Shamy Breakup – Advantage Amy

First, SPOILER ALERT if you’re not up on Big Bang Theory!

Sheldon and Amy seemed a perfect couple when they first met.  They’re both scientists, both severely nerdy, and socially awkward.  However, from early on, Sheldon always had the slight advantage.  Sheldon decided the status of the relationship.  He decided when they were just friends.  He decided when they become “boyfriend/girlfriend”, and he drew up the “relationship agreement”.  While he had the advantage, he did have to consider Amy of course.  After all, Amy drove him to start the official relationship by temporarily dating Stuart (the comic book guy) to make Sheldon jealous.  But even then, Sheldon was calling most of the shots.  Well, the short version of their history is that from time to time, Amy would nearly end it, and Sheldon would give in a little more.

If they both started out socially awkward with nearly identical personality types, why was it Amy who always wanted more, and it was Sheldon who would give in just a little each time?  Both became friends with Penny, and here’s the important part.  Penny is friends with both, seems to care about them both as individuals, but has always been rather neutral about their relationship.  Penny pushed each of them to break out of their shells.  Amy was easier than Sheldon.  It wasn’t long before Amy was going out for drinks with them, dancing, expressing her attraction to other men, such as the loveable but incredibly dumb Zack.  While Amy broke out of her shell, Sheldon only peaked out of his.  Amy then attempted to help him more, but with little success.

In the end, Sheldon was too self-absorbed, and too determined to stay in his comfort zone, and Amy had enough.  And so, Season 8 ended with Amy saying she needed some time to think about them.  Season 9 begins with Sheldon chasing after her, but doing a poor job of it.  It was too little, too late.  Who would have thought that SHELDON, yes, SHELDON, would be chasing after Amy while SHE is the run rejecting HIM?!  This is the same Amy who pretended to be sick just so that Sheldon would take care of her, according to the terms of their “relationship agreement”.  Well now, for once, Amy has the advantage.

I don’t know what will happen with them, but I think they’ll get back together.  I normally embrace the principle “male comrades before women who sell their bodies for money” (AKA “Bros before hoes”).  But in this, I’m on Team Amy.  She’s been wonderful to him, and he doesn’t show her enough appreciation.  I know it’s hard for him to deal with people in general, including Amy, but while they can be forgiving and patient, he needs to meet them, especially Amy, half way.  If they do get back together, Amy will likely have the well-deserved upper hand for a while.  Sheldon will have to come back on her terms this time.  Amy is a cute, nerdy girl with a personality that is just outgoing enough now (thanks to Penny) that she will have other options.  Sheldon?  Unlikely.  He’s beginning to realize just how good he had it.

When we last left off (Season 9, first episode), Sheldon concluded on an angry note.  He’s finally going through what most men go through in their teens.  It needs to happen.  It’s unpleasant, but healthy.  He’ll be angry at women, angry at Amy, but it will pass.  I hope that before they get back together, which I’m sure they will, I hope Amy dates around a little.  She could use the XP, and dating “normal” guys might remind her what is so unique about Sheldon.  For all his faults, he’s certainly one of a kind.

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is alright by me

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Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s recent comments, that she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, are not surprising.  There was a very predictable angry reaction by twitter feminists that I’d like to address.

Feminists of the past made many great achievements for women in America and the world, such as voting rights, rights to education, careers, property rights and the right to pursue leadership positions in government or the private sector.  That Kaley doesn’t embrace the feminist label today, does not betray these feminists of the past.  Today’s “feminists” are far less interested in equality, and far more interested in male bashing, playing victim, crying “RAPE!” anytime a woman regrets having sex (but not men of course), and demanding tax-payer funding for the consequences of their sexual liberty.  I’m not surprised that an intelligent, successful, and happily married Kaley has no interest in THAT feminism.  She actually explained it very well in the interview, that she’s never experienced the kind of discrimination and inequality that feminism stands against.

That she loves “serving her man” is not a statement of subordination.  I love making my wife happy, and she loves making me happy.  Dr. Phil used to say that a successful “marriage isn’t 50/50, but 100/100.”  Sure, you make compromises, but if you love your spouse, there’s no quid pro quo.  You are happy making them happy, and I see no reason why a liberated woman can’t cook for her husband if it makes HER happy.

As always, there’s the “feminist” or two who refers to the “meaning of feminism”, usually the dictionary definition.  Yes, the dictionary defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” because that is the traditional definition, and it is what feminists of the past fought for.  I fail to see how forcing Hobby Lobby to pay for birth control, or crying rape while simultaneously pushing for gun control (making it harder for women to protect themselves) is consistent with that definition.  I think Kaley knows exactly what “feminism” has come to mean, and that’s why she has no interest in it.

Lastly, I’d like to defend her role in The Big Bang Theory, as Penny.

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Maybe based on the pilot, one might get the impression that Penny was the stereotypical “dumb blonde”, but as the show developed, one could see this was not the case.  Penny isn’t ditsy, she isn’t spoiled, and she isn’t shallow.  She does have a far-fetched dream of becoming an actress, which she eventually gives up on by the current Season 8 in favor of a more promising career.  Throughout the series, Penny is often the street smart character who has bailed out her genius male friends more than once.  They’ve bailed her out too.  That’s what friends do.

Besides, the show as a whole is not giving the impression that women are dumb and men are brilliant scientists…if you bother to watch past the pilot episode.  Next came Bernadette, who started off as a Cheesecake Factory waitress, but earned a PhD in Microbiology, and became a successful researcher and developer for a big pharm company.  My personal disdain for that industry aside, Bernadette is not some dumb blonde clearly, though she may appear that way at first glance.  Then came Amy, Sheldon’s “girl slash friend”, later “girlfriend”.  Amy is a socially awkward, brilliant neurosurgeon who, like Sheldon, slowly becomes more sociable and street smart thanks to her friendship with Penny…you know…the “dumb blond waitress”?

Leonard and Penny – Believable?

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Be honest!  If you saw a couple like Big Bang Theory’s Leonard and Penny walking down the street, you’d probably think poor Leonard was in the “friend-zone”.  Either that, or he has a lot of money.  Penny is very much the quintessential “hot blonde”, from her blonde hair and blue eyes, to her breasts that “defy gravity” (according to the “Amy” character), her legs, her assets.  Leonard is kinda cute in his own nerdy way, but he’s short, he’s no Brad Pitt, he wears glasses, and is too much of a nice guy.  Guys like Leonard are usually “just friends” with girls like Penny.  Yet, as Big Bang Theory enters its 8th Season, there they are together again…and engaged!

My first instinct is to say, “only on TV”.  However, I’m a big fan of the show and have paid close attention to these two since the beginning.  A younger, naïve Penny likely would have seen Leonard as a sweet guy who could be a good “friend”.  Many girls with Penny’s looks and insecurity would happily string poor Leonard along to give themselves an ego boost between dating, as Penny calls them, “dumb guys from the gym”.  Penny has certainly been around, as the Big Bang series began with Penny heartbroken from dating a big jerk with huge muscles and a bad attitude.  As the series continues, we learn more about Penny’s promiscuous past.  However, from day 1, she was always warm, open minded, but deeply flawed.  Some fans of the show claim that Penny only uses Leonard when she’s depressed, insecure, or just wants a man and has nobody else available.  Genuine friends do lean on each other when they’re depressed or insecure.  There was also one particular episode when Penny was drunk and attempted to have a one-night stand with Leonard.  However, she turned down Zack (a rather handsome “dumb guy from the gym” type) to be with Leonard that night.  While it certainly wasn’t Penny’s finest moment, I think it shows that deep down, her feelings for Leonard were developing.

Consider also how Penny has gone out of her way to make Leonard happy.  She threw him his first birthday party late in the first season, because he never had them growing up.  Despite her financial woes, she bought him several thoughtful gifts that she herself had no interest in, such as a vintage Star Trek transporter toy.  Furthermore, during those periods when they weren’t dating, Penny often gave Leonard helpful advice with women.  Lastly on this point, she cried when Leonard left for his trip to the Arctic Circle.  Penny may be insecure, reckless, and yes, willing to turn to Leonard to bail her out of bad situations she’s put herself into; but she’s also kind, considerate, and loyal as a friend.  Women as attractive as Penny are often shallow and stuck up – but not Penny.  She sees beneath the surface.

I think that after that four year relationship that Penny was in before the series began, she grew as a person.  The continued bad experiences with that ex-boyfriend matured her to the point where she would finally consider a sweet guy like Leonard.  She finds him cute, and definitely cares about him.  Does she have a strong, bestial attraction to him?  Nope!  And why is that necessary?  I know this is just a TV show, but while Penny and Leonard’s relationship is unusual, I do find it believable.  Rare, but believable.  Penny may not be a science genius like Leonard or Sheldon, but she has street smarts.  Her street smarts led her to a wise decision to invest her love in Leonard, and I look forward to seeing it continue.  As for Leonard, his biggest flaw with Penny has always been his – to put it bluntly – his spinelessness.  Once when they were on a weird, “friendship” “not really a date” type…whatever it was, Leonard started being more assertive and Penny liked that.  I think Penny wants Leonard to be more assertive, in part because she cares about him, but also because she’s a woman, and women are attracted to that.  It’s just human nature.  So, in conclusion, if Leonard is assertive, makes Penny happy but doesn’t bend over backwards trying to appease her, I think they both will have a bright future indeed.  Well, the new season starts tonight, and I can’t wait!