I don’t watch Fox’s TV show Bones very often. I did happen to catch most of last Wednesday’s episode, which had a Valentine-y theme running through its B storyline.
“Bones” is a nickname for the primary character – a brilliant forensic anthropologist named Temperance Brennan. Dr. Brennan has a very difficult time understanding the nuances in interpersonal relationships. She’s very logical and scientific and can come across as a little cold because she’s viewing the world in quite a different way than the ‘average’ person.
Dr. Brennan has apparently recently entered a romantic relationship. Four dates have happened, and no sex. In this episode, her paramour has invited her to go watch him play basketball, which she doesn’t find interesting in the least – when he asked, she asked him if she’d get to play and he said, “You suck hugely at being a girl.” Brennan confides in her female coworker (Angela) that she can’t figure out why things are moving so slowly (in the bedroom), and her perplexity about the basketball game. The following conversation occurs:
Angela: For once can you just pretend to be the girl?
Brennan: Why is everyone so anxious for me to be a girl?
Angela: Listen, go to the basketball game, let him show off for you and see what happens.
Brennan: I don’t know, it sounds so passive.
Angela: Now you’ve got it.
It’s logical to conclude, then, that the message here is that to be a “girl,” one must be passive and one must praise men and their acheivements adequately in order to get, at the very least, sex. Perhaps even a romantic commitment.
So Brennan goes to the game, watches her new boyfriend on the court and praises him in her analytical, anthropological manner. It’s clearly awkward for her…and it doesn’t work. He doesn’t sleep with her.
What precipitates the actual sex event, as it turns out, is Brennan taking the proverbial bull by the horns and aggressively seeking it out. She grows altogether too tired of waiting passively and makes the first move, which was her instinct in the first place. Turns out that she didn’t need to be a “girl” to get what she wanted; all she had to do was be herself.