There is a bit of a running joke in my family that when I come home from university the rubbish TV goes on. ITV is watched 100% more and for those weekends that I return back to the nest my parents and brother bear witness to the programmes that I fill my procrastination time with. This started tame. I watched the first few seasons of The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea but I was chill about it. If I missed an episode it wasn’t a problem, I could catch up or just ask someone what happened. However, over the last few years this obsession has spiralled. I blame tiring days in the library and essay write ups- I couldn’t come home and watch programmes reflecting society because, due to the nature of my degree, I had spent all day reading about it. Instead I opted to watch twisted portrayals of ‘normal’ people’s lives; TV that was vapid enough for me to sit there and develop opinions on the people and create emotional attachments without having to think too much. I know, even when I am watching it, I should be reading or doing something else to spread my horizons instead of killing brain cells.
The most perfect recent example of this is, what I can only describe as my obsession with the ITV2 show, Love Island. If you haven’t seen it I don’t know whether to tell you to get on it or save yourself. The basic premise of the show is that a number of ridiculously hot people go into a villa and to remain in the show they have to couple up with one another. With some of the contestants being more eligible (hotter and less crazy) than others, obviously drama ensues. I am addicted, it’s not like I even want to watch it anymore- I have to! I need to know if Cady and Scott will last or if Malin will drop her incessant need to shit stir! (If you know what I’m talking about, thank god I am not the only one)
However, it isn’t always easy watching (and not just because I go into cardiac arrest every time new islanders are introduced). After spending the last three years looking at the misrepresentation of race, class and gender within society especially within the media, it’s difficult to watch Adam stand in the kitchen talking about Zara like she is a piece of meat. This leads me on to the persistent double standard of sexual behaviour between men and women. Why is it okay for a guy to go on national TV and sleep with as many women as he wants, yet a girl will do the same thing and be labelled a ‘slut’? You only need to look at the #LoveIsland twitter feed to see that although we claim to live in a sexually liberated society, the behaviour of boys and the behaviour of girls aren’t really taken in the same way. And it saddens me to watch girls stand there and call each other sluts and bitches for ‘stealing their man’ (a guy they have known for a solid 36 hours). As Tina Fey (Queen) so aptly says…
But then I watch this every single night, so am I part of the problem? Am I being a bad feminist? If so I think I am okay with it…well I have to make my peace because at this rate I don’t think I can give it up.