Love Island, week 3 recap: Show sinks to a nadir of misogyny more disturbing than actual violence

Tanya Gold
Love Island contestant Zara McDermott - REX/Shutterstock

Love Island sank to a nadir of misogyny in this week. It was more insidious – and therefore disturbing – than actual violence, and it was horrible, and it may win a BAFTA because a nadir is always interesting.

Two new girls came in this week, and one new man. This is to keep the balance of power in the male camp – keep the women nervous, hungry, barely clothed.

The girls were Zara – smooth, calculating – and Ellie, who is clearly a moron, even by Reality TV standards, with a thatch of sad blonde hair on her head.

Zara promptly peeled Adam, the smug alpha bastard off Rosie, who cried the tears of a woman thrown out of a pub on New Year’s Eve.

Adam told Rosie he was dumping her because she fretted that he might dump her, and that earned a rebuke from the charity Women’s Aid, who called it, accurately, emotional abuse.

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But no one cares about Rosie; what was done to her was done unto others - to lovely Kendall with the round doll face, now back in her shoe shop lamenting her failure. It was justice delivered to a woman who only slightly knows how to get dressed. I do wonder what is inside Rosie’s head. She schemes and frets, but for what? For pants?

I’m bang into her, she’s mince, Adam said, of his new love Zara. Or I think he said that. I’m not really sure. They kissed, and I could see some of Adam’s tongue, and I felt unwell. I’m sure about that.

The other new girl, Ellie, was pounced on by useless doctor Alex. He was still in his platonic relationship with the excellent Samira, who knows that she is not allowed self-pity, as Alex is, and so treats her platonic status as a problem to vault over, rather than something to moan about while sunburnt.

That Samira, who is smart, beautiful and empathetic, is appearing in this sex circus is more depressing that the more general parade of female body dysmorphia on show. Then Ellie laid down for Alex, because that is why she is on Love Island. I would give these entitled men a piece of my wisdom, but I am middle-aged, and fat, so they probably wouldn’t actually be able to see me. I would be factually invisible like a shouting hologram with the sound turned off.

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Then a bomb went off on Love Island – the new male. His name is Sam Bird and he calls himself, affectionately, The Bird. He announced his intention on Love Island was to show Adam how to treat girls right and the girls clapped The Bird as a saviour. Then they all put golden stickers on their faces and fell asleep wearing them. Adam has no self-awareness and no sense of humour, so he didn’t like being told off by The Bird.  After Love Island Adam will probably re-surface in the Men’s Rights movement like an angry submarine.

Sam took three girls on TV “dates” saying, with incomparable idiocy, “Come and sit with The Bird”. He took Ellie to persecute Alex, which is a Love Island trope, and Samira and Rosie because they were available. I don’t know why men don’t steal women from other men on Love Island. Can only women be made to feel unhappy on Reality TV?

Rosie and Samira begged The Bird to choose them, which left me distraught. Then Alex and The Bird had a meeting in which they decided that Alex could have Ellie, and that The Bird should take Samira, so Alex wouldn’t feel guilty about de-coupling from Samira for Ellie. It was patriarchy at its most effective, if much naffer than usual.

Then the disgusting re-coupling. Who would The Bird choose – Rosie or Samira? Eyal, the living embodiment of every public schoolboy you have ever wanted to punch – he was last heard telling his gormless Megan that in his previous life he was part monkey, part lion – wore a blinding white denim jacket. I could hardly see past him to the shaking females.

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Everyone chose their established partners because Love Island is conventional. Adam told Zara she “blew him away”. It’s a euphemism. I wish she had blown him away, like a stick man heading for the horizon screaming that he isn’t emotionally abusive, it’s quite normal to treat women like trash.

The Bird chose Samira. It’s probably a game plan for winning Love Island, because the public vote for the winners and the winners must be admirable because how else could you forgive yourself for watching Love Island? The Bird can’t win with Rosie because she doesn’t know how to get dressed and she’s hateful. More next week, if I haven’t kicked the telly into the road.