We were made to feel sorry for Alex from the moment he stepped into the Love Island villa.
A hardworking A&E Doctor, the 27-year-old from Wales was passed over in the initial coupling, made to quite literally sit on the substitute bench and wait to be coupled up with whoever was left over. ‘DO THEY KNOW HE’S A DOCTOR!’ screamed, well tweeted, the general public. Alas, Alex’s medicine degree holds no sway in the alternative reality of the villa – where muscles, a slight tan, too-tight shorts and decent chat are the social currency.
While Alex didn’t have much luck finding love in the villa, he quickly became the public’s favourite. Day after day tweets of love and support poured in for Alex, his male and female housemates did everything they could to get him into a romantic couple; distracting hippie Eyal with talk about trees and stars and such so Alex could talk to Meghan, staging the perfect first kiss with Ellie and even picking his outfits for him (remember THOSE ripped jeans?). And when he finally coupled up with Ellie, you could be forgiven for letting out a celebratory ‘woop’ on his behalf.
On last night’s episode though, we saw another side to Alex. After coupling up with Ellie, Alex felt she made no effort to engage with him the following day – he accused her of ‘playing a game’ by coming into the villa, convincing Alex to couple up with her, and then once she was secure, dumping him.
The usual calm, reserved, slightly wimpy Alex was at once transformed with rage – into a not so nice guy that expects a woman to be all over him at the click of a finger. Viewers saw a glimpse of Alex’s privileged mindset – and they didn’t like it.
‘Ellie hasn’t done anything wrong! She just doesn’t like him back which is more than ok if she doesn’t feel it. She doesn’t owe Alex anything’ tweeted @Sophie_FosterXx.
‘Alex feels entitled to be with someone even if they're not interested. He's centred everything around himself and his feelings rather than taking a moment to think about Ellie and why she feels the way she does.' tweeted Ronke Lawal.
But hold on, aren’t there other people in the villa going through something similar that Alex can talk to about his frustrations? Oh yes. Samira. Samira who was passed over for three weeks before being picked by anybody, Samira who was pushed aside by her female housemates in the Boxing-day-sale-esque crush that is the hunt of a man to couple up with, Samira who had no help from her fellow housemates in finding a highly-coveted quiet corner in which to ‘lay it on thick’, Samira who at one point was basically relegated to narrator status as she hosted the games and went around asking people how they felt about each other. A narrative that will feel all too familiar for some women of colour.
And how has Samira reacted so far? With nothing but grace and style.
So yes, poor Alex, it must be hard to find out that just when you thought the wait was over and you’ve found the perfect girl, she dumps you quicker than a warm beer on a hot summer’s day, but expecting a woman to be all over you after a couple of days just isn’t realistic.
Alex isn’t the only man on the show, or in fact the world, who has a strange sense of entitlement when it comes to women – Eyal also expected Hayley to be all over him within days of meeting her, and chastised her for not being grateful enough when he recoupled with her. Hopefully this reaction to Alex’s behaviour will at least provide a teachable moment, and a chance for Alex and other men with the same mindset to check their privilege.
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