"Tumblr convention" a total disaster


First, I want to say that I want to go back and carefully read the whole thing. I think you’ve mostly got good points, and a couple of places I might have a rebuttal…but I think after I respond to this, I’m going back to the BoingBoing break (which I’m having trouble doing because I forgot to block emails from Boing Boing)

I think, before we go any further, you’d benefit from going back in the thread and reading through again. Mindysan posed the question earlier in the thread, and it’s almost one of the first questions on there. I responded, making the mistake of using Tumblr in Action as an example, and using examples of people being ridiculous on there.

What I’ve forgotten are a few things: I’m on a website where Reddit is seen as a cesspool of misogyny (which I won’t argue with) and that Tumblr in Action, until the mods recently cracked down on it, had turned into the Anti-Feminism Brigade. Now, to be fair, the people they were quoting were saying some pretty shitty stuff by and large, but that’s how it was and it’s back to poking fun/discussing people who think people are shitlords for sitting and stepping on their invisible dragon tails.

And, of course, in the past, I’ve shared my misgivings about things like the “poisoned M&Ms” analogy, and my misgivings about “not all men”. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to improve the world if we’re not allowed to participate and merely be told shut up, this is what you currently do, this is what you think, and this is how you’re going to change.

And in doing so, I’ve raised the ire of Rob Beschizza, and I’m sure others.

I’m just not sure how anyone would think that the stay-at-home dad of two intelligent daughters would, in all honesty, hate women and want the world to be hostile toward them. I’d just…honestly, if anything, I can condense it down to this: if you feel you’re oppressed, and you feel those people don’t know you’re an oppressor, you have to include them in the conversation in a way that doesn’t piss them off, because they’ll get angry and stop listening.


I will end all that, though, by pointing out that my own views are likely colored by the shitty experience I had in college, where there were some, shall we say, outdated (and fairly radical) views on feminism were in play, as well as some fairly simplistic notions of social justice that tended to be one- or two-dimensional. I try to be a little more open-minded (and quiet) in real life, but online, I tend to “needle” to get people’s true feelings out in the open. And quite often, I run into those same attitudes. I am glad, though, that some talking points I heard back then, have gone to the wayside and are even being attributed to patriarchy.

I appreciate that. I try, I honestly do!

I don’t see BoingBoing as being much different than any other online community; on any given thread about feminism…let’s take the mildly amusing “men talking to women in classic art” thread. How many of those comments are just current talking points? My God, it looked like a feminist, liberal version of a Breitbart comment thread. While it was, yes, a feminist, liberal take on the art, it added nothing of substance other than parroting things like, again, “not all men”. And I don’t get how belittling dudes all the time is going to improve the world. Keep doing it and Adam Carolla will probably bring back The Man Show (yuck.)

Back to my break, as soon as I read your comment.


Just so you know, I dont’ think I ever accused you of being misogynistic nor do I think that you are. I disagree with you on this.

I’d like specific examples of what you saw as talking points… I thought it was a fairly light-hearted discussion?



Yeah, and I just want to say right off the bat, what I’m about to say is just me reporting on it, not me agreeing with it (at least not completely). I used to follow MRAs and agreed with part of it partly due to my frustration from some shitty behavior by people toward me when I’ve had my daughters with me at the park. I since moved away from that because they’re by and large nuts.

The thing is, if you were to go to an MRA and claim that men’s custody issues are a feminist issue, they’re going to tune you out, and you’re likely to get an earful about what I’m about to say. The reason they’re going to tune you out is because while it may seem like a very patriarchial thing to nearly automatically give custody to a woman, the reason we do so was due to feminism.

Now, of course, times have changed. Women can be breadwinners, property owners, and so on; it’s not always a given that the mother is the primary care giver. In that way, it feels like the patriarchy is the sole cause of this doctrine, the presumption that the man is the breadwinner while the woman is the nurturer and caregiver. However, that’s not entirely true.

Before Caroline Norton, custody almost always went to the man, because he was the land owner. She was a prominent feminist in the 19th Century who went through a bitter divorce, and fought to get the Custody of Infants Act of 1839 passed, which gave mothers a lot more rights in custody battles.

While Tender Years Doctrines have been done away with, women still get custody in nearly 80% of cases.

I think we also have to keep in mind that the word “patriarchy” has diverged widely from its etymological roots, but that many people may not be aware of that, so to some MRAs, it might seem to them like feminists are blaming men for the issues they raise.


Oh, it was fairly light-hearted; I just thought the whole thing was vapid. I guess that’s the point, though. :slight_smile:

I mean, let’s face it, a lot of the people who go on about Barry O’Bummer handing out welfare checks to Mexicans just for showing up probably think they’re being lighthearted, too.


Right, but I think those are two different things, no? My comment on that was to say something about manslaining, which is really making fun of people who use that term seriously, so, in theory “my side”. The welfare jokes related to Barry O’bummer and Mexican migrants are really just racist, even if they are meant to be a joke.


I don’t think you know very many people with ASD or OCD. This isn’t just something they can suppress at will, especially not when they’re young. Kids like that don’t need to be made fun of, they need therapy, and the support, guidance, and understanding that comes with it. In some cases, even with the best team of professionals, the behaviors never entirely go away. The best they can do is inform their teacher/classmates that they have this condition, provide a brief explanation of why they act the way they do, and excuse themselves if their symptoms become too disruptive. Putting them in an environment of constant shame and fear often has the opposite effect of helping them, making them withdraw from social situations completely rather than deal with ridicule. Asking a very young child, or even a teenager, to constantly observe themselves from outside all the time for the sake of “normalcy” is extremely stressful. And it’s not like they want to act on these compulsions or emotions; if they had the choice, they’d act “normal” all the time, but they can’t. They’re being punished for something they can’t control. How exactly is bullying going to correct that?

Most of the kids who are bullied for homosexuality aren’t groping people in the halls or making out in public, usually even holding hands is deemed “inappropriate” in the eyes of their peers. In one case, the kid who was bullied wasn’t actually gay, his classmates just came under the shared delusion he was gay. Straight boys who engage in inappropriate sexual behavior like snapping bras or making inappropriate remarks make their female classmates feel unsafe, but more often than not they get away with it, and are often admired by their peers for being “manly.” Girls who exhibit sexually precocious behavior, even if they aren’t harassing anyone, get branded with the scarlet S and subjected to near-constant ridicule. Most of these kids probably don’t even know why these roles “ought to” be enforced, they just blindly enforce them as an excuse to take their frustration out on someone or establish themselves as the higher man/woman on the totem pole.

Most people are accusing you of not taking bullying seriously precisely because you’re downplaying it. Nothing you said gave the impression that the bullying you experienced was particularly severe, only that some people made fun of you a few times. You also don’t seem to take into account that everyone experiences and responds to trauma differently. Some people are fairly resilient, but some people aren’t. You keep asking, “Why doesn’t everyone have as thick skin as me,” as if everyone should experience things the way you do, and everyone who speaks up is a whiner who doesn’t know how the real world works. You can call me naive, but the promise of “stability” is something that is inherent in the public school system. Every student deserves to feel safe when they go to school, especially if their home life is already awful. Having to constantly look over your shoulder in terror of your tormentors can greatly hamper your focus on academics, and can negatively affect your grades and your future. If a school’s students are all but eating each other alive, then that school is not doing its job educating the youth. I am not advocating for security cameras or cattle prods to combat bullying, only for awareness of the toll it takes on people, and to take action whenever you see someone else being harassed. The fact that you’re saying we should sit around and do nothing because “that’s the way things are” makes you sound like the tranquilized masses from 1984.


OK, fair enough. I think at some point I went from devil’s advocate to just pedantic trolling. I don’t think that the problems you raise can be solved, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t complain about them. I don’t think you are representing me fairly, but then again, I haven’t said very much about myself and this is a very personal topic.

So a few personal experiences. One of my ‘tormentors’ was a huge nerd who found a safe niche in his school as a lab assistant. Fair enough, but eventually he bullies me under color of authority with a false accusation. Now, I didn’t go whining about this; I just did my best to point out on-the-spot and in front of the class that his accusation was moronic; ridiculing him, if you will. By the end, he was pretty embarrassed, though it was very tense for me and I was still affected negatively by the incident in ways that I didn’t understand for quite some time. At any rate, I was right to stand up for myself instead of complaining. Moral: if you go shuffling ‘privilege’ around, sometimes all that happens is that other people become the assholes.

In another case, I was technically ‘physically assaulted’ by someone when I insisted that everything is a physical phenomenon, and there is no distinction between physical and mental because, hey, thoughts are just neurons! Now, I say technically because he just bapped me on the head; it was sort of humiliating, but then again in retrospect I was being kind of a prick, and ‘deserved’ it.

The problem is, of course, that if an administrator had seen these two events, the power-hungry false accuser might have been tolerated or even praised, while the ‘assaulter’ might have been suspended. This would be exactly the opposite of what is right.

Oh, I’ve been bullied much worse than the two above, btw; I just chose these because they represent my point.

When I see people complaining about being called “dude” in a generic off-handed way, or claiming that they just can’t handle hearing gum-chewing or a CD skipping because “omg, trauma,” I can’t help but think it’s kind of ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous when I consider that, according to some tumblr definitions, I was gang-raped a few months ago. (Don’t worry, the reality is much more mundane, but y’see, I was drunk, and therefore, according to the consensus definition of certain forums, I have technically been gang-raped, which I find very amusing. I’m not entirely comfortable saying any of this, but I feel like it has to be pointed out: the people whom I think are ridiculous are, in fact, so ridiculous that they would actually claim that I was unknowingly a victim of one of the worst crimes imaginable.)

I could go on in great lucidity about these absurdities, but the short of it is that no one is entitled to feel secure at all times. Feminism and civil rights movement(s) addressed real disparities and inequalities. By contrast, what I see now is people who feel that they deserve to be shielded from human emotion. This is extremely dangerous.


I think the problem is defining what exactly constitutes a “trigger.” The word came into use in the context of PTSD, particularly in those who had been sexually assaulted, in things or scenarios which could trigger panic attacks or dissociative states. It got broadened to include other mental illnesses like suicidal ideation or eating disorders, where being exposed to stimuli could trigger relapses in people who are trying to recover. Lately, though, there hasn’t been an agreement on what “trigger” means, and some people have changed it into a term for things they don’t like. Like the user above; she describes the sound of chewing as unpleasant and vaguely sexual, but I don’t think that’s a trigger. I think that’s an Aspergers-related sensory issue. Not to say that it isn’t important to acknowledge or that it isn’t uncomfortable for her, but I think “trigger” is an incorrect term to use. I have issues with sounds or with being too close to people, and sometimes when I get way too overwhelmed I start to cry and need to excuse myself to someplace quiet and calm down, but those aren’t triggers. Those are sensory issues. And if someone makes a sexually explicit remark to you and you just feel a wave of nausea, that’s not a trigger, that’s reacting normally to a person being a rude creep. If you had straight up panic attacks or uncontrollable physical reactions to to said remark related to PTSD or another mental illness, that is a trigger. Sometimes the word “trigger warning” gets thrown around a lot, but you get the sense that people don’t know what it means, and there have been cases on tumblr where people use social justice terms and trigger warnings to police and bully other users. The feminist/lgbt/social justice/rights/whathaveyou movements are not a monolith, and although there’s people who agree on the term, they don’t necessarily agree on the definition or use it correctly.

I don’t think trigger warnings are necessarily people “playing the victim” or “trying to shield themselves from the world,” because in moderation trigger warnings can be important and useful. When you’ve undergone a trauma that causes you to have flashbacks, it’s important to be able to carve out a safe space for yourself where you can retreat to when things get too much. Of course, pretty much any therapy that treats PTSD will eventually involve coming into contact with the triggering stimulus, if only to break the association your brain has made between the stimulus and the traumatic event. You can’t hide in your safe house forever; sooner or later you’ll have to start taking steps to rejoin the world, however slow and painful progress might be. But trigger warnings do serve a purpose. It’s important for someone to be able to set up boundaries, and for people to be mindful of and respect those boundaries.

Regarding your experience with rape/assault, I don’t think we necessarily have the same definition of it. You seem to think of rape as an inherently violent crime, usually done by a stranger in a ski mask who hops out of the bushes with a knife. But to the hypothetical folks you describe, the issue lies not with the violence or force of the crime, but the fact that you were in an altered mental state. Someone who’s drunk can’t consent because their inhibitions have been lowered by chemicals, and they may not have made the same decision when they were sober. Of course, how it’s dealt with should be up to the person who experienced it. If you think it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t cause you harm, then perhaps it’s best to drop it. But if you were uncomfortable, you had every right to be uncomfortable, since those people were essentially taking advantage of you while you were unconscious. “Rape” also isn’t the correct legal term for experiences where forced penetration isn’t involved, it’s more like sexual or physical assault or verbal harassment, but a lot of MRAs seem to think that feminists call everything “rape” willy-nilly, which is not true.

Although women now have the right to vote and work, there are still a lot of messed up attitudes about sex and relationships that are holdovers from the time when women were essentially property. There’s this idea that all sexual contact must be spontaneous with no communication between partners whatsoever, otherwise it isn’t genuine, but a lot of women have been speaking up about how they aren’t comfortable with that. That’s especially true of inexperienced girls who are still figuring out what they want and don’t want. Feminists aren’t pushing for a victim culture or a strict way of having “correct” sex, but for better sexual etiquette that ensures all parties involved can communicate effectively and won’t have regrets later. Heck, the current construct of consent didn’t necessarily begin with feminism, but with the BDSM community, and it certainly hasn’t hampered their enjoyment. Of course, the idea of a safe sexual encounter where the boundaries are clearly established and you can stop at any time had a lot of appeal for women for very understandable reasons, hence why sexual rights activists began to co-opt the terms. And the same should go for men as well. Your body belongs to you, not to anyone else, and you should be the one who decides what happens to it. You shouldn’t have to apologize for setting boundaries, or feel ashamed and emasculated for saying “no.” A lot of cases of domestic violence or sexual abuse come from people not respecting these boundaries, or pressuring their partners into not having boundaries, so these can be tools to call a spade a spade and fight back before the situation gets any worse.


I got so sick of engaging in fruitless Tumblr snipe-hunts that I finally wrote a bookmarklet to make it easier to search for sources. One click and you avoid the bad layouts and missing text of so many Tumblrs.


What about a browser extension that allows rightclicking the image and sending it to Google Image Search? I don’t remember the exact name but it works fairly well.


Oh I use a couple of those as well (both Google image and TinEye), but oftentimes the results will be clogged with the hundreds or thousands of reblogs on Tumblr. Plus there’s the “awesome” Tumblr habit of users screenshotting their dashboard and sharing that instead of the original image.


Could sorting by time work? Look at the oldest matches first?


You’d think so, but it’s never been all that useful when I’ve had to go looking for something.

And anyways there’s more to Tumblr than images. Text is a bit easier to search for, but videos and sound files are nightmarish to find.


Point taken.


First of all, thanks for your civil response!

Well, okay, it seems like I was wrong about the origin of that information. Thanks for ponting it out to me. But it doesn’t really change my point, because I was never tying to lay blame, but pointing out how it has been bad for both sides, which is still true. If someone were to come to me and claim that it’s not a feminist issue at all because it was feminists’ “fault”, they’d be the ones pointing fingers and ignoring how many women have been forced to take care of their children alone, often resulting in povetry. Essentially, these issues are two sides of the same coin. I can’t think of a single gender issue that only negatively affects one gender.

This should be a good thing; recognizing these issues affect both genders (not always in equal amounts of course) will get twice as many people to take action and creates deeper understanding of gender issues. But you said that MRA are likely to tune me out if I were to point this out to them, which makes me afraid to champion the idea of intertwined gender issues.

I read the thread again and don’t see what I missed. I’m guessing you never read the thread fullly, because you don’t see to understand what I meant when I said that “this is the perfect example of what I’m talking about”.

I know Mindysan asked the question (in not just one of the first posts, but the very first post). And the problem wasn’t you answering her, it’s the way the whole conversation got twisted.

Your first post was fine - while I believe your examples were kind of bad and you didn’t make your point any stronger with more examples and mocking, you were voicing your opinion in direct reply to a question. I did cringe a little bit at your unnecessary “I’m sure there are “OMG there are girls here eww” types, though.” comment, become it comes off as somewhat belittling, implying as if those straw-men sexists are the only kind to be worried about (again, sexism =/= loudly sexist haters) and dismissing the real cornerns about how much crap teen girls can sometimes get in our society, often in subtle ways.

Mindysan said to you that she doesn’t see the appeal in having a community where you just ridicule people (or “oddballs and and the easily offended”, in your words). Your reply (about how people on BB make fun of rednecks and sexists too) is puzzlingly passive-agressive and it sounds like you’re not really talking to Mindysan anymore but rather some straw-man. Mindysan had been arguing the whole time that just ridiculing people helps no one, so pointing out that some people on what you perceive to be “her side” do this as well doesn’t counter anything she has said.

It’s your next post where it took a real nose dive, because you severely misundertood something Mindysan had said. You quoted a part of Mindysan’s second post, where she said this:

“But yes, let’s keep shitting on teen girls because we think they are “dumb”. That will end well, I’m sure.”

This was in reply to retchdog, who was arguing exactly what she’s disapproving; that it’s okay to ridicule teens because they’re stupid and egostical and deserve to be brought down. At this point, they weren’t even talking about whether there’s sexism involved (because retchdog didn’t believe so), they were talking about teens on Tumblr in general; Mindysan even specified that she’s not talking about the convention organizers but Tumblr users (of which many are young girls) in the paragraph above the one you quoted. Somehow you took this to mean that she was saying that it’s not okay to criticize the organizers who took 17,000 dollars, and you somehow also combined that with the ideas about sexism from her first post and assumed she’s accusing people who do so of misogyny. You ended your with the very cringe-worthy “Do we really want to build a brave new world where women are exempt from criticism?” which showed how us vs. them mentality even though the sides you perceived to be in this thread didn’t exist. Implying that women who complain about sexism wish to be free from critisicm is a staple form of mockery for those who dismiss the real corncerns of women, and it didn’t really do you any favors to end with that note.

Mindysan tried to explain what she had meant to you in a clearly frustrated but surpringly patient way, even though she really didn’t need to, because it’s not like she hadn’t explained herself clearly. She even points out that the people who she was talking about, regular Tumblrs users, were catually the people who were victims of this scam/whatever. Your only response to her is that it was her fault the conversation turned this way. You then also completely unnecessarily added two more examples, now with pictures too, of people saying ridiculous things on Tumblr, at which point it just seemed like you were going out of your way to make a point. To someone who disagrees with the very idea of a community dedicated to ridiculing others and their views, seeing someone go on mocking (mostly) feminist views just seems spiteful. Defending a community which can get carried away in its mockery and really hurt people in he process doesn’t put you in a very good light either.

I think that’s why Rob and others were so frustrated with you in this thread. Misreading something and letting that turn into a hostile attitude, and taking a question about why people mock Tumblr as an opportunity to showcase how you dislike some extreme feminists and their unique views. Considering that this is not the first time you’re talking about these things in Boing Boing, regular readers can’t help but think “here he goes again”.

What I find extremely dangerous is people like you who think they have the right to decide for other people what they are allowed to feel bad about. The chewing thing is just a minor thing for me and I brought it up only as an example of how PTSD can manifest itself in all kinds of weird things. It’s just a small part of a larger trauma that I battle with everyday, but dismissing it as ridiculous (which now both you and Shane Simmons have done) or using it as an example of overly-sensitive people wanting to be protected from the world (which I have never done or asked for) really undermines efforts to get people to listen and understand how people with PTSD feel.

And how in the world is saying “I find this thing triggering” asking to be shielded from the world? There’s nothing wrong with just talking about them. I have never asked for any trigger warnings here or anywhere else. It’s true that there are some people in the internet who want warnings for some rare triggers and I don’t think the world has any obligation to comply. I actually think that even warnings for common triggers aren’t absolutely necessary (wise, maybe, but not the responsibility of people who post things online), but I understand why others ask to have them and I think that should be respected. If something (like a video with explicit rape scene which comes out of the blue) is likely to bother a number of people, a trigger warning might not hurt. The point of the warning isn’t to “shield them from the world”. It’s just to give them a heads up so people can be ready for it, and if they are in a state of mind where they don’t think it’s a good idea to face those feelings, they can avoid it. Believe me, when you have PTSD, you live with the anxiety constantly. You know you have to face those emotions, but doing so in your own terms and at your own pace is the key to PTSD theraphy. Sadly, not many people understand this key component of living with trauma nor do they care enough to try to learn to understand. Maybe they’ve seen a few people ask for warnings for weird triggers and start painting all rape victims with the same brush and assume they’re overly-sensitive whiners. “Oh, she claims to be triggered by chewing? She must be one of those people who want to be shielded from their emotions!”

Why are you so bothered by people talking (on the internet, no less) about being hurt by things that you deem ridiculous, anyway? I know a lot of people like you, who like to recount things they’ve experienced and think that because they got through it, others aren’t allowed to “complain” about it. When you use yourself as the yardstick for how others are supposed to respond to different problems, you get some really skewed results, especially because you aren’t gonna have any personal experience of most things. While it’s true that there will always be people who are dicks and you will always have to deal with things that make you anxious, it doesn’t mean that we should just shrug and say “that’s life”. Bullying is very common, but we should still try to decrease it and take every case seriously because it can really hurt people. The kind of attitude you have is the reason why bullying flourishes; acting like the problem is the victim who can’t take it and complains about it, instead of the people who are being assholes.

No one is “entitled” to feeling secure in this world, but helping people by trying to understand their problems and maybe altering their own behavior to a reasonable extent is not only be easy, but what being a human is all about. In most cases, anxiety can only be countered by the person themselves, no one else. But the road can be long - you can’t just immediately try to “suck it up”, you talk about it with close friends or a therapist, gain confidence and experience, slowly come into contact with the stimulus that makes you anxious until you can live with (it rarely goes away completely). It’s true that in this world, you often have to be tough, but ridiculing people who are in a bad place only makes things worse. That doesn’t mean you have to pamper them (you seem to think there are only two options, honest ridicule or completely shielding someone from everything they don’t like); if it’s a close person, you can even use harshly honest words as long as they are supportive words. It certainly helped me to have someone kicking me in the butt when I was so depressed that I had a hard time getting out of bed or eating anything. But if someone had instead ridiculed my feelings and told me to get over it, well… I don’t even want to know. Your “ridicule people to bring them down to earth” idea might only work if the issue isn’t very serious and you say it to someone who is already self-confident and also close to you. Support, understanding and honesty are what friends should give to someone who is having some real problems, the rest is up to them.

No, it is a trigger. You’re making a really strange distinction there that doesn’t exist and while I know you have good intentions, you’re really making it harder for rape victims to get people to listen what they are saying. Are you saying that the trigger must be directly related to the rape (or other traumatic event) in order to count? It doesn’t work that way. The brain can make the weirdest connections. It’s called a trigger because some events trigger those same feelings you had during the trauma and start looping it.

You seem to think that because you also have similiar Asperger’s related sensitivity, you know how I feel and can tell what is or isn’t a trigger. Like I said, I think the Asperger’s sometimes plays a part in it by making me extra sensitive to certain things, but it’s my PTSD that takes those stimuli the wrong way. There are times when sounds and touches bother me in a way that has nothing to do with PTSD. Then there are things that, for a reason or another, trigger me and bring me back to that same anxious, unsafe feeling I had when I was raped. I know that feeling; it’s hard to explain, but it’s not like normal anxiety, it’s more severe and has a definite sexual undertone that always makes me feel unsafe and disgusted with myself (like I’m dirty). Sometimes it goes straight to a full blown panic attack and I feel like I can’t breathe, but like all anxiety, it’s a whole scale and can also just makes me feel very uncomfortable and unsafe (which, if I can’t get it under control, can turn into a panic attack).

I can’t believe I actually have to try to convince people that yes, that feeling I get definitely brings me back to the day I was anally raped. It feels quite surreal, like a setup for a post-moden joke.

Now I really need a break and just need to go do something that lets my mind rest and not think about all this, like play a video game.


I’m so sorry. I don’t have PTSD, so I don’t really understand how Asperger’s interacts with it. The way you describe it makes it definitely sound more like a trigger than a sensory related issue. I’m extremely sorry if I hurt you, I didn’t understand the situation. I need to read things more closely before replying.


It’s alright. I can understand how what I described can sound similiar to what you’ve experienced and how knowing one part of the equation (the sensitivity that stems from Asperger’s) could lead to the mistaken assumption that you understand all of it. It just feels frustrating when even someone who’s opinions I completely agree with and who didn’t dismiss my feelings assumed I must be talking about something other than a trigger. I wish you would’ve at least formed it as a questuon instead of a statement.

Believe me, it’s pretty hard to confuse other anxieties or sensitivities with PTSD when you have it, even though different problems do affect each other, so if a person says that they find something triggering, they aren’t going to be mistaken. I don’t understand why I’d lie or exeggerate about this, either (I know you’re not implying that, but others were) - I’m just putting myself out there to be mocked, not much to gain from that. I used the gum-chewing trigger as an example of how PTSD can manifest itself in strange ways and hoped it would help people understand how triggers work, how it always forces you into a certain state of high alert (it’s almost a dissociative feeling, like you’re living that traumatic event again but only the feelings, not really “remembering” it in the usual sense). The triggers aren’t built in stone, either - a lot of it has to do with your current state of mind, your surroundings and so on. For example, not every single rape scene in a movie triggers me, but it’s much more likely if it’s realistic and if the woman screams or cries a lot. Sometimes it can be hard to explain what exactly pushed you over the edge - your brain can associate the strangest things with the trauma. So people talking about what is an “acceptable” trigger and dismissing others if they sound ridiculous to them are missing the point by a mile. Do people doubt people who get PTSD from a war like this, too? I bet not.


I’m a little late coming back to the thread, but before it times out, I wanted to thank you not only for such a long, well-thought out, and patient post, but also for making me look at things in a new way. Your thoughts on why chewing is triggering for some people are some things I’ve never thought about, likely due to my own privilege, but bear knowing in the future. I did understand the Asperger’s bit, although I don’t have that, or at least have never been diagnosed, I do have sensitivities to certain bizarre things that other people have no problem with, and so would refrain from ridiculing somebody on that basis alone, but you set out a very valid reason people with certain history might find it legitimately upsetting… not enough that obviously people, in general, should just stop chewing, or probably even warn people that they’re going to, but that if somebody has a problem with that, you should deal with it with consideration rather than dismissively.

And in general, your post was gold, a like was not enough.

closed #106

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