‘Since when were women only allowed to have female friends?’

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  • Love Island is back and while we’ve all been loving the return of drama to our weekday evenings, it arguably went a bit far this week.

    The past few episodes have seen the islanders shun 21-year-old Lucie Donlan for not putting her female friendships over her male friendships.

    Lucie Donlan and Tommy Fury. Credit: REX

    Fellow islander Amy Hart was the first to take issue with Lucie’s preference to spend time with the boys, with Lucie’s Love Island partner Joe Garratt following suit.

    The girls labelled Lucie as ‘unfriendly’, while Joe – accused of being emotionally abusive – told her it was weird to spend more time with boys than girls and asked her to make more of an effort with the women in the villa.

    Joe Garratt. Credit: REX

    Yes, Lucie has been attacked from all angles for simply being herself, something that has certainly taken its toll, with the Cornish surfer seeming to spend most nights crying alone on the terrace.

    ‘I can’t take it anymore’ she cried in one of the most recent episodes. ‘Why should I have to change who I am? No one gets me.’

    Amy Hart and Lucie Donlan. Credit: REX

    Watching the events unfold, I was furious – and after scouring my Twitter feed, I saw that I wasn’t alone.

    There were calls for Amy Hart’s exit after her ‘unfair’ and ‘bullying’ treatment of Lucie and Women’s Aid were even using Joe as an example of mental abuse, but the most common complaint was the belief that men and women can’t be friends, or that women should prioritise their friendships with the same sex over men.

    Lucie Donlan. Credit: REX

    I am a woman. My best friend is a man. And while I do have a close circle of female friends around me, my male friendships are incredibly important.

    I’m not saying boys are better friends than girls or that I value my female friendships over my male friendships. My best friends’ roles in my life have nothing to do with their gender – they have all earned their places for having my best interests at heart, supporting me and genuinely caring.

    Lucie Donlan and Tommy Fury. Credit: REX

    For someone to be bullied for naturally gravitating towards men rather than women is ridiculous, and even discussing this subject in my opinion, takes us back a long way.

    One of the only people to check if Lucie was ok was her friend Tommy, with their friendship being the one that everyone took issue with in the first place. The irony.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be tuning into Love Island, but I am very disappointed in the short-sighted views of the current contestants.

    It’s 2019 and no one’s gender should pressure them into having certain friends.

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