For those who have suffered from trauma, a trigger/content warning (verbal or otherwise) is not indicative of emotional sensitivity or an inability or unwillingness to engage with difficult content, but, rather, an unfortunate necessity born from a desire to have some measure of control over one’s emotional/psychological response to a stimulus that, for most, may be unpleasant, but, for trauma survivors, crosses the boundary from unpleasantness into emotional re-victimization. For someone who has had the misfortune of experiencing trauma, a trigger warning is not a luxury that is intended to “coddle” the individual, but, rather, a small “burden” that they can only hope others are willing to carry–a slight inconvenience that others must bare, which pales in comparison to the burden of living in a world in which an expectation of sensitivity towards one’s trauma is viewed as weakness on the part of the trauma survivor. Some would argue that once this respect for the trauma of others is recognized there will be no end…that everyone will demand a trigger/content warning for everything. Sexual trauma, though, is not like “everything else.” A grade-A trauma (i.e. Sexual assault/rape) is characterized by, and indeed defined as, being beyond the realm of normal human experience. Thus, how can we treat the discomfort created by this type of trauma as comparable to a more “normative” form of discomfort that fails to meet the clinical standard for psychological trauma? When we ask for content warnings we are not asking for censorship, we are not asking for a revision of the curriculum, we are not asking for a world free of uncomfortable content. No, all we are asking for is an acknowledgment of the part we all play (willingly or unwillingly) in creating a society in which some experience more pain than most; an acknowledgment of the small part we can play in making this world more friendly for those who have experienced a pain we may or may not be able to understand. Those who bravely face every new day and every new experience with a burden that they unwillingly received, but carry with grace and dignity. I think a trigger warning is the least we can do to lighten that burden.