The Big Bang Theory: the sexual politics of the socially challenged in “The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition”

20 Nov

Amy Farrah Fowler: newfound object of desire

Sheldon Leonard (Jim Parsons) is what I call… socially retarded.  Yes, I know that is a politically incorrect word to use but challenged honestly doesn’t even begin to cover his problems when interacting with others.  Since the introduction of Amy Farrah Folwer (Mayim Bialik), his issues have only expanded since now Sheldon has entered, well, pre-pubescence.  It is a crap shoot whether or not he will ever become an even halfway competent sexual being but I have a feeling Amy Farrah Fowler can push Sheldon’s buttons beyond anything his vast little brain can comprehend.  And I look forward to seeing the sexual domination of Sheldon by Amy even though I’m not quite sure if that is truly a conquest worth bragging about for any woman.

What I always find amazing is how confident men are once they think they have a woman hooked.  It tends to be this smugness that usually leads to their loss of their love object at some point, then their subjection, I mean, their compromise and capitulation to having a relationship with rules and clearly defined expectations;  in this case, outlined by Sheldon’s ridiculous relationship agreement.  Of course, if men could be that clear with what they expected from us up front, I believe there would be less divorce.  Because there would be less marriage once the women understood they are marrying children.  Now before every male gets his penis in an uproar, I’m just calling it like I see it.   Because it seems to be the norm for the male to put out as little emotional effort as possible while at the same time expecting the female to shower him with love, attention and kindness mixed with the perfect measure of indifference because as every female has probably learned, if you don’t throw some indifference into the mix, you are essentially a doormat.  Worse, you are taken for granted.  Perhaps one of the best moments in the episode is when Howard (Simon Helberg) muses, “… are you telling me that Sheldon’s patented blend of condescension and no sex isn’t enough to hold a woman?”

It appears Howard’s rhetorical question does indeed have an answer and that is NO.  Even apparently, Amy Farrah Fowler has her limits and she can only tolerate disappointment for a year.  It’s a moment every woman who has been in love with someone who toys with her dreads:  the moment when someone else is interested in you.  It’s a moment of disappointment that your object of affection can’t get it together to step up to the plate but at the same time, it’s a glimmer of hope, that perhaps it isn’t you that is flawed after all.  So, when Amy Farrah Fowler accepts the date with Stuart (Kevin Sussman) it is an opportunity to see what it is like to go out with someone who appreciates her and isn’t afraid to show it.  Although Stuart may not be the love of Amy Farrah Fowler’s life, she is learning. albeit late, that sometimes it’s a nice change not to feel taken for granted.  That can be a dangerous thing for her love object though, because then the female becomes aware of the power she didn’t realize she had and once she does comprehend this newfound knowledge, she can use it any way she sees fit.  Of course, in terms of karma one is better off using it for good, not evil.  The evil will come back and bite you in the ass every time.

Although Amy Farrah Fowler does not realize it, she is driving Sheldon mad with jealousy.  And watching Sheldon go to Penny‘s (Kaley Cuoco) and ask her out on a date is a good lesson for all of us females to learn.  Because suddenly we see that any males we might care about who do not seem capable of taking action, can indeed take action and drastic action at that if the female in question does not matter to him emotionally.  We have never see Sheldon ask someone out on a date through the show and suddenly, he goes so far out of his league even Penny is shocked.  Penny realizes this is Sheldon’s retaliation by trying to make Amy Farrah Fowler jealous by asking her (Amy Farrah Fowler’s bestie) out.  The strange self-confidence men have when the women mean nothing to them and they are happy to use women is something I will always find baffling.  It isn’t that the men will use the women.  Women will use men just as much.  It’s the strange self confidence that is baffling because with a woman, if she doesn’t have self confidence with men then that is basically true across the board.  It doesn’t matter how hot or nerdy he is.  The most interesting aspect of this is that Sheldon, someone who doesn’t seem to have a sex drive, even unconsciously understands how to hit your love object where it might hurt the most, going out with her best friend and illustrating not only a double betrayal but exposing how badly he is secretly hurt.

I will give Sheldon credit though.  At least he is smart enough to listen to Penny and not play games but go directly to Amy and talk.  On her date.  Even that is preferable to a very long drawn out sequence of game playing which for Sheldon, seems like it might have been preferable for at least a season if not two.  No, Sheldon shocks all of us and does something actually as grown up as it can be for him.  He goes to Amy Farrah Fowler on her date because he actually cannot bear the thought of her being in a movie theater with another man.  And it is at that moment that Amy Farrah Fowler finally moves from being an inexperienced girly woman to becoming a full-fledged woman.  She now sees that Sheldon cares.  Something she has been waiting to see and hear for over a year.  And she won’t allow him to ask her to become his girlfriend in a roundabout indirect way (dear men:  it is insulting when you insist on being indirect as THAT is a form of game playing and power control, implying that we are not good enough to warrant direct interaction).  As soon as he starts with his hedging, she cozies up to poor Stuart who has unfortunately become a pawn.  It only takes Sheldon seeing Amy Farrah Folwer move a few inches away from him and closer to Stuart that sends him over the edge and directly as her what she has been waiting to hear for so long:  will she be his girlfriend?  She unhesitatingly says yes.  Naively.  Because those of us who know emotionally withholding men know she has gotten a bad deal already.  Oh but Amy will learn sooner than she thinks.

No sooner does Amy arrive home from her date but she finds Sheldon has broken into her apartment and is waiting for her, not the actions of a healthy relationship but one that indicates Sheldon might just stalk Amy now.  He already started with watching Stuart on Facebook.  His possessiveness will most likely only expand as the season continues.  Because now that Sheldon has exposed his feelings (the the extent he is capable of which isn’t much) and now that he knows other men can find Amy Farrah Fowler attractive, there will always be the implied sexual threat of another man.  What will be interesting is to see if Amy Farrah Fowler can figure out that she can dangle this in front of Sheldon when he gets out of line, or rather, doesn’t get in line.  Or even hold her hand.  Because the non-sexual relationship will implode soon enough.  Amy has what she wants, or at least the first installment of Sheldon.  But she is going to soon violate terms of that relationship agreement as she discovers she is acting more like Sheldon’s mother and care-giver than girlfriend.  Amy’s compromise – what she is willing to give up in order to get Sheldon as a boyfriend, the emotional and sexual aspect of the relationship, will create untold trauma for both.  Currently, she substitutes closeness with female friends.  But very soon this will be emotionally unsatisfying and will blow up in Sheldon’s face.  Because Amy is horny.  And in all fairness, she has been waiting long enough.  Poor Sheldon.  He’s going to be in for quite a ride when Amy violates the relationship agreement and he learns that he cannot control female desires.  I have a feeling this season will be a bumpy ride for the new couple.  But maybe with a bit of behavioral therapy, Sheldon can get past being and acting like a child emotionally and start to be a man.  I, for one, think it’s time.

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