A London university has given a classic novel by renowned English writer Jane Austen a "gender stereotyping" trigger warning for students.
Academics at the University of Greenwich have alerted students that the 1817 satirical novel Northanger Abbey contains "sexism" and "toxic relationships and friendships," according to content notes obtained by The Telegraph.
The novel is included in the curriculum of the university’s Gothic literature course, which comes with an additional general warning that the class consists of "elements that students might find disturbing."
Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young woman, Catherine Morland, who learns about traditional gender roles through her experiences with other families, her friend Isabella, and her love interest Henry Tilney.
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The cover of Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey published by Open Road Media. (Open Road Media)
As narrator, Austen ironically and sarcastically comments on the power imbalance between men and women in the 19th century and mocks the idea of women pretending to lack intelligence to please men.
The book also satirizes the dreary literature of the era, with Morland believing her love interest’s father may be a murderer after reading too many Gothic novels.
Austen’s writing is often heralded for its self-aware comedy, nuanced characters, and scathing critique on how women rely on marriage to gain favorable societal standing.
Her female characters frequently defy standard gender norms and push for agency in Regency society. Austen is frequently cited as an important voice in the women’s rights movement and early feminist pushes for equal rights.
Disney+ has also used trigger warnings. The Aristocrats movie featured message at beginning of film warning the "program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. (Disney+)
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Considering the content of Austen’s novels, some have claimed that the trigger warning is inappropriate, including the University of Derby education expert and Professor Dennis Hayes told The Telegraph.
Hayes said that Austin’s work is loved because she is the "mistress of offense."
"Students love her too. But some academics still seem to think their students are snowflakes and need coddling. How often do we have to remind them, and university management, that students are adults. They must stop infantilizing them," he added to the outlet. "Universities should put up one simple statement: Trigger warning – this is a university; you must expect to be offended."
Speaking with The Independent, the University of Cambridge Jane Austen expert Professor Janet Todd said, "I’m pleased to know that Jane Austen has such power to disturb! Most encouraging. I hope the students are jolted into thinking about the past, literature , irony, and themselves."
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In a comment to The Telegraph, a Greenwich spokesman said content warnings were adopted so students would be aware of potentially offensive content before engaging with curricula text.
"Content warnings were first used in July 2021, in response to student requests relayed to the teaching team via their student representatives during the 2020/21 academic year. It was agreed that Content Warnings should be included in reading lists so that students would be able to take them into account before encountering each text," the spokesman said.
The University of Greenwich did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
On Wednesday, the University of Derby and several other British universities have deemed celebrated tragedies like Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" as "potentially upsetting" for students.
As such, university staff have attached "trigger warnings" to a school literature module that covers classic tragedies, cautioning students that the works are "obsessed" with suffering.
Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.