The use of the word or meme ‘triggered’ has become popular on social media. It is typically used as an insult or as a joke to refer to feminists who take offense at harmful things being said or done in society.
It has to stop.
Why? Let me break this down for you.
- Being triggered is a real symptom of PTSD
An actual symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is that an individual can experience triggers from something they see on the news or internet for example, that can set off negative emotional responses including anger, anxiety, flashbacks, pain, fear, sadness and panic. Being triggered can cause physical responses such as loss of appetite, shaking, fatigue, racing heart beat and so much more.
Being triggered is NOT a laughing matter. It is not a joke. It’s not funny.
It is a real fucking symptom of PTSD. Have some sensitivity.
Stop using triggered as an insult or a joke because not only is it insensitive and rude. It dismisses, trivialises, undermines and ignores the severity of what it means to experience mental illness and trauma.
2. It is fucking dismissive and rude
We often see people using ‘triggered’ as an insult to show that feminists overreact or are easily provoked by issues that affect us.
It’s not a joke that we are affected by the gender wage gap. It’s not a joke that we are angered by sexual assault. It’s not a joke that we are offended by sexist rhetoric. We are affected and angered by such things. Stop dismissing our feelings as just being ‘triggered’. Stop undermining our anger as just being ‘triggered.’ Stop trivialising our opinions as just being ‘triggered’. It’s rude.
My disgust and anger to racist, sexist and homophobic remarks have personally been dismissed as just being ‘triggered.’ I was in a political group on Facebook as part of my university and there were some racist, homophobic, sexist things being said in it. Horrendous things like ‘anyone who doesn’t identify as male or female are just pretending so they can be different.’ One group member’s response to Islamophobia was ‘if Muslims weren’t here in the first place they wouldn’t have to deal with such confronting and offensive imagery !!!!’
Of course I was pissed, disgusted, offended and angered by such horrendous remarks. I spoke out about the things being said to a woman’s group, but the initial response from the political group was that I was just triggered and that nobody should ‘provoke her please.’
Absolutely I was provoked by such racist, homophobic, sexist remarks – but don’t dismiss my outrage as just being ‘triggered’.
3. It perpetuates the culture of victim blaming
When people dismiss the reactions, feelings and opinions of feminists or anyone for that matter, as just being ‘triggered’, they are effectively perpetuating the culture of victim blaming. They are placing the blame on women for feeling the way they do, they are placing the blame on women for being angered by things that are outright offensive. They are shaming women who stand up to harmful sexist, racist, bigoted rhetoric and actions.
With all this ‘triggered’ rhetoric and victim blaming, I’m genuinely concerned that society has lots its grips with basic concepts of right and wrong. With justice and injustice.
We see victim blaming all the time. It’s the kind of attitude that attacks and criticises the conduct of the victim, instead of the perpetrators of a crime. It’s the sentiment that somehow the victim is at fault for the wrongdoings committed against them, or worse that the victim deserves the harm.
We see it in cases of rape, revenge porn, image-based sexual assault. If she wasn’t wearing such revealing clothes she wouldn’t have been raped. If she didn’t send nude photos, he wouldn’t have uploaded them online. If she didn’t post risqué photos to social media, they wouldn’t be photo shopped into porn. If she was being abused at home she should’ve just left him.
Have we all gone fucking mad?
When Kim Kardashian West was robbed of millions of dollars worth of jewellery at gunpoint, and reportedly tied-up and gagged by a couple of masked men in a Paris hotel. The public reaction was extremely telling of where we are at with our views toward women and how much we are blaming the victim instead of the perpetrators. It’s ridiculous that the public outcry was to blame her for the robbery because of her celebrity status, or what she wears or because she shouldn’t have been flaunting her wealth – instead of condemning the perpetrators.
This insensitive, dismissive and disgusting ‘triggered’ craze needs to STOP. Seriously.