The problem with trigger warnings is exactly what you point out: they can be obvious (jokes about rape — which I would hope would be considered inappropriate in *any* academic environment) or 2002 Kias. If you begin putting trigger warnings on some things, then everyone wants their trigger warning. It’s the thing our teachers used to say, “If I let one of you do it, then I have to let all of you do it.” Who gets to decide whose trigger warning is valid and whose isn’t?
If you have PTSD, get therapy. I know for a fact that part of PTSD therapy (I happen to be working with an individual now who’s in therapy for PTSD, offering supplemental hypnosis to support his therapy) is controlled exposure to the thing that upsets you until it no longer upsets you as much. Is it easy? Oh no, it can be overwhelmingly hard! Is it necessary? Yes — unless you plan to live in a little box (aka “safe space”)for the rest of your life.
It’s a personal choice to avoid triggers, but if you want to avoid triggers, you should avoid the places where triggers are. You should stay inside where it is safe and not venture out, because it is literally impossible to filter out all the triggers that are the stuff life is made of.
Triggers have become the slippery slope of the modern world. Nobody wants to feel the least bit uncomfortable, ever. That’s not life, people. That’s censorship. I’m really sorry that you were hurt, but censoring society won’t do one thing to get back what you lost. You have to work through your problems just like the rest of us.