The Love Island Feminism Row Proves How Misunderstood The Movement Still Is

Love Island
Jonny Mitchell and Camilla Thurlow come to blows over his misunderstanding of feminism (ITV)
The meaning of feminism divided opinion in the Love Island house and subsequently Twitter.

On Tuesday night they were kissing in bed and he was licking her nose to the tune of a thousand “Awws”, but by Wednesday, Jamilla was no more. The Love Island favourites had called it quits after a high-tension row about…feminism. Thought our biggest guilty pleasure couldn’t spark a meaningful debate? Think again.

If you missed the show and want a full account of what went down, head over here, but in brief: Jonny told Camilla that his ex-girlfriend “never paid for a thing” during their five-year relationship because going halves would have left him feeling “emasculated” and “really f**king awkward”, before continuing to denounce the feminist movement as “believing in inequality” and reveal his utterly deluded belief that British women “almost have more opportunities” than men.

Understandably, Camilla was having none of it, telling Jonny: “It’s difficult for men to see that there have been several generations which have been preferential towards them and therefore, to redress the balance, there has to be some active movement towards equality”. Her efforts fell on deaf ears and it was clear that their short-lived romance was over with a capital O.

Love Island Camilla feminism
Camilla is left bitterly disappointed after discussing feminism with Jonny (ITV)

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Twitter to become depressingly divided on the issue, with confusion about what feminism really means and debate over whether Camilla had overreacted to Jonny’s “difference of opinion” dominating the usually trivial #LoveIsland hashtag.

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It wasn’t just men moaning about “going off” the Scottish lass after learning she was a feminist (shock horror, an intelligent woman believes in equality of the sexes!), but women too, some of whom seemed to have no problem with the idea of Jonny buying them dinner, having evidently missed the point.

Even in the villa, not all the girls were sure what to make of Camilla’s reason for ending things, with a slightly baffled Chloe choosing to remind her that Jonny is “entitled to his opinion”.

The problem is, is misunderstanding feminism or, worse, not believing in it as a worthy movement, an opinion? Or is it ignorance?

Camilla makes a living as an unexploded ordnance disposal specialist, meaning she clears landmines and diffuses bombs left behind in war-torn countries. She recently returned from a year in Afghanistan, where gender inequality is even rifer than it is here, so it’s hardly surprising that she feels so passionate about advancing women’s rights.

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But regardless of Camilla leading a totally different life to her fellow islanders, her disagreement with Jonny proves that many people still do not understand what feminism means.

Shevolution readers know that feminism is not about “man-hating” or believing that women should have more power than men, but about equality and choice: two human rights you can and should champion regardless of your gender.

Camilla’s face fell when Jonny argued that “the majority of feminists” believe in putting women first because here was yet another man who had fully failed to grasp what the movement is fighting for. Worse still, he flat out refused to listen and learn from someone who was willing to explain it to him.

Type ‘feminism’ into Google and this is the definition that comes up: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Is that simple definition really so hard to understand?

Sadly, with a sorry sigh and armed with further proof that feminism is needed more than ever we join Camilla in saying: next!

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