It used to be expected that as a student you may have to confront ideas that you may not agree with. But more specifically, as a law student, this should have been de rigeur. Courts are confrontational and the details of many cases most people would find hard to bear.
So I was surprised recently when my lecturer paused and turned to the side of the room where the majority of girls taking this class were sat, and where I myself happened to be sitting. “Just a warning”, he said, somewhat worried, “the next slide might be slightly offensive to you ladies as it can be seen as sexist.”
You might have expected that students would have been offended by the underlying belief that, they, as law students, were mentally incapable of processing a ruling that they personally disagreed with and required a so called trigger warning enabling them to look away if they wanted to opt out of this bit of legal history.
No. In fact, I saw some of them tut and shake their heads in disbelief.
“What? How could this be?”
“How could he possibly be using a case with an anti-feminist outcome to demonstrate the history of that area of law? What an absolute travesty.”
Intrigued, I dug a little deeper. Then I realised that it’s finally happened. Feminists have run out of things to find offensive so they’re now offending themselves.
Before I even knew that ‘trigger warnings’ were even a thing, feminists had already decided that the term itself was offensive. They now, according to seminal extreme-feminist blog, Everyday Feminism the term ‘trigger warning’ could indeed be triggering to people who have had violent experiences as it could ironically, trigger imagery of weaponry, a much too harsh an image for our fragile minds.
The content warning allows feminists, much like a 12-year-old watching an 18-rated movie at a sleepover, to be warned that they may be upset by the content. And considering this same blog post states the author finds looking at the cover of a Terry Pratchett novel triggers her, despite having never read one, I have a feeling ‘content warnings’ will be used a lot.
Didn’t feminists once claim to be fighting to be seen as strong and emotionally capable?
“We’re just as physically and emotionally strong as men”, I used to hear them scream. Yet here we are being given a so called content warning that we may be mildly offended, like some delicate flower or a child being told that ripping of the plaster ‘might hurt a little’. It’s time to rip of the reality plaster. Outside of your safe space bubble the world doesn’t walk on eggshells. As the muscles in your neck grow sore from shaking your head, the rest of the world’s eyes grow tired from rolling them back too far.
Digging a little deeper into Everyday Feminism, a bible for feminists, if you will, I found a handy definition of a content warning. ‘A very simple statement at the beginning of an article, film, or comic that lets the audience know that something potentially distressing will appear’ but with everything from the word ‘trigger’ to beloved fantasy novelists upsetting an army of women, it’s difficult to know where to draw the line.
I’m not entirely sure that Emily Davison jumped in front of the King’s horse so a group of people could tell young girls they should be scared to turn the next page. Less than 100 years after women gained the vote on the basis that we are not completely irrational and over emotional, the third wave of feminism seems to be hell bent on proving we are.
And finally, to all the feminists out there offended after reading this, refer back to the title. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Eva Henderson is a second year Law and English Literature student at Bangor University, Yorkshire lass, and proud former chambermaid.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty