Posts Tagged With: James Bond

007 Doesn’t Hate Women

A few days ago, I wrote on people finding sexism everywhere they look in books. A common target of theirs is James Bond (both the original books and films). Taking it further, article after article has labeled Bond as misogynistic. It appears many people just like pretending to sound intelligent by repeating a big word they never looked up, nor have they thought too deeply about Bond.

First, misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women. Bond does neither (more on that in a moment). What people have done here is equate objectification with dislike or hatred. This is a stretch and a misuse of words. Why, would most people, objectify something they hate? Even Bond actor Daniel Craig misused the word, but his costar, Monica Bellucci disagreed that Bond was a misogynist.

Bond never abuses women, only hates the ones trying to kill him, and his conquests are always willing participants. Professor Thomas A. Shippey, in his course on influential characters in literature, Heroes and Legends, reveals that Ian Fleming’s original 007 books reveal a Bond who is:

…gallant, even protective [of women] in an old-fashioned way. Nearly all the women in Bond’s life have been badly treated [by others]…Tracy and Vesper, the two women Bond marries or means to marry, both have hidden sorrows or secrets…He doesn’t physically abuse women, and he’s capable of falling in love. He shows concern for some of his partners, and although they sometimes dump him, he doesn’t dump them.

The films, especially the recent series, do reflect what the novels established. So why, historically, does every woman he meets “disappears or is disposed of before the start” of the next book or film? This where the sexist-misogyny-slinging experts have refused to think to deeply: Why is Bond so scarred? What has made him the way he is? The books, and the Daniel Craig films, have explored these reasons. Being a spy, the past is slowly revealed, and perhaps never fully, but losses like Vesper’s betrayal and death certainly have an obvious impact.

Bond is an easy target: Giant blockbuster films, full of barely believable escapades, a spy who always gets the girl. On even a cursory inspection, however, that man is flawed, has a history and a feeling or two.

In other words, a human after all.

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Buckle Up

We love to disappear into our books, but this year the big screen is overloaded with epics tailor-made for the old fashioned, larger-than-life format. Not surprisingly, the most anticipated ones are all existing franchises.

The original apocalyptic series returns after a decades-long absence in Mad Max: Fury Road, which takes place between the second and third films of the original series. One word: Wow.

Ethan Hunt is back in Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation. Why is every film about renegade agents and/or the IMF being disbanded? Don’t know, but it works.

That other secret agent, James Bond, faces his worst nemesis in Spectre. Bringing back this old villain solidifies the new series as being among the best of 007.

As he did with Star Trek, it looks like director J.J. Abrams is bringing us back to old-school Star Wars in Episode 7, The Force Awakens.

We may be getting close to super hero burnout, but the reboot of Fantastic Four looks to be a smart move. It has the look and feel of X-Men, so are the filmmakers who missed launching the “shared-universe” boat years ago up to something?

Buckle up and choose your adventure.

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