Chances are you've heard about Netflix's much hyped and dubiously titled 'culture document'. With over five million hits, it's been described by Sheryl Sandberg as one of the most important documents to come out of Silicon Valley - ever. Those are fighting words. Or at least they would be, if anyone disagreed.
Four salient reasons to resist the rise of trigger warnings in higher education and general usage. For the sake of resisting censorship by stealth, for the sake of artistic integrity, for the sake of maintaining serious intellectual openness in higher education, and for the sake of those suffering from trauma themselves, I beg you - don't get too trigger-happy.
You aren't being censored. The times when freedom of speech is restricted are remarkably rare and they exist for the greater good, rather than to stop you insulting whoever you like. It's probably correct that the police get involved when someone tries to post bacon through the door of a mosque, even if they claim to be exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Some of these horrors make agonising reading - but it is incorrect to say that they defy description. In the cold, expressionless language of the Senate report, even blunt, mechanical phrases can contain the key to understanding a world of pain. 'Rectal feeding' is one. 'Stress position' is another. Through reams of inert prose, an appalling picture of abuse is built up and solidified.
The image of the US as the Land of the Free is being put into question. Ferguson, plus the cases of Tamir Rice, Darrien Hunt and Eric Garner, exposed America as an intolerant country where many are not free. The Prosperity Index shows this is true not only for African Americans, but for all citizens across the board..
Yesterday, I walked into the shopping centre of my local town, and I came across an artist at work. His poetry, written in chalk, spanned the pavement and I, like many others, paused to read. His work seemed to be aimed at generating thought and reflection, and if this was the case, it was certainly working.
On leaving your toxic, manipulative relationship you may well be bombarded with a ton of verbal and text communication trying to get you to change your mind. Don't give in to it. Your ex will try to make you feel guilty, they will try to make you feel that it is all your fault, they will try to make you go back with the promise that they will change. They won't change. Don't give in.
I've experienced homophobic abuse in London three times. The first happened when I was 22, and I was caught in a heaving Friday night crowd outside Tottenham Court Road tube station. Across a sea of faces, I made eye contact with a young, white male with a shaven head. He snarled at me: 'fucking poof!'