Does Love Island 2022 have a problem with misogyny?

Charities and fans are calling out Love Island's misogyny after a number of the Love Island boys displayed controlling behavior

The cast of Love Island 2022 sat around the firepit
(Image credit: ITV Picture Desk)

Fans and charities have spoken out on Love Island's misogyny problem, as the villa seems to have become something of a breeding ground for some pretty worrying behavior, with viewers calling out Love Island’s misogyny, 'bullying' and ‘controlling behavior’.

Anyone tuning into Love Island 2022 will know it’s been drama central—but for many viewers, this series has taken a turn away from entertaining and towards something more worrying, uncomfortable and unpleasant. From the double standards and lack of accountability shown after Casa Amor to bullying claims and gaslighting accusations—the antics shown in the villa are proving to be very problematic and downright disappointing from the 2022 series.

So much so, that charities like Women’s Aid and Refuge have made statements and contacted ITV to call out the 'misogynistic and abusive behaviors being displayed’ by the contestants.

So before we get into those statements, let’s get the meaning of ‘misogyny’ clear…

What does 'misogyny' mean?

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘misogyny’ as the "dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women."

Moments that have been pulled up by fans for being misogynistic so far in the series include the treatment of Tasha by Luca and Dami, Luca’s explosive reaction to Gemma’s Mad Movies clip, Dami's rude and manipulative behavior towards Summer—and pretty much anything that’s been said about Ekin-Su throughout the season.

Fans, especially following the Mad Movies challenge, have been calling out the treatment of the girls on Twitter, with one writing: ”Half of these guys were caught in 4K cracking in with other babes, but it’s Ekin’s very much ambiguous footage that they keep talking about. Is this not misogyny?".

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While another viewer tweeted: “The misogyny and double standards this year STINKS”.

And a third commented: "Love island won't show smoking but will show misogyny and bullying.”

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What have charities said about Love Island’s misogyny? 

Following the Mad Movie challenge and the ‘Snog Marry Pie’ episode on July 19th, Refuge’s CEO Ruth Davidson posted a lengthy statement on Twitter. 

It read: “Refuge is increasingly concerned about the misogynistic and abusive behaviors being displayed in this year’s series...Love Island has a huge audience, particularly amongst young people and Refuge urges the producers of the show to recognize and respond to abusive behavior when it happens. 

“Popular culture has an important role to play in challenging these behaviors rather than perpetuating them.” 

Davidson then pointed out the types of worrying behaviors being shown, including gaslighting, emotional manipulation and coercive control (which is a form of domestic abuse and a crime)—all of which, “appears to be being carried out by some men in the villa.”

Both Refuge and charity Women’s Aid have offered their support to ITV—who introduced ‘inclusion training’ ahead of the show's start—in order to challenge the contestants' behaviors.

Tessa Parker, Head of Communications and Media Relations at the Women’s Aid has said, "This is clearly more than talking about any individual contestants, and a programme based around the formation of romantic relationships must have guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in those relationships.” Parker also revealed that Women’s Aid is now in talks with ITV.

The organization then tweeted out a statement saying, “So many young people watch #LoveIsland, making it a show that will influence their understanding of what is acceptable in relationships. We are happy to be in conversation with @ITV about what we can do to address this.”

Let's hope that ITV and Love Island do something to address these issues.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.