Does Watching Love Island Make Me Unnfeminist?

The Opportunities are Equal for Men and Women

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Love Island is a show that for one reason or another grips the entire nation for eight weeks. It’s the only thing anyone can ever talk about, and from 9PM onwards, the trending topic on Twitter is a bunch of islander’s names. 

The premise of the show is essentially trapping a bunch of good looking people inside a villa in Spain and just… seeing what unfolds. Of course, they are all looking for love. Of course they are. Well, love and the influencer fame that comes after you’ve been on the show. Come on, if they were solely looking for love they would go on a string of bad Tinder dates like the rest of us - but whatever that is a totally different article. 

I started watching the show last year after getting tired of hearing everyone talk about it. I felt out of the loop, so I gave it a go and I immediately became hooked. The show definitely has a diversity issue. In fact, it has a whole lot of diversity issues. A good double sides A4 page full. The shows producers definitely make some questionable decisions (I mean… why exactly did the girls have to wear sexy bunny outfits in one of the challenges whilst the boys wore regular gym clothes?) And Love Island DEFINITELY does not pass the Bechdal Test, not even close. 

A few days before Love Island started, my mum came up to me and asked “why do you even watch Love Island? It stands for everything you’re fighting against” (I have since managed to get her watching the show and she is just as in love with Tommy and Molly-Mae as the rest of us). Her comment didn’t stop me from watching the show, but it did make me question why I’m so addicted to watching people fall in love and argue on the telly. And it did make me analyse the show a lot more than I have done in previous years. 

Despite Love Island’s many many issues with diversity, the women are still presented with the exact same opportunities as the men are. They both get equal opportunities in terms of recoupling. And I would also say the levels of toxic masculinity have been pretty low so far. There’s been no ‘my dick is bigger than your dick’ fighting which has been present in previous years. The nation’s current sweet-heart is Tommy Fury, the guy who is open with his emotions and spend the entire time cuddling Elly-Belly whilst Molly was away in Casa Amor. And from what we’ve seen, none of the boys have given him any stick for it. It is, on the whole, a supportive environment. With a few exceptions of course. I’d also say the girls are pretty bad-ass this year, especially Amber who I think handled the whole Michael situation extremely well. We love a girl who knows her worth. 

However, it’s not so much the show that bothers me. It’s some of the stuff that people publicly tweet about these islanders, which are real people with real feelings. Yes I know, you put yourself on one of the most popular TV shows in the UK, you’re going to get some negative comments about you. Sadly, it is to be expected when it really shouldn’t be. I regularly scroll through the Love Island hashtag on twitter just to see what people are saying, and some of the tweets I’ve seen are absolutely horrific. I have my own opinions about each of the islanders, some I love and some I don’t, but I would never publicly tweet any negative feelings that I have towards any of them because you never know how that could make someone feel. 

Would I call Love Island a feminist show? Not really, but it’s not a show I look to for guidance on feminism. But does watching the show make me any less feminist that someone who doesn’t watch the show? Of course not. Anyone should be allowed to watch whatever they want without judgement from anyone. In fact, calling someone ‘un-feminist’ for watching the show isn’t actually very feminist of you either. It’s an entertaining show to watch and I’m going to remain glued to my TV at 9pm for the next three weeks.

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