Warning: Trigger Warnings Ahead
This is a great question. I am not a fan of trigger warnings. I have often speculated about whether or not there’s a place for ratings on books just like we have for movies.
Well I do see that trigger warnings will help some folks that might have sensitivities that would make reading such a book a traumatic experience for them. I don’t think that is representative of most of society. I personally think that a reader should be able to deduce the suitability of a book by reading the back of the book before reading the book itself.
I also think that if a person has sensitivities to intense material that they should be avoiding horror as a genre in general. They need to take some responsibility for their own actions in seeking out material that is more suited to their taste or tolerance levels.
I’m not saying that I’m against trigger warnings, but I am against any kind of a warning that would spoil the story or give away too much of the content for the potential readers that would enjoy a surprise or two. That might make me sound like an insensitive bastard but I think society has become very soft and weak in general.
I personally have some trigger points that I am mindful of having been the child victim of a sexual predator, who happened to be my pediatrician, I have some unique insight on the matter. This doctor was trusted and is responsible for my care, so I do have some sensitivities to those elements within stories.
I do not actively seek out stories that have sexual predator elements. But if I do come across a story that has that element in it, I will read through or skip that section if I need to. I fully accept any responsibility for the material that I’m reading. I think it’s my responsibility as a reader to understand and do necessary research before opening the cover of a book.