SARAH VINE: The tawdry saga of a British rape accuser who partied with 12 Israeli men in Ayia Napa reveals the ugly truth about the legacy of Love Island
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... sland.html
Talk about a tale of our times. A 19-year-old British woman accused 12 Israeli men of gang-raping her in Ayia Napa, but then changed her mind and withdrew the charges.
The blonde teenager allegedly told police she had filed a report of rape as revenge after the men allegedly filmed her having consensual sex with three of them.
She herself now faces charges of ‘public mischief’, and will be named if she’s found guilty. The men, meanwhile — released from custody and now back home in Israel — are preparing to launch a legal action against her.
If it’s true she made up the rape story, that’s a very serious criminal matter. But for their part, these young men should be ashamed of themselves. Arriving at Tel Aviv airport, they celebrated by posting a video on social media chanting: ‘The Brit woman is a whore.’ In other words, no one comes out of it smelling of bougainvillea.
But the real question, in my mind, is not so much which side is at fault. It’s what this tawdry saga tells us about sex and morality in the modern world — and, in particular, in swelteringly hot resorts all over Europe right now.
Because, let’s face it, this sort of feral behaviour is becoming increasingly common. Indeed, among certain groups of people in certain situations — on holiday, under the influence of alcohol or drugs — it has become the norm. As, too, has the practice of sharing exploits on social media.
There is a difference between letting off steam and being so disinhibited you end up in bed with someone you’ve just met, and possibly a couple of their pals, too.
Youngsters have always enjoyed letting their hair down on holiday. But what’s unusual about this wave of debauchery is that the older generation is at it, too.
In the Spanish resort of Benidorm, older Brits — in their 50s and 60s — are causing similar levels of chaos with marathon drink, drug and sex sessions.
This week, a drunken British couple in charge of three children were arrested at Gibraltar airport after the woman fell over in the departure lounge. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s something especially weird about a mother who gets in that kind of state in front of her own children.
There’s no doubt in my mind that shows like Love Island, which finished on Monday night, have their part to play in this lack of personal responsibility.
Its entire premise is to get semi-naked men and women to have sex with each other for the entertainment of the viewing public. And when they do, the morality of what’s going on is never called into question on the show.
Instead, the contestants are rewarded with prize money and lucrative contracts, all predicated on their willingness to bare almost all in an ever-decreasing spiral of self-abasement.
Depressingly, the live viewing figures for this week’s finale hit a record high of 3.6 million. That’s an awful lot of people swallowing the message that casual hook-ups are a natural — even expected — part of a sun-kissed trip abroad.
I don’t deny I’ve watched Love Island with my daughter and found it diverting enough. Some will say I’m being an old prude. But when the amoral code it promotes lands a British teenager in a Cypriot courtroom after a liaison with a group of men, surely no one can deny there’s something sick at the heart of this hedonism.