Honestly, the words “Love Island” and “misogynistic” go together like ham and cheese. Hot chippies and tomato sauce. The laws of reality television restrict one being consumed without the other and guess what? This season isn’t any fucking better.
I’m not excusing the fact that misogyny thrives in the villa but merely stating that unfortunately, year in, year out, most of the challenges are sexist (that one in season five where the girls dressed in Playboy bunny outfits while the boys wore gym gear) and a lot of the guys treat the girls like dog shit (real fans are still scarred from how Jonny Mitchell treated Camilla Thurlow in season three).
But the way the blokes have been carrying on this year has been nothing short of disgusting, with their behaviour seemingly escalating due to Casa Amor and reaching a disgusting peak following Movie Night. The slut-shaming is rampant; the misogyny is not slowing down.
Not even enjoying Love Island this year anymore having to listen to these toxic and misogynistic men. I feel sorry for the girls in the villa this year and I feel sorry for all the people sat at home with boyfriends/husbands like these men. #loveisland— rikishi (@yeahitsrachel_) July 18, 2022
To understand the present, however, one must have a solid grasp of the past. And thus begins LI1001: Introduction To Love Island.
The icky behaviour kicked off in week one when Liam Llewellyn found himself single a mere 24 hours after entering the villa, after Gemma Owen shacked up with Davide Sanclimenti. Despite being single and ready to mingle, mans was wandering around the villa for days — last season though, Shannon Singh was dumped on day two after Chloe Burrows stole her beau Aaron Francis.
Liam even got to go on dates with new girlies Afia Tonkmor and Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu on day three ‘cos the public voted for it to happen! Where were Shannon’s dates!?
He chose to leave the villa on day five ‘cos he wasn’t vibing with the experience and in all honesty, his presence has not been missed. But the question still stands: why TF did the producers let Liam stroll around the villa for days but kicked out Shannon on day two? ITV, can you please explain?
Next: Tasha Ghouri‘s villain arc. Our girl Tasha has gotten a bad reputation for several reasons. Firstly, people reckon she’s overly sensitive and cries constantly.
Be that as it may, we cannot police crying. People cry for different reasons! But it’s also worth mentioning that Tasha is deaf and while she has a hearing aid, relies on lip reading.
As her dad pointed out in an Instagram comment, it’s difficult and draining for her to read people whose lips aren’t facing her or are concealed with a bottle, especially when heaps of people are talking at once. And sometimes, it leads to tiredness and tears.
The next reason is she literally admitted, on Love Island, that she was open to getting to know Charlie Radnedge.
Yes, she began to question her feelings and for a wee while it was confusing as to whether she was fully into Andrew Le Page — the bloke she’d been coupled up with since day dot in the villa who was smitten by her. There were also a few moments where she was a bit snarky to him.
But Luca Bish, Jacques O’Neill and Dami Hope clung onto the fact her head had allegedly “turned” and her feelings for Andrew were fake.
During recoupling ceremonies around the fire pit, they guffawed when Tasha spoke kindly about Andrew and rolled their eyes. It was uncomfortable to watch.
As soon as Casa Amor kicked off and Tasha was out of the picture, the boys pounced at the chance to convince Andrew that she was taking him for a ride and making a “mug” out of him. Luca, in particular, egged him to move onto Coco Lodge — and so began their tumultuous love story, which ultimately culminated in “titgate“.
The irony of it all was that Jacques and Dami felt the need to “test” their respective relationships with Paige Thorne and Indiyah Polack by hooking up with other girls, just so they knew that what they had was “real”.
Before you could say “I’ve got a text!” Dami moved onto Summer Botwe (which prompted Luca to tell him that he “moves faster than an F1 car”) while Jacques pursued Cheyanne Kerr.
Even goddamn Davide made out with several women in one night to make sure he actually liked Ekin-Su (who was fucking chastised by the boys for crawling onto the terrace to smooch Jay Younger earlier in the series, while still coupled up with Davide).
All while Tasha was slandered for admitting she was keeping herself open.
And then came Movie Night, where islanders watched their fellow contestants past antics in 4K. Literally none of the girls did anything wrong but from the way the boys acted, you’d think they’d set fire to a retirement home.
Dami was spitting out snide remarks like they were going out of fashion while Luca was shouting “Tasha, who?”. That was until he watched his partner Gemma’s clips, however.
The footage showed Billy Brown flirting with her and Gem putting him in his place. But Luca thought she was reciprocating his advances.
“Fucking muggy. I got made out to be a fucking prick,” he said.
“Just bring me a fucking bird now. Trust me when I say, if she wants to play, I will fucking explode.
“Mate, I can’t be with someone like that. I’m sorry.”
The boys were hooting and hollering watching each other pash and cuddle other girls who weren’t their partners, though.
I'm not Tasha's biggest fan but Luca's behaviour towards her – screaming 'Tasha who?' repeatedly with his chest, shouting encouragingly during Andrew's clip, even trying to drag her while she's in tears is starting to border on bullying no? #LoveIsland— natty kasambala (@nattykasambala) July 17, 2022
The misogyny and casual sexism witnessed on this series of #LoveIsland is extremely concerning. The double standards, gaslighting and coercive control being displayed by the men in the villa is hugely problematic.https://t.co/iUNKcUXpnG— Refuge (@RefugeCharity) July 18, 2022
And who could forget Dami telling Summer to “shut the fuck up” after she confronted him over how he gaslighted her in Casa Amor? He told her he felt they had a connection and that “Summer had arrived”, only to dump her as soon as Indiyah returned to the villa — and then deny everything he said.
The situation in the villa is so fucking horrendous that British charity Women’s Aid — which aims to eradicate domestic abuse against women and children — has been forced to talk to ITV about their duty of care regarding relationships.
The men are so vile that fans are genuinely predicting Adam Collard wins. Real fans will remember Adam from season four, where he established himself as a manipulative, gaslighting fucker. Well, he’s back this season and somehow is one of the most normal blokes currently in the villa.
I know Love Island isn’t an accurate depiction of the real world and unfortunately, the show has a solidly sexist track record. But I think it’s still fair to say the young blokes on the show don’t have to worry about the consequences of their actions because at the end of the day, they can get away with anything.
Bit like the double standards towards women outside the villa, hey?