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Sexism in James Bond

(98 Posts)
Frans1980 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:47:24

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19812608

I never really thought of it but the article really opened my eyes. I wonder how many young boys see James Bond as a role model??

flatpackhamster Tue 16-Oct-12 19:37:04

sausageeggbacon

I didn't say women don't die in it. I said they don't die for 'sluttiness'. And they don't.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 16-Oct-12 22:36:25

I didn't say I'd never seen any of the films, I said I'd never seen a whole one. The reason being that I get tired of watching women have sex and then get killed, and reach for the off switch.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 22:40:42

In Dr No, the female character played by Ursula Andress killed the man who raped her.

FrothyDragon Tue 16-Oct-12 23:36:53

Yes, but her rape was still used as a plot device. That, in itself, is misogyny.

flatpackhamster Wed 17-Oct-12 09:06:28

ElephantsAndMiasmas

I didn't say I'd never seen any of the films, I said I'd never seen a whole one. The reason being that I get tired of watching women have sex and then get killed, and reach for the off switch.

As a result of that attitude you make incorrect assumptions about the film. You assumed that 'slutty women' died and that the makers of the films 'hated women'.

I'm pleased to have been able to correct your misapprehensions.

FrothyDragon

Yes, but her rape was still used as a plot device. That, in itself, is misogyny.

Now you're really reaching.

Lexilicious Wed 17-Oct-12 09:39:11
Lovecat Wed 17-Oct-12 09:46:00

Reaching? No, I think that's a valid comment - if there was no reason for the character to be raped other than to advance the plot a bit, and there were other ways of getting from plot point a to b then i) it's misogyny (why rape? why not some other occurrence) ii) it's a bit shoddy/unimaginative of the scriptwriters. But then expecting an intelligent script from a Bond movie is a bit like expecting to be intellectually stimulated by Mills n' Boon.

Now this is a movie I wish they'd make...grin

FrothyDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 09:57:33

Thank you, Lovecat.

Although, I do wish to hear more on how FlatpackHamster thinks I'm "reaching". I may need wine to understand this.

<crosses fingers for Dora The Movie>

flatpackhamster Wed 17-Oct-12 10:10:05

Lovecat

Reaching? No, I think that's a valid comment - if there was no reason for the character to be raped other than to advance the plot a bit, and there were other ways of getting from plot point a to b then i) it's misogyny (why rape? why not some other occurrence) ii) it's a bit shoddy/unimaginative of the scriptwriters. But then expecting an intelligent script from a Bond movie is a bit like expecting to be intellectually stimulated by Mills n' Boon.

Including rape in a plot is not misogyny. The only way it could be is if the writer is saying 'women like rape really, they're just whining for the sake of it, every woman likes a rapey man'. Why can't the rape demonstrate the spite and callousness of the man? Why can't it be used as a metaphor for his attitude to other things? Why can't the fact that the woman was raped by this man explain other elements of her behaviour, such as her mistrust of Bond?

Simply saying "HURRR rape in a script is misogyny" is the sort of binary nonsense I thought that we'd dispensed with in secondary school.

FrothyDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 10:21:23

Not really...

This kinda covers the "rape as a plot device" thing. Written by a man, as well, so it's not just women getting angry about this.

Lovecat Wed 17-Oct-12 11:15:44

flatpack

You seem to have ignored the part of my post that said 'if there were other ways of getting from plot point a to plot point b' - any of those instances can be shown by something other than a woman getting raped. To depict it onscreen is a form of misogyny - look, women, this is what men can/will do to you, whether as punishment, control, anger...

Perhaps you need to go back to that secondary school you've dispensed with and learn to read & address a post thoroughly rather than ignore the bits which don't fit your argument? (nice attempt at intellectual put-downery, btw, well done!smile)

Woozley Wed 17-Oct-12 11:21:36

I find the female characters in the more recent films more interesting, but the old films are very sexist, of course. Bears also shit in the woods and I hear the Pope is Catholic.

flatpackhamster Wed 17-Oct-12 11:29:07

Lovecat

flatpack

You seem to have ignored the part of my post that said 'if there were other ways of getting from plot point a to plot point b' - any of those instances can be shown by something other than a woman getting raped. To depict it onscreen is a form of misogyny - look, women, this is what men can/will do to you, whether as punishment, control, anger...

It's not depicted in the film. At all. It's mentioned. There is no depiction. None.

Has anyone here, apart from me, actually watched any Bond films? Because I notice all the hitching up of dungarees and the judginess but I don't seem to see an awful lot of people talking about what they know.

kim147 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:46:24

In the early Bond, the role of the female was to be good looking and to fall themselves all over Bond at any moment. Plus to be the subject of a lot of innuendos. A good deal of the women in Bond films tended to end up dead or in bed with him. Or both.

It's been interesting to see how the role has changed. Much stronger leads but still a tendency to get Bond in the end. Or die. Don't think there's been a women in Bond who has just worked with Bond, been a strong character and not ended up dead or in bed with him. Apart from M of course. Would be interesting if Q was played by a women. Just an ordinary woman - not over good looking or ugly / geeky.

Then again - I haven't seen the last 2 films. I thought Tim Dalton was a good Bond.

I've NEVER watched a james bond film its just not my thang.

It annoys the fuck out of me.

AbigailAdams Wed 17-Oct-12 11:52:38

Oh goody, another man telling us off and informing us what is sexist and what isn't.

I have seen all the Bond films and agree with Frothy and Elephants. I just don't remember them (as I am sure others don't) in the same obsessive detail you do flatpackhamster

Lottapianos Wed 17-Oct-12 13:16:40

Judi Dench is just fab eh? Her character kicks Bond's ass when she needs to and seems very unimpressed by him. And Judi Dench looks so gorgeous - there's something really steely about her that I just love smile

Totally agree with comments abou the sexism in the films, especially the early ones. I started a thread a couple of weeks ago because I had watched Dr No (DP has bought the 50th anniversary Blu-Ray set of all the JB films hmm) and noticed how Sean Connery talks to Ursula Andress's character. He sounds like he's her dad - 'quickly!', 'move!', 'I said come on! QUICKLY!' 'get down' 'STAY DOWN!'

Mmmm sexy! hmm grin

There's a bloody horrible scene in Goldfinger when he's in the hay shed with Honor Blackman and starts play wrestling with her - she repeatedly pushes him off. Then he gets on top of her and pins her down with his weight - she tries to push him off with her hands round his throat but eventually 'gives in' and ends up snogging him. Absolutely gross. She gets treated like a little plaything with no mind of her own hmm

flatpackhamster Wed 17-Oct-12 13:53:21

AbigailAdams

Oh goody, another man telling us off and informing us what is sexist and what isn't.

I haven't said Bond isn't sexist. I notice from some earlier posts you made that you have a real issue with reading what other people wrote. You seem to read what you think they wrote. So let me make it quite clear for you - I haven't said Bond isn't sexist. What I've done is correct the more egregious misapprehensions of some of the posters in here.

I have seen all the Bond films and agree with Frothy and Elephants. I just don't remember them (as I am sure others don't) in the same obsessive detail you do flatpackhamster

I love the suggestion that knowing what I'm talking about is 'obsessive detail'.

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it seems that it isn't half as dangerous as a lot of ignorance.

AbigailAdams Wed 17-Oct-12 15:05:10

I think you have a problem reading what I wrote. I never said you didn't think Bond was sexist. But you are certainly telling us what parts of the films you think are sexist and what are not.

And I don't think not knowing every single plot line (bearing in mind I saw some of these films over 20 years ago) is a "dangerous" thing. Nor is it ignorant.

Oh and your comment about the dungaress really shows what side of the sexist fence you are sitting.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Oct-12 15:11:24

Marking place.

flatpackhamster Wed 17-Oct-12 15:55:02

AbigailAdams

I think you have a problem reading what I wrote.

Uh-uh.

I never said you didn't think Bond was sexist.

No, you were too busy deciding that my point of view was invalid because of my gender.

But you are certainly telling us what parts of the films you think are sexist and what are not.

I wrote that I don't think that including a rape in a film is a misogynist act. I was referring to the poster above who stated that rape, in a film, is a misogynist act.
I don't think it HAS to be misogynist and I don't think it means the scriptwriter and director are woman-haters. And I certainly don't think that rape in a film automatically makes men rapey, in the same way that I don't think watching a film about serial killers makes you a serial killer and watching Bambi doesn't make you a deer.

And I don't think not knowing every single plot line (bearing in mind I saw some of these films over 20 years ago) is a "dangerous" thing. Nor is it ignorant.

If you roll on to a thread about topic A, and then expound about topic A without knowing anything about topic A, then yes, it does make you ignorant of topic A.

Oh and your comment about the dungaress really shows what side of the sexist fence you are sitting.

I'm sitting on the side with the pile of Bond DVDs.

Look, if you haven't watched them and don't want to, but feel like arguing about them, Wikipedia has plot synopses of every film. Would it kill you to read about the subject before posting?

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Wed 17-Oct-12 19:27:47

There are plenty of Bond girls that sleep with Bond then die, but I've always looked at it more that they were killed for getting involved with dangerous, abusive men (that are portrayed as such) rather then for getting involved with Bond. The deaths are never glorified and make for uncomfortable watching as any scenes portraying a murder should.

I do think that it's a bad thing that these women are used as a plot device to establish the baddie as a baddie and James Bond as the 'vulnerable hero', but it's not just restricted to the Bond series for example the comic book 'women in refrigerators' phenomenon and I don't get why Bond should be singled out for using an age old cliche that isn't really taken seriously, when a lot of other more influential movies profess to having 'strong female characters' that are in reality anything but.

AbigailAdams Thu 18-Oct-12 10:18:25

flatpackhamster I didn't decide your point of view was invalid because of your sex, I decided it was invalid because of the dungaree comment. The only reason I mentioned your sex was because you weren't the only man on the board yesterday trying to tell how we should feel/think.

Whether some people (and I actually haven't) got a few details incorrect does not detract from the overall feel that Bond films are sexist. For example the rape plot. No it wasn't depicted but it was used. You actually stated (as if fact) that is wasn't misogynistic. Rape is a misogynistic act. And this wasn't the only time a Bond woman has suffered rape - Tiffany Case and Pussy Galore were also others. And as for Honey Rider who is depicted as barely older than a child yet Bond still feels it OK to have sex with her. He is set up to "save" all these women. It the context of the whole film, it is misogynistic.

Bond girls dying after having sex with Bond (or the baddies) punished for their "sluttiness". Only your opinion that they are not punished for their sluttiness. Not ours.

What was simply a general discussion about the Bond films, you have turned into some kind of know-it-all top trumps along with a few sexist remarks of your own. It wasn't necessary, but nevertheless you felt you had to "educate" us.

AbigailAdams Thu 18-Oct-12 10:21:13

And this also illustrates why many feminists prefer female-only discussion spaces.

baddancingdad Thu 18-Oct-12 11:38:02

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