So last night, I was very sleepy, and I sort of vaguely grasped that there was a debate about warnings going on, and then this morning up and down my FList I see that people are really, really upset with each other and - unusually for debates of this type in fandom - I also see that people on my FList have taken different sides.
I'm coming in extremely late, and probably don't have much useful to contribute, but this is a big thing now that's happening in my community so I feel as though I have to say something, especially because of various comments and posts I've read involving people I know.
So here goes.
I am not a survivor of sexual assault, and I do not have triggers. I don't write fic, and so I don't really know what it's like to have to come up with warnings and balance spoiling the fic versus giving a readers an idea of what they're in for.
(I've only once had to warn for a vid, and I felt horribly uncomfortable doing so - not because I was concerned about spoilers, but because I'd never warned for anything before, the song was a famous one, and I was concerned that by warning I was perhaps being ... melodramatic. As it turned out, the warning was necessary, and I'm glad I put it there, such as it was. Once I realized that the warning was needed, I wanted to go back and edit the post to make it less half-assed, but by then the warning itself had become a minor topic of discussion and I felt uncomfortable changing it.)
So here are some thoughts I have as a reader of fic who does not, in fact, have triggers.
1. I do not recall ever reading an author's warning that I felt spoiled a fic for me.
This is very important, because to some extent I feel as though the debate takes on an angels-on-pinheads quality. I get that authors are concerned about wanting to surprise their readers, or maintaining the artistic integrity of the stories, but I have never once felt that a warning diminished my reading experience. ( Read more )