSD to PTS but the well meaning but misguided effort is doomed because it involves international universal medical nomenclature. Besides, “disorder” is a term of good news – disorder can be ordered again, and working through traumatic disorder, while hard and emotionally fraught wirk, it is entirely possible. Those of us exposed to multiple traumas from very early in our lives are testament to the psyche’s resilience and creative, persistent defense of our core self. We are a species designed for survivability – and some of us choose to facilitate the survival of some of our not-quite-so-deeply programmed fellows through cognitive strengthening.
    I really don’t ascribe to the name calling and insulting no matter how deeply it offends me that people may misunderstand or co-opt trauma for self aggrandizement. Karma. There is always karma!

  16. Fuck my trauma too, brother. Brilliantly written!

  17. 151 Derrick Bonsell

    Maybe these far left types are trying to fight for a good cause. I believe that less and less each day but I admit the possibility. Great cause or not, I can’t see how “trigger-warnings” and “microaggressions” are supposed to fight racism or homophobia. Who can take those activists seriously if those you quoted are in any way representative of the genre?

    Instead of looking like people crusading against oppression they look like children who can’t deal with living outside of safe zones on the internet.

  18. Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    Give this man a medal.

  19. 153 Jacqueline C. Long

    Dear Chris,
    I’m just speechless. I’m sending many “air kisses” & applause your way. I can not THANK YOU enough for this
    Commentary. Be careful now, you might be considered a “racist”! Lol. Enough is Enough. I’m sick of paying for a crime that my own ancestors didn’t even commit. I’m tired of swalling the spoon fed ” Reverse Racism”. I actually blame the liberal White Media(besides the obvious ‘stressor’ aka..Al,Jessee…) If I were black I’d be insulted by their “Pity”… They aren’t just subconsciencely saying it any more… ” You can’t help it…you are black. . ” That is about equivent of me making an excuse for my dog b/c he does dog activities but I still would hold my dog accountable if he attacked another dog! Well…now don’t get me started… I wish I were more eloquent with my words BUT I definitely praise you for being so!! Much Love&Respect & Thank you for your service,
    Jacqueline Long

  20. 154 Justsomeguy

    I’ve read several of your pieces and I’ve enjoyed your perspective. You have just a bit of a different take on the world than most writers and you express it well.

  21. Note: you might read the Association of University Professors statement about the trigger warnings.

    Just remember that the noisiest crackpots get the the most attention from the media.

    http://www.aaup.org/report/trigger-warnings

  22. 156 Melanchthon

    Yet another Mad Genius Club circle jerk.

    • Clamps? Is that you?

      Hey everybody, meet Andrew Marston of Marshfield, Mass., stalker, ISIS wannabe and all around troll.

      • 158 cbpelto

        And here I thought Melanchthon was merely ‘projecting’….. 😉

        • Naw, he’s a well-known troll in SF circles. Loves to show up on conservative/libertarian SF blogs and do these idiotic drive-by posts. He’s also got a really creepy obsession with a gal from Australia who frequents several of the same blogs. He’s been banned from multiple blogs for his behavior and it’s got to the point where the owners have to check his IP every time he creates a new identity. He’s so bad at his trolling, however, that his style gives him away every time he opens his mouth.

          He’s also a frustrated “author” of a book that’s actually worse, if you can believe it, than Eye of Argon.

      • 160 Melanchthon

        How did ISIS suddenly get in the mix is what I’m asking?

        • What were you even asking again? To me it looked like you just threw out a drive-by insult instead of adding jack shit to the conversation.

  23. 162 Hobbes

    Well stated sir!

  24. 163 rokenian

    Thanks. I’m new to this site and will check out the rest of it. I’m only 19 years old, so I don’t have a lot of experience with trauma. The most jarring thing to happen in my life so far was my father’s death. When I was 6, my father died due to kidney failure. This caused by radiation on a submarine he served on in the Navy. After several years of undergoing dialysis every other day, his body finally just couldn’t take it anymore.

    I was devastated. I had just lost the person I was closest to. I cried for days. If anyone brought up the issue, I’d burst into tears again. My mother did the right thing and got me therapy.

    I can absolutely talk about my father and his death now. I don’t let it control me. I don’t demand that others avoid mentioning fathers or death. Everyone has a father, just about everyone’s probably going to see others die, and everyone will die. When I’m talking to someone new, and they ask what my mother and father do, I don’t blow up at them for daring to mention a father in front of me.

    If I let this event control me, there’s quite a bit I wouldn’t be able to do. Quite a lot of media portrays death and fathers. If one of these infants had lost their father, they’d be missing out on a lot of great movies, books, video games, what have you. They want directors/authors/developers to not include anything that might possibly offend anyone anywhere for any reason, which is firstly, impossible, and secondly, deluded as all hell.

    I’m going to school to become a paramedic. Someday I’d like to go to medical school to become a surgeon. I’m pretty damn sure I’m going to see people die. One of these infants couldn’t possibly handle something actually jarring. It makes me wonder what kind of jobs they could possibly hold with their attitude. Forget anything that involves interacting with others; other people would oppress them. So that leaves… Nothing, I think. They’ll have to get over themselves real quick when their parents get tired of their crap and kick them out. If they don’t, eh, fuck ’em.

    Sorry, I’m not that great at putting my thoughts into words. What I’m trying to say is thanks for being a voice of reason.

    • I think you put your thoughts into words pretty damn well.

      Best of luck to you, brother.

    • @ rokenian

      “Sorry, I’m not that great at putting my thoughts into words.”

      You did a great job at it! I am glad to know it’s not the entire younger generation that has turned into a bunch of useless, whining infants.

      All the best to you!

    • When I was your age, I took a job as an orderly in a hospital OR, to see if I could stand the sight of blood under controlled conditions. I then worked for in an emergency room and then later for an ambulance service, exposed to serious physical trauma and death in both jobs. I guarantee your career choices will expose you to the same.

      I commend your choices and wish you the best of luck, but I feel pretty sure you will make your own “luck”, through motivation and your own effort.

    • Your father died after a long battle with radiation sickness when you were 6 years old, and you claim to have never experienced trauma?

      See, everyone else? This guy, right here…THIS guy!

      Dude, you are awesome. Keep being awesome.

      Go kick some ass, lad, you’ve got what it takes.

      (oh, and you put your thoughts into words just fine…)

  25. I found this article randomly in my facebook feed and I find it incredibly disturbing. All respect to Marines and all Military but his CONCLUSIONS on some of his great arguments (which I agree with) are illogical. He is right in that there are everyday traumas, there may be some better ways of dealing with trauma than others and he is also right that daily traumas occur from casual sexism and racism. However we do not discuss it because we want sympathy or to be victims we NEED to talk about it to try to change the very real and so deeply engrained racism and sexism in our society. I am certain that the helicopter accident that the brave man went through was discussed thoroughly in order to prevent it from happening again. It was likely discussed at length to figure out what went wrong and what needs to change to ensure it does not repeat! Then of course we must discuss racism, sexism and other issues that come up daily in our lives because it is these issues that are so difficult to change. I am not a sensitive person and I do not talk about sexism or racism I have felt often but this article has made me want to do the exact opposite of the suggested “get over it” or seek a therapist. It is not just MY problem it’s our nations and our societal problem. phew… had to let that out…

    • 169 Graves

      There is a world of difference between trying to determine what happened and then preventing unnecessary similar events, and avoiding mention of it around the survivors for ever and ever amen. Daily traumas are not, and I stress this, trauma. They are simply the travails of day to day life, and it isn’t strange to expect normal people to simply handle day to day life. If you can’t handle a man-sized challenge, you aren’t a man, and we aren’t doing anyone any favors by protecting them from the challenges they can overcome, which are required to prepare them for serious foes they will face in their lives.

    • 170 XZ

      There is no deeply ingrained sexism or racism running rampant in our society. Racism and sexism do exist, yes; you can never get rid of the evils of humans, but you can minimize them. We’ve minimized them from a legal standpoint as far as we can minimize them. There is nothing else to be done, and really, nothing else SHOULD be done.

      You cannot presume to speak for everyone. Speak only for yourself; what you might perceive as rampant racism and sexism may be more innocuous to other observers.

      And finally, to quote an earlier commenter: “Check your entitlement.” Society has no obligation to shelter you from offensive things because freedom of speech, expression, and thought are all things we value in this society.

      • 171 Robert C

        “There is no deeply ingrained sexism or racism running rampant in our society. ”
        Wow.
        I bet $100 that you are a white male. If I had $10,000 I would bet that.
        Ask yourself how I know that. How I am CERTAIN of that. No, I’m not “guessing”, I’m not “lucky”–think it through. If someone said, “there’s no bias against white males” then you could find some women and blacks who would agree, AND some white males.

        But I deeply hope that not many of the people reading this share your delusion. I admit I was really naive. I know sexism deniers are entrenched, and I knew racism deniers were rampant last century, but I thought society had made at least a tiny bit of progress toward sanity. That’s why I’m so mad. I suppose instead I should thank you for correcting my delusion.

        Now, I don’t know this paragraph is true but I strongly suspect it (and would put $100 plus the $100 I already won from you on this bet.) If you were to put on a truly convincing disguise as a black person, and go into a bad neighborhood and try to live–you wouldn’t last a week unless you spent the whole time hiding under the bed. Let me be clear: by your simple, unconscious expectation of being treated as a human being, you would stand out as “uppity” and be beaten at best, jailed, or killed at worst. Within hours. You probably couldn’t make it through a trip to the convenience store. I don’t know it for absolute certain and I am willing to be corrected by someone with firsthand experience (I actually pay attention and learn from my mistakes.) But I’d put that money on it confidently.

        I am a white male. I am also in favor of the Bill of Rights (yes all TEN), the military, the police (INCLUDING Internal Affairs), personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, having the courage to change your mind when you’re wrong, respecting our veterans, listening to scientists on science instead of politicians, separation of Church and State, and treating anybody who can hold a reasonable conversation as human and deserving of rights (yes, even WOMEN). I am what used to be called a Centrist, back when my kind wasn’t hunted to near extinction by both extremes. I would trade away all welfare and all government support of women or minorities, in exchange for actually making people TREAT THEM AS HUMAN BEINGS. Social progressive, fiscal conservative. Not support them, not shield or coddle them–just actually obey the law of the land and treat people as people. Of course that’s impossible. People like you can’t even admit the problem exists, which I consider extremely cowardly.

        And yes, I know cowardice. I’ve been a coward, and I’ve been brave, and I can tell the difference. Anyone who could make the statement I quoted from you is either morbidly stupid, a bald faced liar, raised in a cocoon, too lazy to think, or willfully in cowardly ignorance. Judging by your grammar and spelling I’d guess you’re not stupid; I find it unlikely that you are an actual evil Machiavellian schemer who deliberately spends his free time promoting sexism and racism by claiming they aren’t rampant; you might have been raised in a cocoon but the Internet, and that you are on it, makes that explanation not hold much water; I’d bet my money that you’re somewhere between “too lazy to think” and “cowardly ignorance.”

        I read a lot of these comments. I found a lot to agree with on BOTH sides, primarily because you’re all talking past each other. Whatever, the Internet is a constant intellectual train wreck, no news there. But when something as egregious as your statement comes along, any decent person has to hold their nose, roll up their sleeves, and at least TRY to keep stupidity and lies from ALWAYS shouting down intelligence and truth.

        I doubt you learned anything, but I hope at least some people reading all this did. Good night.
        (And there’s another 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back…)

        • Let’s see, we elected a black man as president … twice … but America is inherently racist.

          RIIIIGGHHHTTT.

          I think the technical, medical term for you sir is “arrogant fuck.”

          • 173 KKSquiggle

            agreed.
            Like, yeah, there’s racism in America. But it’s not a societal problem it’s a “these people are fucking assholes” problem. As a society we sure as hell don’t condone racism, homophobia, etc etc.
            Like..the person making this argument IS arrogant as fuck lol.

        • 174 russnelson

          You seem unable to differentiate “deeply ingrained” and “racism still exists”. If you think racism is still deeply ingrained, try using the word “nigger” without the quotes in polite company. Or even impolite company. Something like “Those damn niggers are taking our white women.” I’m sure all those deeply ingrained racists that surround you will be very accepting of your assertion.

          tl/dr: “You jackass.”

        • 175 KKSquiggle

          I found the tumblr user.

        • 176 Ken

          “I bet $100 that you are a white male. ”

          An excellent example of racism and sexism being ingrained into our culture. Don’t forget to disparage all those dead, white men either.

          I didn’t read the rest of your comment, as you made it immediately clear what an unserious bigot you actually are.

        • 177 XZ

          Apparently, sir, you didn’t read past my initial statement. I said they aren’t ingrained or rampant. However, I did acknowledge that they exist, and they probably always WILL exist. They are not the majority, and they are not socially acceptable; what more can you ask for? Freedom of speech, expression, thought, and the free marketplace of ideas are all vital to a well-informed, educated populace in a healthy democracy (which is why I think education in logic, critical thinking, and objective analysis are all imperative in our educational system, especially since the lack of education is making it easier for those with money to sway those with power and trick those with neither).

          So, yes, racists, sexists, bigots of all stripes will continue to exist, but we don’t accept them as the norm, nor will we ever accept them as such again.

          Also, you would have won your bet of guessing me as a white male, though I don’t see how that’s relevant to the discussion at all; neither my gender nor my ethnicity have anything to do with how reality functions. Biases exist in all areas of life, against all peoples. You would say there are no biases against me in life, and I would heartily disagree. I was homeless for 4 years because no one wanted to hire me; I was always the last considered, with women (of all ethnicities) and men of ethnicities separate from Caucasian were considered before me. I cannot get very good mental health care for my chronic depression (and I’m not self-diagnosed; this was diagnosis from a state certified psychologist). However, I don’t go “poor me, poor me” and victimize myself by misrepresenting reality.

          Your presumption about a good disguise going into a bad neighborhood is the basest speculation that is based in stereotyping an entire part of society, and is a gross generalization.

          As for things I stand for, they run along the same things you stand for: freedom of thought, choice, expression, and speech; the scientific method and all that it stands for (including changing your position when the evidence shows your position is incorrect; however, the key element there is EVIDENCE); personal responsibility, which covers things such as a strong work ethic, respecting those who deserve respect (not all veterans or police officers deserve respect; some did, in fact, abuse their power. However, they are exceptions, and not the rule), and treating all humans equally (I’m an egalitarian). I support a good police force and military; my mother works for a VA hospital, and has since I was 7, so I have a strong respect for those establishments and the unsung warriors that allow us to have the freedoms that the Social Justice and Third-Wave Feminist ideologues are trying to steal from us. As for me being cowardly, well sir, I heartily disagree; it takes a great deal of intellectual courage to publicly state a position that is constantly attacked as false. I not only state in anonymously on the Internet, but I speak it with my real name and face present in real life. Finally, as I’ve stated before, I admit that bigotry in all forms, including those of sexism and racism, do exist. I vociferously cry against the claims of that bigotry being institutionalized and enforced in some sort of oppressive regime; the evidence SIMPLY DOES NOT SUPPORT THE CLAIM OF INSTITUTIONAL BIGOTRY.

          Also, you dismiss my argument by saying I’m either stupid, evil, sheltered, lazy, or cowardly; that’s a logical fallacy known as ad hominem. You are attacking my character instead of my argument. Address the points of my argument; debated HONESTLY. Don’t resort to being intellectually disingenuous to try and make your point. Honest debate is part of how you change people’s minds. So go ahead; present your evidence for your position. Show that sexism and racism are ingrained, rampant, and institutionalized. Provide PROOF.

          Saying that my comment is “stupidity and lies” that are “shouting down intelligence and truth” is a very bold claim; prove it. You are the one who made the point of contention; the burden of proof is on you. Otherwise, I’ll simply enforce Hitchens’ Razor; “What can be claimed without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” So, provide evidence.

          To sum up, I did learn a lot from your statement; you allowed your own anecdotal experiences to sway you from scientific objectivity, and thus are not observing reality anymore. I also note that in your conclusion, your concern was never swaying me, but swaying the audience, which I actually APPLAUD! I do the same thing when debating ideologues; most ideologues are too entrenched in their ideology, and thus debate with them will never sway their mind. However, by showing how detached from reality they actually are, you can sway the fence-sitters and people near the borderlines away from the ideology and into logical thinking.

          I am actually eagerly awaiting a reply. This is getting fun.

    • 178 mo

      @ Irina

      “He is right in that there are everyday traumas, there may be some better ways of dealing with trauma than others and he is also right that daily traumas occur from casual sexism and racism. ”

      Actually, he said the exact opposite of that.

      “I’m no stranger to trauma, and I’ve dealt with it by writing and talking about it. I suppose I’ve always defined “trauma” the traditional way: a terrible experience, usually involving significant loss or mortal danger, which left a lasting scar. However, I’ve recently discovered my definition of trauma is wrong. Trauma now seems to be pretty much anything that bothers anyone, in any way, ever. And the worst “trauma” seems to come not from horrible brushes with death like I described above; instead, they’re the result of racism and discrimination.”

      How did you read this article and get the exact OPPOSITE out of it?

      “However we do not discuss it because we want sympathy or to be victims we NEED to talk about it to try to change the very real and so deeply engrained racism and sexism in our society.”

      There is no such thing. Unless you’re talking about the racism against whites.

      “I am not a sensitive person and I do not talk about sexism or racism I have felt often but this article has made me want to do the exact opposite of the suggested “get over it” or seek a therapist. It is not just MY problem it’s our nations and our societal problem. phew… had to let that out…”

      Too funny!

  26. 179 Bungler

    That’s right! and Fuck that NYPD getting upset with the mayor for warning his son that he might come up against non-micro aggression, or getting upset with ball teams who are showing solidarity by wearing shirts or using symbols that identify with the victims. Fuck your fake trauma, NYPD. Even though my heart goes out to the two who were unjustly shot, and their families, this does not give you the right to complain about people complaining about your ridiculous tactics.

  27. 180 Colin

    I never really comment on things, I can’t be bothered, but thank you sir for this wonderful article. I’ve now sent it to a lot of friends and family and shared it via every medium I can think of.

    There’s a deep rooted problem, that I suspect to come from the whole “It’s ok to be hurt” movement in society. Yes it’s ok to be hurt, pain is natural, but the point is that it doesn’t make you less of a person. It’s supposed to protect your dignity, not open you up to the never ending cycle of insecurity avoidance.

    Also, re: ‘check your entitlement’

    That’s the most brilliant response to the most ridiculous statement I’ve seen yet, definitely going to have to remember that one. Usually I just respond to check your privilege with “Make me. It’s a free country.”

  28. 181 Alex

    It doesn’t sound like you understand the difference between “trauma” and “microaggression”. The examples linked to on that microaggressions website are by definition day-to-day irritations rather than anything that could be considered “triggering”, or traumatic.

    • 182 John Zhang

      Ah, but the constant insults build up to trauma or something like that. I’ve probably been “microaggressed” tens of thousands of times, but even as a visible ethnic minority north of America, address the problem and move on. Holding onto it doesn’t serve anyone any good.

      • 183 cbpelto

        RE: Insults Are ‘Trauma’

        You poor ‘stupid’ so-and-so. If you can’t stand up to mere words, you’ll truly collapse when you experience a truly traumatic event.

        When did YOU graduate high school? After they stopped teaching that Life is Tough?

        • 184 cbpelto

          Stupid, adj., Ignorant and proud of it.

        • I believe John was being sarcastic.

          • 186 cbpelto

            RE: Ack!

            I hate it when that happens.

            More people should learn to adopt the ‘/sarc’ approach to sarcasm in this sort of venue. It doesn’t come across well in text format.

          • 187 John Zhang

            Ah, you get me, Chris. Thanks for this article, by the way; it lets me remain sane with some of the stuff I see in my university every once in a while.

            @cbpelto: Please forgive me for not adding the /s tag at the end of what I say. I spend a lot of time on a subreddit that takes issue with these people that whenever someone says something ridiculous like “check your privilege,” 19 times out of 20 they mean it in jest.

          • 188 cbpelto

            TO: John Zhang
            RE: Sarcasm

            Acknowledged.

            Such doesn’t come across as readily recognized by people unfamiliar with you and/or your sense of humor.

            Happy New Year!

  29. 189 Kim

    Thank you so very much Mr. Hernandez for such a great article. I have held these same beliefs and I feel crazy in an ever increasingly crazy world. Seems sanity has fallen by the wayside in lieu of fragility. Again. Thank you. Your words matter.

    • 190 a different todd

      Maybe you are crazy, or at least out of step with decency

      • 191 cbpelto

        RE: Out of Step? Decency?

        Maybe you are crazy, or at least out of step with decency — a different todd

        The liar—which at this time, I believe you to be—is the one TRULY ‘out of step with decency’.

        The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. — George Bernard Shaw

      • 192 jasonmierek

        “Maybe you are crazy” – so, insensitivity to the mentally ill is OK?

  30. The first few times I saw the term “trigger warning,” it was actually for things that were pretty traumatic. These days, some people use trigger warnings to complain about being home on Saturday night.

    • 194 russnelson

      It really bothers me to hear about trigger warnings for things that aren’t really triggers. I react very badly to hearing them. May I please ask you to give me a trigger warning before you talk about trigger warnings?

  31. Feminists and “white privilege” slur-hurlers are immature control freaks. We are being robbed by con artists who grab ahold of the taxes extracted from us and use the funds to set up shakedown rackets. Political correctness is a front for sociopathy and organized crime schemes.

    • 197 a different todd

      Nah I think the person who demands to be able to say nigger, faggot, kike etc etc without being looked down upon are the control freak. Also, PC was invented by a conservative.

      • 198 Graves

        Oh, you are just a worthless troll. We can ignore you now.

      • 199 mo

        @ a different todd

        “Also, PC was invented by a conservative.”

        Prove it.

        And even if so, it’s not conservatives that are pushing this infantile nonsense on society.

        Grow up.

      • 200 cbpelto

        RE: PC Invented by Conservatives?

        Citation please. From a reliable source.

        Otherwise….three guesses. First two don’t count.

        Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

      • 201 Ken

        Marx was a conservative?

      • 202 John Zhang

        I don’t think those words should be cause to harass someone if they’re using it in a non-derogatory manner. Everyone knows which words you’re talking about anyway.

      • Dude, you do recognize that there is about a thousand miles between being against political correctness, and advocating for the use of vile racial slurs, right?

        Never mind… carry on… sigh…

  32. Reblogged this on The Dependent Independent and commented:
    Microagression and trauma/trigger warning misuse, going as far as protesting grammar grading.  Seriously.
    “In late 2013 A group of UCLA students staged a ‘sit-in’ protest against a professor for – no joke – correcting their papers.”  Black students, white prof, no question it’s racism.  Life gets harder with this stuff, but how dare you say life is hard! 🙂

  33. Reblogged this on Micah's Two Cents and commented:
    This is a must-read. There’s some language, but the points made are overdue. Trauma and feeling uncomfortable are two very different things. “Trigger warnings” be damned….

  34. 206 a different todd

    See op you come off as reasonable but how do you reconcile these two points:

    ” I won’t say anything meant to dredge up bad memories, and don’t think anyone should intentionally try to harm your feelings.

    But nobody, nobody, should censor themselves to protect you from your pathological, and pathologically stupid, sensitivities.”

    What is censoring ones self? Sidestepping a thought in their mind? Isn’t that what you yourself did

    ” I wound up becoming friends with him later, and eventually worked up the nerve to ask him about the crash. Of course, I quickly followed my question with, “But if you don’t want to talk about it, nevermind. Sorry.”

    This guy was even your friend at this point and you hesitated.

    I guess what I don’t get is what conservatives consider an unnecessary imposition on their lives and what’s exercising proper restraint and respect for someone else? Does the affected person have to be physically scarred? What if they witnessed their parents die in a horrible way. Is there any mental experience that some people may not be expected to recover from?

    The divisions above are clear enough, but then you get things like sexual harassment where it isn’t so black and white, and where certain people wanted to pretend that there was no such thing as an unwanted advance.or hid behind slogans like “They’re just words”

    Running up to disfigured people in supermarkets, I hope everyone will agree, and going “UGH WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU? WHAT DO YOU MEAN ITS NOT MY BUSINESS? FREE SPEECH FREE SPEECH FREE SPEECH” is as trivial and ludicrous as the tumbler triggerwarning nonsense. But conservatives get SO DAMN PISSED about this- and this is just an extension of the political correctness debate. I don’t understand why. There has never been legal consequences; your first amendment right is as vibrant today as it has ever been (yes the free speech zone shit was stupid.)

    The expectations of civility are not reverse oppression, they have no legal force. I wonder if sometimes- I’m not accusing you of this- people who complain the most vociferously about political correctness aren’t determined to create an atmosphere where you can scream epithets at members of social groups you don’t like without censure. That is something that is not covered or protected by social norms or political rights.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words)
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio)

    Speaking for myself, the stuff pictured in the original post seems amusing and trivial. it doesn’t get me angry in any sense, and I don’t see why you should be either. Yet the internet is on fire about this stuff.

    • Basically it’s like this. “Your rights end where my nose begins.” It’s not civility we object to, nor sensitivity, but rather the demand that we change our lives to suit your “triggers.”

      The black students who got pissed that their grammar was corrected _at the graduate level_ are a prime example.

      Of course no one with a brain or a heart is going to go up to the burn victim and start screaming OMFG WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU. But to act as if this happens all the time when it manifestly does not is absurd.

      Moreover, it’s not the genuine victims who are generally doing this. It’s the special little snowflakes who have never encountered real trauma in their lives — nor real discrimination — who are screaming for trigger warnings and about microaggression. Those little flowers need to grow the fuck up.

      Additionally, keep in mind that the only way to deal with real trauma is to confront it. To move through and past it. I noted elsewhere my father died when I was 10. Real trauma. Real hurt. I moved through it, painful as that was. Got past it and got on with my life. I did not let that define me.

      What happens when you refuse to confront the real traumas in your life is that you stop developing as a human being _right the fuck there_ and you _never_ get past it.

      Others may choose to do this, and so be it. That is their right. What they do not have the right to do, is restrict other’s freedom to assuage their sense of victimhood.

      Just because you _have been_ a victim, does not mean you _are_ one.

    • I think you’re confusing two very different concepts.

      I’m all for being polite. I’ve known a great many people who experienced severe trauma, and have always gone out of my way not to unnecessarily remind them of it. That’s just regular old “not being a dick”. What I was writing about, “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings”, aren’t simply messages asking people not to be dicks. They’re accusations of “oppression” and low-level demands for censorship. And they’re facilitators of extreme weakness; in effect, they’re a means for people to never learn to deal with trauma, and to be perpetual victims unable to handle stress.

      Again, you seem to be conflating my argument (don’t expect the world to change for you) with “you should be assholes to everyone all the time.” That’s not my argument. My argument is that it’s your responsibility to come to terms with your trauma and move on. It’s not everyone else’s responsibility to ensure you never get reminded of it.

    • And I should add, you’re correct that the stuff pictured in the original post is trivial. It’s also stupid and pathetic, and nobody should change anything about their lives to fix those nonexistent problems.

  35. I’m thinking as a short man I should start complaining about the Micro-aggressions daily directed at short people.

  36. 213 mazenmark

    I’m noticing a lot of strong negative feelings from commenters about what amounts to sensitivity. Not sure why someone being sensitive makes you so angry, unless you find it threatening in some way.

    Here is what the conversation sounds like to me:

    Commentor: I don’t like it when people say “check your privilege.” That really pisses me off. I’ve gone through a lot of sucky stuff and sometimes life sucks. Get over it.

    “Entitled” person: What if we worked together to make life suck less and treat one another better? (by talking about the ways that we intentionally or unintentionally hurt one another with our words or actions)

    Commentor: That would mean I might have to change and FUCK that.

    Also, I don’t think most of the “entitled” people are asking you to slap a trigger warning on stuff you say/write, or stop stating racist or prejudiced things, just that it is appreciated. There is a difference between requirement and appreciation.

    • 214 Graves

      The problem is that some of us are older and wiser, and paid attention in history. We know that it starts with “reasonable” restrictions on what can be said, and does not end there Best to fight it when it is still weak and stupid.

      • 215 Heimdall

        Graves – exactly right. The left uses “be reasonable” as a cudgel when what they really mean is “be agreeable…with US.” Reason has almost zero to do with anything from the left.

    • 216 mo

      @ mazenmark

      “I’m noticing a lot of strong negative feelings from commenters about what amounts to sensitivity.”

      What “feelings” are those? And how can you tell these feelings from comments on a page?

      “Not sure why someone being sensitive makes you so angry, unless you find it threatening in some way.”

      Nice passive aggressive streak you’ve got there. Can you show me where “someone being sensitive” is making someone angry?

      • 217 mazenmark

        Hey mo, you’re right, I was totally making an assumption that people were angry. Maybe they aren’t. Actually, I thought you were angry when you called another commenter an emotional infant – you tell me if there were any feelings behind that statement or not. But you’re definitely right that it was an assumption, you know what they say about those. My apologies if I got it wrong.

        • Calling someone an emotional infant, when they are actually, you know, being one, is not really a sign of anger.

          Just blatant honesty.

          Or do you defend the rights of graduate students to not have their incorrect grammar corrected.

          At the GRADUATE LEVEL?

          If the rules of grammar offend you, then you need a serious re-assessment.

    • 219 Ken

      “I’m noticing a lot of strong negative feelings from commenters about what amounts to sensitivity.”

      No you’re not. You’re noticing tne rejection of people who think their sensitivity gets to dictate how everyone else behaves.

      “What if we worked together to make life suck less and treat one another better?”

      This starts by recognizing that other people don’t have to change to accomodate YOU. I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you mind your own business and I’ll mind mine? Why don’t you take care of your problems and I’ll take care of mine?

      I’d love to be able to do that, but SJW insist that they mind MY business and that I take care of THEIR problems.

      “There is a difference between requirement and appreciation.”

      Not in the minds of the people you are defending.

  37. 220 Chris

    Interesting concept, the micro aggression, it would therefore require one million of these micro aggressions in order to make a single aggression, that in turn would require a lifetime hundreds of years in length to accumulate.

    • 221 russnelson

      If you do a quick estimate, Chris, there are about a million moments every month. If every one has a microaggression, then you could easily get aggressed against once a month. But I think you’re right, and it’s really milliaggressions or even centiaggressions that are the cause for concern. Those could add up quick, into an aggression every week, or even a daily aggression. I’m not sure I could take that much aggression against me. Not after there used to be a “Get Russell Nelson” club in my neighborhood. “Get” as in “Capture”. Wow. I hadn’t thought about that in ages. Somebody must have triggered my suffering. Why was there no warming??

  38. 222 Dave

    I work with mostly people from the Third World, and they would absolutely laugh at some of the entitled demands of Western social justice types and their so-called struggles. I’m a gay dude, and people make gay jokes all the time around me and who the fuck cares. Gay people are treated like shit in most parts of the world, but I am fairly “privileged” living in the US. Going around trying to censor people in an attempt to not get my feelings hurt does not befit a man (or anyone else for that matter). Grow up, and realize the world does not revolve around you and your issues. Take responsibility for your actions and don’t pin your personal failures on your minority status or the traumas you experienced, at some point it has to be up to your own actions. Your actions define your merit, not your identity.

  39. 224 KKSquiggle

    Just dropping a comment here — I totally agree with this article. I was raised with a thick skin, I guess.
    These people complaining about microaggressions and traumas that, at least, to me, really shouldn’t even be considered trauma..they strike me as attention starved individuals looking to do anything for their fifteen minutes of fame, with a false sense of entitlement on top of that.

    I dunno, just.. I don’t wanna put my own troubles out there — but as somebody who’s been threatened to be shot because of his sexuality, nearly killed twice in high school, and molested by a forty five year old man whom I made the mistake of trusting — I feel like if I can get through all that without getting “Triggered” by every little thing that crosses my path uh..then how can someone even pull the bullshit that you mentioned in the above article.
    The fact that people like that even exist, frankly disgusts me, like. Oh my god, your test got graded, that’s so fucking traumatizing, I’m so sorry you’re triggered by that — jk no I’m not grow some balls.

    If I can gather the courage to find help for my issues you can figure out how to deal with your imaginary racism and other issues that don’t really exist.

  40. I thought you might like my article on this topic:

    http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2969

  41. Hi! I actually liked this piece. I agree with most, but not all, of what you said. I do go out of my way not to offend people, but that’s because of my personal religious beliefs. I do not expect other people to do this, and do not take offense to these offhand, innocent comments that accidentally offend.

    Nowadays people assume if you give this kind of advice, it’s because you have some sort of “privilege” that blinds you to the inequality in the world. I disagree. I think people like you and I do have a privilege. We were privileged enough to experience things that were so awful that we knew we had to make a choice. You can get bitter and angry, or you can say, “fuck you pain! I’m going to keep going!”

    For other commenters who will inevitably say I’ve been through nothing in my life: I was diagnosed with a rare degenerative spinal condition at 12, had a 22 hour spinal surgery at age 13, had 5 ribs removed, metal in my spine, paralysis for about 6 months, then rehab for a year, now I have pain every day and am visibly “deformed”. I have also survived sexual assault, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and watched a girl die once (freak accident), survived living and working on minimum wage, growing up in a home with huge amounts of conflict and fighting, having my dreams not work out, facing a future filled with more medical stuff, etc.

    There is a climate online of victim one upping. And here’s the thing, you can always, ALWAYS find someone who has been through a worse trauma than you. I do not claim to have the “world’s worst trauma”.

    But you know what? You can also always find someone who has suffered a worse trauma than you AND still seems happier and more positive than you are. Those are the people we should be sharing across the internet as an example of humanity!

  42. 228 KIm UN

    Stupid whinnung muricans, you got paid for killing people for your regime, so stop whinning when got hurt.
    Nobody forces you to military servce!

    • 229 cbpelto

      TO: All
      RE: Kim UN

      What a classic example of the products of the vaunted American public education system. This poor creature can’t comprehend English enough to understand the topic is not about the NCO who survived a chopper crash. Kim couldn’t hold a train of thought with a pair of pliers.

      Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive. Easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. — Lord Henry Brougham

      Kim and his ilk are ready to be enslaved…..

  43. While I agree with most of what you said here, specially with that part where you say that ‘hurting is, up to a point, a matter of choice’ I find it hard to understand/accept ‘fuck your trauma’ and ‘I’m not going to change my life in order to accommodate you’.
    Yes, it would be practically impossible to avoid hurting everybody. Even more, I suspect it would even be counterproductive – we’d become a bunch of sissies afraid to open our mouths.
    But ‘fuck your trauma’? And ‘no matter how hard you’ll ask me and no matter what consequences my behavior would have, I’m not going to change my ways’?
    After all the individual who made that request (‘please don’t hurt me!’) has taken the first step out of his misery, he did let the rest of us, fellow humans, know of his ‘special condition’.
    If his request is legitimate, we should oblige. If his request is preposterous we should explain that to him. That’s why I don’t understand ‘fuck your trauma’.

    • 231 Ken

      “If his request is legitimate”

      IF!!

      “we should oblige”

      “We”?! Ha! It’s nice that you know how everyone else “should” behave.

      The “fuck your trauma” phrase means your hurts aren’t anyone else’s problems. Literally everyone has problems. Expecting everyone to cater especially to you is the epitome of selfishness. Deal with your problems and I’ll deal with mine. It’s extreme selfishness on your part to expect me to have to deal with yours, too, as if you’re somehow so important everyone else has to change their ways to accomodate you.

      In other words, grow up.

      • “Expecting everyone to cater especially to you is the epitome of selfishness”.
        True enough but how on Earth did you translate my ‘we SHOULD oblige’ – not ‘must’, mind you, only ‘should’ – into ‘I expect everyone to cater especially to me’?
        Yes, you are right. “Literally everybody has problems”. One thing that I learned while growing up, evolving from a selfish brat to an adult who has to fend for himself, is that most problems are easier solved ‘together’ instead of ‘alone’.
        That’s why lions hunt in prides, baboons live in congresses, chimpanzees in troops and we, humans, in gatherings called ‘communities’.
        Yes, I know, ‘herd’ is a nasty word. Communists and nazis/fascists were ample proofs that transforming a people into a herd is a sure way of bringing it that close to disaster. But we should remember though that they were defeated by the collective effort of the Western world, not by any single knight atop the proverbial white horse.
        And no, I don’t consider myself so important as everyone else should change their ways to accommodate me. I consider everybody, me included, so important as to do my best to avoid consciously hurting anybody. Especially so when politely asked.
        Sounds reasonable and mature, don’t you think?

        • 233 John Zhang

          While it is typically easier to solve problems together rather than by oneself, that only applies to when both are productively and constructively resolving the problem (i.e., actually doing something about the problem and recovering). I assume most people give people space and time to absorb and acknowledge a problem, but I highly doubt most of these same people would like to see the affected person hang on to said problem as a medal of valour or worse, ingrain it into their identity.

          If you ask for help in moving past a problem, people (if it’s within their capabilities) will usually aid you in such an endeavour. They’re less likely to assist you if all you want is pity while demanding that people tread lightly on eggshells around you lest you be triggered for the rest of your life.

  44. 235 vic rattlehead

    “If I offended you, you probably needed to be offended… well… here’s my apology, but one more thing… FUCK YOU!
    Cuz you cant bring me down”
    -Mike Muir


  1. 1 “Microaggressions”, “Trigger Warnings”, and the New Meaning of “Trauma” | chrishernandezauthor | jamesbbkk
  2. 2 A FORMER MARINE on “Microaggressions”, “Trigger Warnings”, and the New Meaning of “Trauma”. – the Revision Division
  3. 3 Fuck Your Trauma | Stuff From Hsoi
  4. 4 Good Advice, Freely Given | The Bartelists
  5. 5 Micro | stonesphinxes

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