This is vaguely about self harm but doesn’t even actually mention self harm

Man I have a lot of feelings about this idea that talking about an “unhealthy coping mechanism” in a place where other people can read it is gross and evil and harmful to other people.

The smallest of my feelings is this.

There is a difference of degree that a lot of posts about this elide over. There is a difference between:

  • being “pro-[insert thing here]”, actively encouraging other people to do it and denying that it could be harmful
  • discussing it in ways that cross other people’s boundaries, such as adding graphic commentary to a post that wasn’t originally about [insert thing here], or refusing to use tags/content warnings/read-mores after being asked to do so
  • discussing it in potentially upsetting detail but using tags etc. so people can blacklist or otherwise avoid it

Like. The most anybody owes you is to help you avoid seeing what they write if you don’t want to see it. And I do think that’s something people owe each other; I think when you put something in a place where it will be widely viewed, you have a responsibility to use whatever warning system is available as best as you can.

But people don’t owe you never ever talking about things you don’t like. Even widely-agreed-upon horrible disgusting things. Even things that some people might be harmed by seeing. You have the right to not see it, and you can certainly warn other people away from it, too, but you don’t have the right to make it not exist. People get to talk about what they want to talk about in their own space.

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