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The other day My daughter told us that she has never seen a “Bond” film and I immediately felt that I have been negligent in her education if she has not seen any of the archetypical secret agent films based upon the novels of Ian Fleming. This is something that I must try to address over the Christmas holidays. This little anecdote leads me to Janet Albrechtsen’s critique of the dour feminists who whine about the nature of James Bond.
In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that those grouchy women who deride Bond would secretly love to be a sultry Bond girl for just a while at least. Before settling down to a life of academic introspection, who wouldn’t like to strap a Beretta 70 to the inside of their thigh, dress up in hopelessly tight-fitting gowns and, yes, have a naked Bond slip unannounced into their steamy shower? Come on, girls. ‘Fess up. Your fantasies can’t all be about being the first female chief justice of the High Court or the first female driver of a large piece of mining machinery in the Pilbara.
In any case, don’t underrate the Bond girls. Full of humour, they radiate a delightfully modern mix of confidence, arrogance and sexual liberation. Who can forget Pussy Galore, the lesbian pilot, or Plenty O’Toole and Holly Goodhead? Pick any Bond girl and I’ll find something more legitimately feminist about her than the Moaning Myrtles who cry sexism each time the latest Bond movie hits our screens. And then there’s that Bond woman M, head of MI6, who routinely puts 007 in his place. As other women my age have remarked, when you grew up in the late 1970s watching repeats of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, the Bond girls were a refreshing break from Samantha and Jeannie.
Instead of whining that the latest Bond movie is sexist, spare a thought for the poor blokes who could air a bigger grievance. They can never hope to be Bond. Not in the 21st century, where revealing even the smallest hint of the alpha male is pounced on by puritanical feminists as a sign of uncontrolled machismo and sexism. Maybe women like me love 007 because he is the antithesis of the metrosexual men who surround us.
In fact, if Bond is sexist and millions of modern, liberated women are still being seduced by the sexy spy, maybe the sisterhood should ask whether it is somehow to blame for making him so damn alluring.
The sad fact is that so many feminist warriors are far to serious about cultural Icons like James Bond and if they would just lighten up a bit then maybe the few truths that they are enunciating would not be ignored along with the hyperbole that is their stock in trade.
- MC@Play: The Bond Girl Glass Ceiling (marieclaire.com)
- Get to Know the New Bond Girl: Bérénice Marlohe (fabsugar.com)
- Product placement in pictures: Skyfall (brandsandfilms.com)
- Beauty Looks to Steal From 9 Sexy James Bond Girls (bellasugar.com)
- 50 Years of Bond Girl Fashion (fashionista.com)