Dear Aaron: Stop being intimidated by proud, career-driven women

Your toxic masculinity is showing

Like many, I watched Love Island through gritted teeth, as Aaron Francis criticised his partner Sharon Gaffka for being too career-driven and being unsure about the prospect of having children. Erm, you’re toxic masculinity is showing, Aaron.

The conversation arose during Monday night’s instalment of the show, as the Islanders got to know each other better over pastries by the pool. The couple’s conversation turned to their hypothetical future, with Sharon commenting that having kids didn’t really interest her as she was more focused on her career.


Aaron and Sharon

Explaining her position further to a now baffled Aaron, she said:  “I’ve always been against having children. I think [it’s] because I’ve always dated guys where I’ve had to do a lot of the house labour and I just don’t want to date someone and have kids with someone where I have to do everything.” A very valid and understandable position for a woman to have about her own life, right?

According to Aaron, this was wrong. He later spoke to some of the other male Islanders and actually uttered the words on national television: “I think she’s just scared of the idea of a guy wanting to be the main breadwinner and her being the housewife.”

Sorry?! Housewife?! Find me one woman in the 21st century who doesn’t think that sounds like absolute hell.

It’s bad enough that Aaron was trying to groom Sharon into being his housewife after only a few days of being coupled up together, but the audacity of him being shocked at her reluctance to have children is crazy and highly problematic.

Sharon is a law graduate, a civil servant and an ambassador for The Young Women’s Trust. She’s spent time and money on her education, and has clearly set career goals for herself she’s excited to achieve, without the unpaid domestic labour of childrearing holding her back. But for some inane reason, Aaron expects her to give all of this up to raise his children? WTF.

Why didn’t he just explain how important kids are to him and his future? Why not explain that he plans on sharing the workload with his future partner when they do have children? That way he’d at least provide the world with some reassurance that his masculinity isn’t as fragile as it currently seems. Why instead would you disparage a woman and make out that her focusing on her career is negative?

Aaron being intimidated by a career-driven, successful woman (which stemmed from his own insecurity about her past dating history) reveals a modern issue that needs to be addressed: why do men think women must choose between a career and kids?

Here’s a reality check for you, Aaron. Women can have fulfilling and meaningful relationships, raise families and be focused on their careers. We’re literally that awesome.

If you clearly enjoy your job as a model/ luxury events host/ balls trimmer advertiser, and aren’t planning on giving this up when you have your four children, why on earth should Sharon?

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• The racism in Love Island’s first coupling ceremony has reared its ugly head again