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Old 03-09-2014, 11:02 PM View Post #11 (Link)
Tredyakovsky (Offline)
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Personally, I believe in options. Censoring, I don't agree with, but a preliminary warning is something I fail to see anything wrong with. Surely people should be given the option to not view things they would rather not view, while those people who don't care about such matters should take no heed?

Refusing to stamp something with a warning label in the name of 'you need to read life' seems just as coercive as censoring something.
  
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:31 PM View Post #12 (Link)
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I understand that, and I'll say i even agree to a point.

I do disagree that it is coercive. Literature has power in that it is a reflection of society. Reading about society as it truly exists should not, somehow, be more scandalous or negative than living in the society it is reflecting. It isn't in the name of "reading life" per se, but it is in the name of no longer perpetuating the idea that things like mental illness, sexuality, aggression and so on are wrong. As a society, we have labelled these things inappropriate and suppressed them. But they are normal. Calling them "dark" or "inappropriate" can have worse psychological effects than exposure.

And truly, I think having to label one's work will funnel the creative process. (This is very arguable, a very personal opinion) It is always, always the responsibility of the writer to be aware of how they are portraying what they write about; in my opinion, it is more important for the story itself to explore the issues respectfully, or intelligently, with insight, than to label the fact that they are included. They can be included and be shocking, disrespectfully portrayed, and offensive even with a warning.

But like I said, if the issue is about things that can act as triggers as opposed to labelling content deemed inappropriate (though it is natural), then I am less inclined to argue against it. I have my own preferences, but I have no right to make the decision for someone who may suffer from the actual, polarizing, content. And I guess maybe in a way, it is better to be PC than to wait for society to take off their blinders and finally address the issues explicitly rather than ignore them until they are triggering. We have spent so long trying to hide that these things exist; we ignore them.

Edit: I want to note that I think you are absolutely right about options never being a bad thing, and that this response comes from me thinking about something I'm passionate about (not necessarily directed at anyone or any single comment). I'm just wary of including a label for content because it implicitly calls that content unnatural, inappropriate. Doubly, it does have the effect of censoring the very real world from people. If that content IS ill-affecting -- like the triggering SP mentioned -- then I am more sympathetic, like I said. I am differentiating the two.
  
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:31 AM View Post #13 (Link)
owl (Offline)
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YWO is an educational forum. It is not up to YWO to negotiate with you and your parents how you use the forum. that is between you and your parents. The reason I say this is because I saw multiple posts early in the thread that mentioned parents, which is why I, like Raconteur, do not believe this is about trigger warnings: in that situation I, like Raconteur, would respond a bit differently. My response, certainly, would be much more complicated.

YWO serves a wide, wide demographic. There are, yes, ten-year-olds on this forum*. There are also people in their late teens through late twenties: many of us are entering undergraduate; several of us have gone on to graduate work. This contributes so much to YWO's vitality. We have different life experiences to offer and to write about, and people can learn a lot about reading and writing from people who may be at different points in their lives from their own.

I see nothing wrong with encouraging people to post quick warnings on work if they think it will be difficult to digest. I'm cautious of this being compulsory; I do see something wrong with a rating system. Here is why I balk: a forum that asks me to rate my poetry as PG-13 or above because it discusses suicide or sex is a forum on which I am not welcome. A forum that sees such poems as dark is a forum on which I am not welcome. A forum that might later ask me not to talk about, say, Sylvia Plath, because she wrote about sex and mental illness and used violent imagery is a forum on which I am not welcome. And forget about Allen Ginsberg! What is my experience as an artist without "Howl"? What about Sharon Olds? Rumi! The rest of them! How would the protocols in the literature forums apply to literary discussion? A world in which I must consider "The Pope's Penis" a dark poem is a dark world.

I agree with Raconteur. Everything she has said; and she's said it with grace and sensitivity, much more than I. Options are good, but we should think about what is being asked and why.


EDIT: I am aware that the original post specifically addressed stories, but the conversation has been about the implications of a rating system re: the literature forums as a whole, which makes sense to me. As a poet my references happen to be poem-related, but you could easily replace the poets I referenced with novelists or short story writers and get the same effect.


*and we're not their parents! We don't know what they are ok and not ok reading -- that's up to them and their folks.
  
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:21 AM View Post #14 (Link)
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Before I give my two cents, I will say say that I personally find 10 year olds using the internet completely insane and thus, having to cater to children in elementary school completely ridiculous. Writing is an expression of individuality and as stated by others above, our experiences and life stories often creep into our writing whether we are aware of it or not. To have to mark one's story as "Not Suitable For Children," or "Avert your eyes, there is death and destruction ahead," is really counter productive and can only hinder the writer by subconsciously forcing them to either tone down their work or make them aware of what they are writing.

You generally can tell by a few paragraphs in what kind of story you are getting into if you are reading carefully enough. There really hasn't been anything on this site that has been any worse than an R rated movie so the need to suddenly give a rating system to every piece of prose that is created is just ludicrous.

If your parents wouldn't like the subjects that are popping up on this site then perhaps a different site is more suited to you and their tastes? Above all else, this site is generally pretty democratic and should enough people believe that a rating system is absolutely needed, then perhaps a vote or poll could be created to decide such an issue.

Look, the world is a scary and fucked up place. There's no way to pretend that death, sex, drugs, war, disease and so on and so forth is not out there and creeping around. If these kind of things bother you and are what is really making you uncomfortable, you might need to accept the fact that these topics are all over the internet and no matter where you go, will always be there.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:05 PM View Post #15 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Raconteur View Post
And truly, I think having to label one's work will funnel the creative process. (This is very arguable, a very personal opinion)
I have enough paralysis based on what I "should" be writing-- I'm not the only one?-- entirely aside from sex, suicide, blasphemy. (I freeze from telling myself that "I should be writing" at all.) Conscious labeling will absolutely funnel or block my writing.

echoing owl-- we'd have to have a large, glimmering label on the poetry collection.
  
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:34 PM View Post #16 (Link)
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On some other forums I've been on, it's mandatory. I'd view the forum as more responsible if disclaimers were required for sexual and/or graphic content.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:31 PM View Post #17 (Link)
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Spiders has it, I totally agree with him.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:33 PM View Post #18 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Pony123 View Post
Spiders has it, I totally agree with him.
But then what counts as sexualised or graphic? Who gets to decide that? I haven't seen any sexual/graphic pieces of writing on here before, so for me it is a bit of a non-issue.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:36 PM View Post #19 (Link)
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Maybe just have an option before you post your work to put a rating like:
Everyone (No sexual content or language)
Teen (Mild language, or some mature content)
Mature Audience (Explicit content, strong language)
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:47 PM View Post #20 (Link)
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It probably would be more responsible-- this is a valid point & a good one. But ywo's purpose is to held us write and read and write better: responsibility is secondary, not?

Pony's suggested ratings are plausible (they are broad enough not to be so constricting).
Though I still don't like labels & don't think we need them.
& I cringe at labeling by age in light of our media separation thread



oh: if you have a problem with swearing there are profanity blockers what will star out swear words.
  
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