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Real Life Trigger Warning?



I got to work late and had to park off-campus. Then I got to my office and my office-mate was occupying it, even though she doesn't teach today. She is heinous and I hate her.

So I went to the student union to get some exams copied and, let's face it, a cookie. I'm not allowed to have sugar but sometimes you just gotta.

That's when I saw it.

There is a group called iEmpathize, which has taken over the courtyard outside of our union. Apparently iEmpathize deals with children and other victims of sexual trafficking. Their presentation today was a visual.

There were a dozen dirty mattresses lined up in the courtyard, some of which had messages painted across the top. They were all stained with bodily fluids - some brown, some red, some god knows what.

There was no campus-wide acknowledgement that this was happening, so I was not expecting it. Honestly, if I had been, I might have walked through the courtyard anyway, but it would have been nice to know.

A dozen dirty mattresses. Flashbacks to things I don't want to think about at 10 a.m. on a workday.

At this point, I'm not clear if the group is here via the university, or by invite from the Womens' Studies Department.

Either way, should there not be some kind of trigger warning? I understand that visuals work better than statistics, and I don't object to the display - I would just have liked the option to not confront my demons in the midst of the student union, prior to my class beginning. I am now hot, sweaty, cranky, and overly emotional.

Dirty mattresses, people. Dirty, rapey mattresses that belong in the basement of a slum.

I want to write an angry email and I don't even know who to send it to.

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