Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts – Charles and Rosa’s friendship

***Contains a single spoiler on the question of whether Charles and Rosa end up together so if you care about that, skip. Also (if you live under a rock) spoiler for something about Rosa that is only revealed in season 5***

Charles knows Rosa so well. He helps Marcus plan the perfect birthday surprise, and he rules the maid-of-honor party competition. But it wasn’t always like this.

At the beginning of the show, Charles doesn’t understand Rosa at all. He fantasizes about her, and says he is “in love” with her, but is he really? I don’t think he is. I think he’s into her, he thinks she’s hot (who can blame him for that one?) but frankly I think he dislikes many elements of her personality as they reveal themselves.

tumblr_mu49oj6BUq1sk79zgo1_500

Rosa: “I hate small talk, let’s drink in silence.”

Charles: “Perfect.”

But does he really mean that?

When Rosa says something dark, he comments “I can not figure you out.” Really, Boyle? We’ve only been watching this show for two hours and we already get that Rosa says dark things with no emotional expression.

The best thing about Charles courting Rosa is how quickly he gives up. I’m not kidding. He asks her out maybe 3-4 times. Rosa says no, and even the few times she agrees she makes it clear it’s not a date. She never at any point leads him on or implies she might like him back. She never likes him back. Eventually, with some solid relationship advice from friends, Charles consciously decides to move on – he wouldn’t have been receptive to Vivian’s advances if he had chosen to continue to pine for Rosa. In fact, the moment when this happens appears visually in the episode at Captain Holt’s birthday party, when she asks “How are you single? There’s no special someone in your life?” and he hesitates, eyeing Rosa in the corner, and then turns back to Vivian and replies, “No.” Good work, Charles!

Charles helping Rosa text her boyfriend
Charles helping Rosa text her boyfriend, season 2

Also, as soon as Charles moves on, the awkwardness lingers only for a few episodes, and by the end of the first season, Charles and Rosa are actual friends.

This is another reason why the moment when Rosa comes out to Charles is so beautiful. This moment between Charles and Rosa is incredibly intimate, with zero sexual connotations or even joking innuendo, which is perfect. It just shows how much Charles gets her, how sensitive he is to her vulnerability in that moment, but also explains why Rosa trusts him enough to open up about this deeply personal issue, which is something Rosa never does.

God, I love Boyle. < smiley face with heart eyes >

Just to be clear, the reason it is so important that Charles does not continue to pursue Rosa despite her rejection of him is because the opposite is the basis of rape culture. Classic romances constantly repeat the trope of a male persisting and pursuing a female despite the fact that she said no, and encourage the idea that this behavior is somehow romantic, shows courage and strength and confidence and other sexy qualities, when in fact it should be seen for what it is – stalking and harassment. So kudos, nine-nine, for portraying a reasonable response to rejection. More please. 

#top10epicmoments #charlesboyle #rosadiaz #queerculture #feminism #lgbtq #representationmatters #consent #smashrapeculture #friendship

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Let Me Tell You What Ruins The Moment

 

I was on a date with this guy, and we were talking about hobbies. His is martial arts, so I told him about my experience learning and volunteering for IMPACT Israel.

Date: Rape protection for women? Lemme guess: Punch to the face, knee to the groin, run away as fast as you can?
Me: No.
Date: No? What else could they possibly teach?
Me: Well, of course they teach you a good knee to the groin, but it’s not just that. It’s also about setting clear boundaries.
He smirked while I demonstrated creepy and non-creepy ways a guy could ask me what time it is while waiting for the bus.
Date: So run away!
Me: I don’t want to, I’m waiting for the bus. I need to get to work.
He was skeptical about the idea that someone standing too close to you and making you feel uncomfortable was something that happens to women on a regular basis. He was impressed with the style of physical fighting skills I described, but the concept of setting verbal boundaries seemed to register with him like teaching women to be uptight and paranoid.
Date: Only creepy guys do that! I could recognize a creeper from a mile away!
Me: OK, fine.
Me: But not all guys are creepy, right? I believe most men aren’t creepy. Some men are good. Some guys are cute, and kind, and they love us. They’re boyfriends, husbands, dads. What are you supposed to do when it’s your boyfriend, who loves you, who is making you uncomfortable?

I can’t even count on one hand anymore the number of stories I’ve heard from close friends that go like this:

  • Boy meets girl
  • boy and girl engage in consensual romantic activity
  • boy initiates sex
  • girl says “No, I don’t want to.”
  • boy thinks girl doesn’t actually mean what she said
  • without really understanding that that is what he is doing – ends up raping her

WHY does that still happen?

Date: But what are you supposed to do? Am I supposed to ask before I do anything?
Me: Yeah.
Date: Everything?
Me: Yeah.
Date: Ask before every single thing? Pffffft!
Me: Yeah, why not? It doesn’t ruin the moment.
Me: But do you know what totally ruins the moment? Touching someone without her consent. Huge turnoff.

13344542_1157187760994513_3899135592563392909_nLike many other Internet junkies out there, I’ve been reading the story about the Stanford rapist, his father’s nauseating letter defending him, and the victim’s testimony. The conclusion I’ve drawn from it is that young people (probably everyone, but particularly young people) are so terribly misinformed about consent. If you are drunk, you can not give consent. And if you are not sure if the woman you’re with is drunk or not, what are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to not have sex with her. Because if you don’t know if she can give consent, why would you risk violating someone in that way? And if you aren’t sure if she wanted it, even if she said yes, or she said no but you think she meant yes and you aren’t sure if she means what she means – just don’t do it. If you’ve ever had sex with someone who has given their consent and not regretted it in the morning, then you know that consent doesn’t wear a mask. Consent looks like “Yes, I do want to have sex with you!” It’s obvious when someone is saying yes. Which means that if it’s not obvious, they are saying no.

So what do we do? How do we fix this problem? My younger brother initiated a simple campaign to try and make a difference. His campaign is called Free Consent, and its goal is to raise awareness about what exactly consent looks like. Their slogan is, “If it’s not yes, it’s no!” They held a conference just last week with workshops and guest speakers to discuss this topic, and they’ve visited high schools all over the northern part of the country to help spread the word.

13301500_10154178202265365_6235709197252153524_oAnd the best part is, here’s something you can do: join the campaign! Post a selfie of you holding a sign bearing the words,

“If it’s not YES – it’s NO!” #freeconsent

It’s not so hard to understand. And who knows? Maybe we can actually start reducing rape cases around the world. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?