This year’s Love Island was like no other. From allegations of coercive behavior to more than 2,000 “bullying” complaints from viewers, this has been a controversial series.
But on top of the annual issues about unrealistic body expectations and how they affect the mindset of young viewers, we now have an increasingly prevalent undercurrent of misogyny.
As the curtain falls on this year’s series tonight, here are some of the key takeaways from it island of love 2022.
A strong sisterhood prevailed this year, with almost all female participants supporting one another in what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior.
And of the latter there has been a flood.
We could go back to the epic “loyalty” double standards of Andrew, Davide, Dami and Jacques the lad, but I want to focus on Luca.
While he may be the only soul in a couple who didn’t enjoy (several) dalliances with the new girls during Casa Amor, it’s worth remembering that this is exactly the same tactic Jake Cornish used last year.
Both Jake and Luca pushed the boys at Casa so they could look sparkling clean.
However, this is where the comparisons end.
Jake thought he could bomb Liberty for a fast-track route to the final and £50,000 (€60,000), while Luca’s behavior strikes me as far more sinister.
Background: Luca “he sells fish” Bish has been reluctant since chasing Gemma Owen.
She may be the super “switched on” 19-year-old daughter of Michael Owen, but she’ll be running out of time to see exactly what’s going on here.
While Jake tried to convince everyone, including himself, that he loved Liberty to extend his time on screen, Luca genuinely believes that Gemma – and her babies-to-be – belong to him.
There are almost too many red flag moments to mention them all, but there were a few standout moments.
This includes embracing the pack mentality to such a toxic degree that you end up unnecessarily allying with someone (Tasha has been one of Luca’s main targets ever since she chose Andrew over him in week one).
Another red flag was body language.
Several times Luca has been seen holding Gemma in closed arms or moving to prevent her from physically leaving a conversation. He also pushed her twice – in front of the camera.
Then there was the “Love Bombing”.
That year, Luca became the first islander to drop the L-Bomb, leaving Gemma to mumble it in return.
She’s said it with more conviction since, but viewers remain skeptical.
Conversely, Luca is the only candidate who didn’t want to put a label on his relationship. Apparently it’s none of his and Gemma’s business, and that’s fine.
However, one might assume that failure to name a relationship while declaring that you love the person implies a reluctance to commit.
Following Wednesday’s Mile High challenge, Luca was upset that Gemma had managed to throw herself into the proceedings alongside her fellow contestants.
Bubbles were squirted, laps were sat and throats licked.
Luca was fine with all the other girls’ antics, but – according to him – Gemma was the one who “gave the most”.
He did his best to convince her but Gemma resisted as she was clearly the more mature of the two despite being a teenager actually.
When the movie night revealed that Gemma hadn’t sufficiently rebuffed (in Luca’s eyes) Billy’s relentless advances, Luca said: “Look at her, with a smile on her face. An embarrassment.” It’s worth remembering that Gemma hadn’t done anything wrong.
Luca’s reaction was so unnerving that his family were forced to issue a statement apologizing “on his behalf” and saying that while they do not condone his behavior, “we understand that he is in an intense environment located in which his emotions are heightened”.
This begs the question: If Luca behaves like this in public, how would he be private?
It’s worth remembering that we all have a role to play – no matter how small – to ensure society doesn’t relapse into the Middle Ages. Having conversations about mutual respect is key.
Luca is fortunate to have people in his life who are willing to speak out on his behavior.
If everyone were just a little more aware of toxic habits and their effects, and held each other collectively accountable, the difference would be phenomenal.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/double-standards-and-red-flags-what-we-learned-from-love-island-41881075.html Double standards and red flags – what we learned from Love Island