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Perspective: You Can Learn A Lot From A Bachelorette

Albina White

I’ll be the first to admit, the Bachelor Franchise is a TRASHY television show. However, I’m embarrassed to admit that I have also watched that trash television program for years. NPR listener, let’s keep that just between the two of us.

Despite the many years of broken engagements, overly produced drama, and outrageously regressive social norms related to gender, sexuality, and race, I’ve kept watching. This week reminded me why. On this week’s episode, our season’s Bachelorette Katie, gathered a group of contestants and shared her experience as a survivor of sexual assault. She normalized talking about the trauma she experienced, the lasting effects of her experience, her feelings of shame and guilt, as well as her healing journey. Katie broke the stereotypes of sexual assault wide open.

Most survivors experience abuse like Katie’s. It’s less like an episode of Law and Order SVU and more like a partner ignoring your boundaries, an acquaintance not getting consent. We’ve taught our kids to be afraid of bogeymen in dark alleys, but Katie’s story affirms what so many survivors face: The confusing nature of assault from someone you trusted and the validation that comes from being believed and supported.

We need to see more stories like Katie’s, the realities of what survivors experience and how you can heal. I’m grateful for finding those stories in unexpected places.

I’m Lynnea Erickson Laskowski and that’s my perspective.

Lynnea Erickson Laskowski is a former resident (and forever enthusiast) of the DeKalb area. Originally from Iowa, Lynnea moved to DeKalb in 2011 to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She currently lives in Washington DC with her toothless dog.