This One’s Mine: Women and Narratives in ‘Hamilton’

I love Hamilton as much as the next person with ears. And though I don’t think the play (as many people claim) puts its women characters on the same level as the men, I do think it does some great stuff: Namely, putting them back in the narrative.

It would be hard to argue that Hamilton, which follows Alexander Hamilton’s rise from “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a scotsman dropped in a middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean” to wise (if unliked) founding father to whom we owe our financial system, is really a story about the women. There are only four women characters with names. Only two of those are very prominent, and neither has a storyline independent of Hamilton’s actions.

But the play is tangled up in legacy and historiography, and even as we see women getting sidelined for the fathers of the revolution (ex: Angelica (as a character) opting to stay in the status quo instead of break out of it) we also see a major shift in the narrative. And that shift’s name is Eliza.

"Oooh/ I do, I do, I do, I doooo"
“Oooh/ I do, I do, I do, I doooo”

Eliza starts (intentionally or not) surrendering her agency and hoping for a quiet life—two of her repeated refrains for Act I are “helpless” and “that would be enough.” “Non-Stop” and “Take a Break” trace this theme for her, pleading with Alexander to take some time out for the family. It’s only once his betrayal is brought to light (“The Reynolds Pamphlet”) that she’s able to channel what Alexander has been lamenting to her all these years: Take control of your legacy. And she does, “erasing herself from the narrative” in “Burn” by burning all the letters she’s written to Alexander over the years. It’s an acknowledgement of the stories even Lin-Manuel Miranda cannot pull out of his hat; some groups fall beyond history’s record.

Ultimately, she forgives Alexander—and largely because the death of their son Phillip prompts him to move closer to her end of the spectrum. During “It’s Quiet Uptown” Alexander’s melody is closer to Eliza’s than it’s ever been, while Eliza’s silence makes a point of the choices she makes. By the end of the play, when Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr ends in Alexander’s death, Eliza firmly takes the reins on the narrative: She picks up where Alexander left off, ensuring he’ll have the legacy he always wanted, in the account personally tailored by her (and later one of their son).

This is not evidence that Hamilton is Eliza’s narrative from the beginning. It’s decidedly somewhere between Hamilton and Burr. But it illuminates why they were missing from the narrative to begin with. It helps elucidate the societal context that they grew up in, and recognizes the strength and emotional labor they had within that framework. Eliza’s strength is an echo and a precursor to so much today, from The Good Wife to #GiveYourMoneyToWomen. It’s part of Hamilton‘s magic, allowing for more voices in the narrative than once thought. It’s about how there’s more than one story, and important stories and not yielded from the perspective of one person. And especially not just one man.

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Some of my best friends are white males

In my Twitter journeys this morning, I happened across an article from Todd VanDerWerff in which he recommends USA’s new show “Mr. Robot” as an alternative specifically to viewers who have put up with enough from “True Detective.”

“Men are forever defining themselves against some weird, hidden code of masculinity that supposedly their grandfathers had access to but they can’t seem to crack,” writes VanDerWerff. “So let me suggest something else: Literally everything fans say they want from True Detective is being done much better by a ridiculously titled show on the USA Network about a computer hacker: Mr. Robot. The show, which airs new episodes on Wednesdays and is available on Hulu, is one of the best in years about what it means to be a man in modern America.”

The article definitely got me on the hook to finally go watch “Mr. Robot” (though I didn’t read the whole thing because spoiler alert). But it also tapped into a concept that’s been crossing my mind lately: I am inherently more interested in “other” stories. And white male protagonists have to prove themselves to me.

I’m not trying to be here for tokenism, but I am tired of “unbelievability” being the basis for centering stories on white, male (and usually cis, straight, well-off, etc.). “Boyhood” won me over, but had its protagonist been a woman or a black kid coming up in Texas it would’ve been infinitely more interesting.

The double-edged sword is because stories from those who don’t see themselves reflect in the media are always inherently politicized. “Boyhood” had the comfort of not having a thesis; of meandering through its hero’s adolescent development. But a black kid? A woman? A trans person? Not so much. They’re victims of what I once heard described as the “Sailor Moon principle.”

Picture of Sailor Moon See the titular Sailor Moon, in her every day life as Usagi, is far from the elegant anime hero you’ve seen on backpacks and comics in the ’90s. She’s lazy, she loves eating, she’s unabashedly in love, and honestly? She’s kind of a ditz. If you dropped her character in an otherwise all-male cast, she would get dragged. No one wants her to be the representation of womanhood. But because her title is chock full of strong women, each their own individual with their own shortcomings and strengths, she’s a much more successful character.

In many ways I suppose this philosophy circles back a lot to my sincere belief that representation in the media matters. But it’s also just true that the inherent politicization extends far beyond the media we consume; if you don’t fit into a societal norm that area of your life is always more heavily politicized, whether you like it or not. It’s a pain to live with. But it’ll always add another degree to your story that will make it more interesting than it would’ve been with a run-of-the-mill white male protagonist. (One of my favorite Tumblr ideas I can’t find the link for is to swap out all white male protagonists for old Grandmas to make a story instantly more interesting. “Ocean’s 11,” “Goodfellas,” you name it)

Kerry Bishe as Donna Clark and Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe - Halt and Catch Fire _ Season 2, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Annette Brown/AMC“Friday Night Lights” won me over by the end. But “Friday Night Lights” with women in the lead roles? More lesbian subplots? Here for it. I’m currently watching through “Halt and Catch Fire,” and though I’ve loved Lee Pace for a while, this show is a lot more interesting to me since I found out it’s (spoiler alert) setting up a finale where Cameron and Donna start their own company. As I muck through the early episodes, I’m a lot more interested in the casual subversion of “Halt and Catch Fire” if it’s leading to leaving AMC’s classic anti-hero arc behind for greener, women-led pastures.

I’m still interested in the way our culture explores and builds masculinity. Like I said, VanDerWerff makes a compelling case for “Mr. Robot,” despite it being focused on yet another white male. But I’m not as interested in giving these stories an automatic greenlight anymore.

We should all be exploring diverse voices. Especially when women and people of color can’t even use theirs without being policed.

Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comedians

It’s been two weeks and this Amy Schumer story won’t die, so I guess that means it’s time for my two cents.

Like seemingly every other comedian, Schumer is experiencing the double edged sword of virality: Sure your talents are exhaulted, but then people find your old stuff. Your non-PC stuff.

In Schumer’s case it’s about race, and the problematic blindspot she seems to have for at least latinx people. And in the grand tradition of comedians on social media, Schumer jumped in to defend herself.

There are many arguments I suppose one could make for Schumer here: Stand-up comedy is always a sort of hit-or-miss medium, and often times comedians judge their success in the moment after a joke is told. Digging through any joker’s past is sure to illicit a few skeletons and jokes that bombed (or should’ve, or would if told today).

The difference is, Schumer was so beloved because of her unabashed focus on taking on controversial issues (like rape, equal pay, and feminism in the media) and punching up. And if you look at that list of things she’s tackled, the most successful ones are where Schumer is speaking from her own lane: White womanhood. From here, Schumer is able to root in (presumably) her own experience and voice and stick it to the man.

So what makes Schumer’s response so disappointing is that she’s defending material that ultimately isn’t coming from her own viewpoint, but from the viewpoint of an ally who believes they’re servicing the greater good. But here’s the thing about being an ally: You don’t get to decide when you’re in the right. You sit down, shut up, and listen when disenfranchised communities tell you they feel wronged by you.

Arguably Schumer’s response is that of a comedian, dismissing complaints as people who might not understand her “edgy” comedy, instead of hearing what are essentially critiques of her job performance. If Schumer took the time to hear the complaints, she could make herself a stronger comic, and an unstoppable force in today’s needlessly PC-phobic world of comedy. Instead she’s just telling 1995 edgy comedy to a 2015 club. It’s not falling on deaf ears, but we don’t need to hear more of it.

 

Set the Scene

I have never been a huge “Hannibal” fan. To summarize reasons I may still get to at a later time, it fell in a camp similar to “True Detective” for me: I appreciated the artistry, imagination, and visual feast of the show, but could not get on board with the pseudo-philosophical debates and interactions that were sprinkled so heavily throughout the hour.

But in my own way I am sad to see it go. Bryan Fuller has written plenty of shows that deserve all the acclaim and viewers they never had; his dreamy style different but always imaginative. In “Hannibal,” Fuller’s phantasmagorical style was on full display—from the art house production to the fact that Hannibal gets up to an awful lot of shit without anyone being the wiser. But perhaps the best was Fuller’s refusal to put sexual violence in the show.

This publicity image released by NBC shows Danish actor Mads Mikkelson as Dr. Hannial Lecter in a scene from the upcoming TV series,

“It’s one of the things on the show that we really wanted to avoid. They’re ubiquitous on television, and there’s an entire series [NBC’s Law & Order: SVU] that’s about rape,” Fuller told Entertainment Weekly. “We didn’t wanna glorify it—well, not “glorify,” because I don’t think any of the crime procedural shows are actually “glorifying” rape. But it is certainly explored so frequently that it rarely feels genuine…And I’m saying this as somebody who can derive immense entertainment from cannibalism – there’s an irony to cannibalism that I find horrific and amusing. I can totally get behind cannibalism and have fun with it. But rape? Not so much.”

Of course Fuller’s response was contrasted with “Game of Thrones” who, as I’ve written before, have struggled to find the words to defend their use of sexual violence. The parallels are pretty easy: Both are drawing from source material that heavily features sexual violence, particularly towards its women. To George R.R. Martin and the showrunners it would be unrealistic to feature this fantasy world without any sort of general expectation of violence against women.

But Fuller’s approach demonstrates a subtle shift in how television (at least) is being packaged, with a greater enlightenment towards social justice—beyond just the greater push for diversity (yay!). He’s showing that a world can be ethereal yet grounded, and violent without being off-putting.

It’s not that rape doesn’t exist in the world of “Hannibal.” But by deemphasizing it the audience doesn’t have to weigh their feelings about the show against its treatment of women, and arguably Fuller is able to handle the discussion around the repercussions of sexual violence in the universe in a much more levelheaded fashion.

This is only better because immediately after he says
This only gets better because immediately after he says “I stand with Wendy!”

But it’s not just “Hannibal.” Take Andy Samberg’s character on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Jake Peralta. He’s a goof, brash, and a good cop. As they say in the show “Jake is stupid, but he’s smart.” And when you watch the show, he has a subtle (or not so much) feminist streak. He respects Amy’s decision to not date him, he calls out catcallers, he makes a point to respect women (even when he’s trashtalking Rosa).

On its own it could just be a one-off, just great writing in a character that could easily be unlikeable. But what “B99” and Fuller have done is show that a showrunner’s scope of the world doesn’t have to drag others through the mud and, what’s more, that those choices aren’t inherent to any world or another. “Mad Max: Fury Road” definitely showed that even stories that focus on violence done to women can give women agency and center stage in that same world.

Because if a cannibal, a cop, and a apocalyptic wasteland can be feminist and forward thinking, why can’t we all?

The Unbearable Feminism of Whedon

To preface all of this, I haven’t seen “Avengers: Age of Ultron” yet. By circumstantial law I am bound to see it either with my best friend or for Mother’s Day, and neither of those things have happened yet.

I have, however, managed to follow along with the controversy. Particularly once Joss Whedon left Twitter. Because although he left his reasons initially secret, the ensuing madness made clear that Whedon was just the latest victim in the radical feminist’s war against everybody. (He’s since come out and said that is “horseshit” and that everyone should move on; I’m looking at you Oswalt) Joss Whedon

Despite being a card-carrying, self-identified feminist, Whedon frequently faces blowback over his works because people find them so anti-woman sometimes. They’re not wrong either. Whedon’s track record of writing complex and strong women is equally rife with narratives that abuse and punish those same women. His brand of feminism is often stalled, somewhere in the 90s girl power/white feminism movement, leaving all else as sort of collateral.

But the thing I’d argue could never be said about Whedon is that he is simple. His narratives are always complicated, involved, and in my experience largely two-sided. In that latter part I am specifically referring to (what I have inferred about) the debate around Black Widow’s role in “Age of Ultron.” To simplify her to merely a love-interest (and later experiences with fertility) robs the arc of quiet revolution it achieves just by flipping the narrative between Natasha and Bruce.

8438f1df93ca7ee304d23fb44b2f57d7ab7f1a1fJoss Whedon isn’t perfect, and nor is his body of work. It deserves to be discussed in-depth, and analyzed from a perspective of social justice because everything does. But it’s important to me to remember that Whedon is both more and less self-aware than people give him credit for. He’s a straight, white, cis, privileged male who won’t get it right necessarily because he doesn’t know better (that’s what privilege is). But on the other, he strikes me as a guy who’s trying.

“For someone like Anita Sarkeesian to stay on Twitter and fight back the trolls is a huge statement,” he said. “It’s a statement of strength and empowerment and perseverance, and it’s to be lauded. For somebody like me to argue with a bunch of people who wanted Clint and Natasha to get together [in the second Avengers film], not so much. For someone like me even to argue about feminism — it’s not a huge win. Because ultimately I’m just a rich, straight, white guy. You don’t really change people’s minds through a tweet. You change it through your actions. The action of Anita being there and going through that and getting through that and women like her — that says a lot.” –part of Whedon’s statement on why he left

But then, we’ll find out when I finally get to see “Age of Ultron.”

All the White Ladies

It’s that time of year again: When Autumn starts to fall into Winter. Or, for me, the time of year when my schedule fills up with movies to see, reviews to write, and opinions to share. For those who might not know, right now is the part in the yearly movie cycle where the films churned out are in prime placement for consideration for Golden Globes and Oscars. Like I mentioned, that also means there’s a sincere uptick in not only the quality (and/or intensity) of the movies coming out, but a significant uptick in speculation around those movies.

I will be among the first to admit that I place no solace in awards, accolades, or even reviews to a certain extent. Movies will resonate with me in their–and mine–own way; if I liked it then I’ll tell you why, and fuck the haters. But I still know a good talking point when I see one, and unfortunately for me award season is that.

Now we’re past discussions that purely talk about what we thought of the movie, or (my favorite) what gems of wisdom, insight, or genius we can mine from the film. No, now it’s all about the politics of what merits an award that pretty much everyone agrees means nothing but we all desperately care about.

And right now we’re at the time when we’re not just speculating about who will win, we’re speculating about who will even be nominated. It’s that much of a circlejerk. Thus press circuits turn to campaigns, interviews turn to stump speeches, and largely that stumping pays off. Almost any film critic or culture writer could write pages on awards that went to the wrong person who played the game better or had a stronger producer backing them (even though they don’t care and they’re total bullshit anyway).

Which is why the latest Hollywood Reporter cover has me disappointed: they basically took the opportunity to convene a room full of white women to discuss issues that “face women in Hollywood.”

Look at that diversity
Look at that diversity

I get it, ok? It’s not like it was a particularly banner year for women of color in media. But since we’re still in the age of speculation, why can’t we even try to think outside the box? The women in this piece gave great performances, some gave outstanding ones. But pretending like that makes them any more qualified to discuss the issues facing women in Hollywood is total horsecrock.

I would wager that there are issues facing women of color in Hollywood that this piece couldn’t even begin to touch on (nor should it, with a lineup like that), so clearly that’s not what the magazine is really trying to get at. They’re all about playing the game.

If The Hollywood Reporter–one of the biggest trade mags in the biz–can’t see the cyclical nature of these sort of self-fulfilling prophecies that go around and around each year, then I don’t know what to tell you. They clearly know that there’s a game being played, because they’re staking a major amount of real estate in their magazine to get in on the action. And with the amount of white in that room I think it’s blindingly clear where they stand.

 

Run the World: Why I’m part of the Beyhive

This post is a response to my brilliant friend Eleanor’s post “No Angel: Why I’m not part of the Beyhive.” 

 

Beyonce is everywhere. It’s been almost two decades since she busted onto the scene with Destiny’s Child and she’s still as relevant as ever. Perhaps more so as a solo artist, seeing as how last December she dropped a surprise album that all but broke the Internet. She’s surpassed simple pop star status; she is a lifestyle.

She is no longer merely human, she has been deified. The pop cult has made her their goddess.  -Eleanor Cummins

As I understand it, Eleanor’s problem with this is that she hasn’t done much to earn this. She’s not the first person to build up a business empire, nor does she have a monopoly on fabulous vocals. In fact, considering her ubiquity, Beyonce leads a quiet life, complete with quiet philanthropy.

So if Beyonce really does command a Beygency, why isn’t she using that power for great good?

Neither Eleanor nor I deny she is talented. Girlfriend knows how to own a stage. But unlike Eleanor, I don’t think it’s just because she’s missing an Uncle Ben to sit her down and give her the talk about great power and great responsibility. She’s simply human.

 
Human or Dancer? 

Beyonce has never claimed deity status. She expresses some (I’d argue, well-earned) bravado, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. And though I’d say it’s been a common theme in her work, her latest album contains more glimpses into the inner-workings of Queen Bey than ever.

Her god-status is often expressed by fans often to fully encapsulate how much respect they hold for her. Whether you write it off as hyperbole or not, it speaks volumes of Beyonce’s ability to not only capture but inspire her clientele.

As Eleanor says, much of Beyonce’s power is in her ability to communicate an audience that they are “strong, bold, ready to take on a world that isn’t necessarily ready for them,” which for me indicates that Beyonce’s sway is beyond a dollar amount. Personally speaking, I don’t have a count for the number of times I’ve turned on a Bey anthem to pump myself up. She inspires and commands a higher bar of respect for not just women, but women of color.

 
Coloring outside the lines

Simply existing as a woman of color who commands an empire that could probably defeat a Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, she is performing an act of social justice. Representation matters, even if the effects of it aren’t immediately apparent. As a pop star, woman of color, and powerful cultural icon she’s not immediately afforded a cone of privacy, and so she owns her image like a boss. She is sexual, sensual, and a sensation, but she is also a mother, a wife, and a person.

 

Yup, these are from the same album.
Yup, these are from the same album.

She is certainly not above criticism. Though I (clearly) am a fan, her self-titled album contains some problematic elements (her husband’s verse that contains reference to domestic abuse, for example). But as a grown woman she addresses these criticisms in her own way: legitimate concerns about her misusing Challenger recordings get a courteous press release, bullshit objections to her being proud of her relationship and her body get called out in musical form. What I respect about Beyonce is not that she is above critique, but that she has a system for evaluating what is worth her responding to, and in what ways, incorporated into her image.

 

Reading the label

As a liberal, 20-something woman in Seattle I’m elated when I see that Beyonce has welcomed the label of ‘feminist’ with open arms. I’m excited when I think about the number of people–young women especially–whose eye balls were seared with Beyonce posing powerfully in front of a huge “Feminist” proclamation at the VMAs this year. This, to me, represents a kind of outreach beyond any dollar amount she could donate.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Fixed Show
But I also don’t think Beyonce has an obligation to any sort of proclamation of her beliefs or social justice standpoints. To me, her existence is already a huge statement. When she steps out and really draws attention, there’s an added weight to that because she’s not just throwing her powerful label behind every hashtag. For every #YesAllWomen there’s a #Kony2012.

As an activist myself I can tell you that compromises must be made. There are days when I don’t have the energy to educate someone on why what they’re saying is problematic; conversations I don’t feel like moderating, or places I don’t feel safe calling out the -isms. There are times when I am an activist, but I am not in a place to be active. And the truth of the matter is it’s not my, or Beyonce’s, or Laverne Cox’s, or anybody’s job to be the moderator of social justice.

I love me some celebrities that get down with leveraging their power, but I understand that while on the one hand Jennifer Lawrence is standing up for women and their digital privacy, she is also making offensive claims about how at least the pics show she’s “all lady.” I’m appreciative when those I admire also make a public stand for values I believe in, but I can never expect it of them–and I certainly can’t expect them to own that label with perfection. With the abundance of online social justice communities no one owes somebody a role as educator.

It’s up to Beyonce to use her elevated status for what she wants. She clearly doesn’t play around with her life or her image, and chooses to play most things close to the vest. For me, I’m happy to have a strong woman who–when she decides to–is willing to stand and belt that she was here. Because at the end of the day, she makes me feel like I could run the world.

White-washing in the Shell? On the ScarJo rumors for live-action anime

I’m as ecstatic as anyone to see Scarlett Johansson’s career of “badass female kicks ass and takes names in a way no one can even touch” take off. She’s a talented actress, and dedicated to boot. Yet she’s constantly reduced to her looks.

Which is a little what I’m about to do. I’m not pleased that she’s been offered the lead in the long-awaited “Ghost in the Shell” live-action remake, specifically because she’s white. Helmed by Steven Spielberg, the rights to the Hollywood recreation of the anime about a group of Japanese counterterroism folks who fight cyber-crime in some sort of futuristic backdrop have been tossed around since the anime’s popularity in 1995.

Seeing as how (at least publicly) this role has been discussed with two, white, blonde actresses it seems that there has been little–if any–consideration of Japanese women. Or women of color in general. It wouldn’t be the first time that Hollywood enacted racist practices when it came to casting. It may not be new, but (as a white person) the invasion of “Ghost in the Shell,” which holds a special place to the anime community, feels strikingly unpleasant. The character’s name is Motoko Kusanagi, for God’s sake.

Ghost in the Shell protagonist Motoko
“They’re thinking about casting who?”

Who knows if that detail will make it to the film. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a shift coming to the Ghost in the Shell world. Which can be interesting, and it’s exciting to see women-lead action flicks leading the box office of 2014, I’m just tired of it coming at the cost of people of color. Instead of getting a taste of these cultures we are clearly and absolutely appropriating them; sampling what suits our white tastes, and using eyeliner to fix the rest.

Stray “Pacific Rim”-ing

Recently, while rewatching “Pacific Rim” with some folks who had never seen it, there was something that I hadn’t quite registered the first time around.

Initially, something in the movie felt off to me. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was; the closest I could get was to say that it was somewhere between an ensemble piece and a coming-of-age story but I couldn’t quite understand whose.

But here’s what I noticed about the introductions of characters:

Raleigh:

tumblr_mzwwcbQqVY1sef23ao2_1280

Raleigh is literally the first character we’re introduced to, when he wakes up to a call to arms. The opening sequence follows as he and his brother suit up and take on a kaiju in the middle of the night.

If this were a “Star Trek” or “Fringe” episode, literally all these two would need is a red shirt. From the very first second their peppy, underdog nature just screams “gonna bite it.” And yet, there’s a voiceover he’s giving, so we get the impression that he’s the main dude. And to a certain extent he is, until…

Mako Mori

Hers is the coming-of-age story, we follow her as she goes from assistant to badass Kaiju fighter all in the span of a couple days. And her introduction sort of reflects this, as it plays like some sort of main-character, wind-blowing, dramatized introduction:

 

I mean, she’s even got the blue hair. Clear indicator of an anime protagonist.

It felt to me that it’s almost as if the movie was created to be Mako’s vehicle, but maybe del Toro had to tell the story through the eyes of Raleigh, the “relatable,” every guy (who just happens to be straight, white, male, cis, etc.; #shocker). If that’s what del Toro set out to do, I’m not sure I can get fully on board. Characters are much more interesting to me when they are told through the scope of themselves, not the guys who fall head over heels for them — even if it is interesting to see that played out as a guy falling for a girl.

Both characters have ways to be interesting in their own right, but the movie sets up Mako to be the action star. I can only hope that in “Pacific Rim 2” she gets a full spotlight.

I will go to the mat for trigger warnings

Let’s just clear the air around this: There’s a common misconception that trigger warnings are put there to protect overly-sensitive people who want to be protected from the harshities of the world. Some people consider them “almost 100% unnecessary” as a “sign post for the weak minded.”

 

Trigger warnings, or content warnings, are used to advise people that there might be triggering material in a post, written piece, or medium. To say that a material was triggering is not to say that it made them simply unhappy, or got their delicate feelings hurt. It would be more accurately characterized as a significant mood-altering experience of anxiety. A trigger could be anything from a smell to a description about a triggering topic, and symptoms can range from dizziness to a full-blown panic attack.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand opposition to trigger warnings (and believe me, I have tried to read the other side). To say that they exist to simply indulge people who want the world to blanket them is to ignore that they are legitimately put in place to mitigate harm.

To say that having such alerts only serve to make us more sensitive, “an over-preoccupation with our own feelings to the detriment of society as a whole” is patently false, and surprisingly in line with the exact thinking it speaks against. They do exist in the real world (movie and game ratings, for instance) and I firmly believe there is a place for them online. I have been through some experiences that would commonly be described as “triggering” and I don’t need a trigger warning for them.

So what? I know that people do. Those people have asked for something that can make their day a bit easier and I am more than happy to oblige them. And on those days where I am feeling particularly sensitive then I appreciate them all the more.

Even if it serves as nothing more than a mental signpost people fly by I find trigger warnings helpful, and I hope that the culture they are ushering in spreads further than the Internet.