Who knew ‘Love Island’ could be such a great medium to discuss some of the biggest gender issues that plague British society right now? It should have perhaps been obvious, but we have to say we didn’t see it coming.
Most recently, LAD Jonny has been accused by a leading domestic violence charity of using “possessive and controlling” language to discuss his Island partner, Tyla.
Polly Neate, CEO of Women’s Aid, rightly pointed out that saying things like new arrival Theo would have to prise Tyla “from my cold dead hands” was not a cute little gesture, but signified, even in jest, the typical domineering and undermining attitudes of ownership men so often use over women in relationships.
“The fact that Tyla says she was left wanting to run away from a controlling relationship in the past, shows just how easy this sort of behaviour, if unchecked, can slip into a controlling and abusive relationship,” she said.
Since then, Jonny has responded to Neate’s statement, seemingly missing the “it’s just not bants when its true” point entirely to play the ultimate “bants” card.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Jonny said his comment was “obviously a joke” and “taken out of context”.
“I know it’s surrounding one of the things I said about ‘prying Tyla out of my cold dead hands'”, he said. “I personally think it takes a special kind of person to look at that and see that I wasn’t joking… Obviously I was joking. That was not meant in a literal sense.
“I was trying to put a more comical head on things and that was taken a little out of context as it was obviously a joke. I think my actions in there speak louder than anything else.”
What’s in a joke? Everything if it’s enforcing a behaviour that leads to women feeling – and being – unsafe. Women like Tyla, who has opened up about being in a controlling and abusive relationship previously.
Remember, it’s not up tight to call these things out. Only by challenging the status quo do we get the chance to change the behaviours it makes excuses for.