The Hollywood Reporter is curious about the lack of female James Bond equivalents. They’ve discovered it’s because ladies are just there for sex, and pining:
Of course, many of Bond’s women didn’t help to expand that catalog. “You also have to look at the place of women in most of the Bond films … it’s pretty grim,” says Angyal. From the femme fatales who use sex to trick Bond, to the women used as playthings in villains’ games, to the one-off sexual playthings who hop in and out of his bed, to the pining secretarial standby Moneypenny, the ladies of the Bond series, are for the most part, accessories to Bond himself. Not the stations that inspire the next female super spy.
And moreover, they are certainly not just there for sex, because one of the main reasons to become a spy is to form long, meaningful, lasting relationships:
Part of the roadblock for spying ladies is the audience’s thirst for romance. Whereas Bond gets to “love” his Bond girls and leave them, female spies almost always have more sentimental love interests (in their past or present) when they’re running the show. These women rarely have one-off sexual encounters like Bond has had (though he does so less often in more recent films), lest they be painted as a femme fatale rather than a heroic figure. Oftentimes, a character’s proclivity for romance rather than pure sex is what separates her from the villainess. Even Homeland’s unostentatious spy Carrie Matheson finds herself in a deep romantic entanglement while on the trail. It’s practically unavoidable.
The thing is, this is dumb. That’s the problem with that logic, really. The logic is dumb.
First, it’s dumb because the kind of person who really wants to settle down and have a meaningful partnership is probably not the kind of person who’d be attracted to the notion of being a spy. Spies work alone. And they lie constantly. Don Draper is attracted to the idea of being a spy. June Cleaver is not. Romance is certainly avoidable if you are a trained spy. I mean, lust is not avoidable, I think if I were in potentially life threatening situations all the time, that could happen, but long term pining is avoidable.
But that’s not the main reason this is dumb. It’s dumb because women can have sex with men for their own pleasure. They can even be portrayed as doing so in popular culture. You need proof? Here is proof:
She was pretty popular.
Look, I’m going to take this farther than The Hollywood Reporter and say “why can you not have a female James Bond?” Not a female-spy movie that is equivalent to the James Bond franchise. An actual James Bond. Call her Jamie. At this point, it’s accepted that James Bond is not really a person, simply a code name for a person. That’s why they can swap out actors all the time.
There’s really nothing a female James Bond could do that regular James Bond couldn’t do. Could she lust after members of the opposite sex? Yes. And sleep with them? Yes. And drink martinis? Yes, although she might know that you should stir them not shake them so as not to bruise the gin, but okay.
But women can’t wear a tux!
OH THAT’S RIGHT.
I don’t want to make this into an argument for “women can do absolutely everything that men can do” but… that is an argument I am making. They can kill supervaillains and also have no strings attached sex, which are the two things that, to my mind, define James Bond movies.
Of course there’s a chance that a woman who loves them and leaves them could be seen not positively, but, again, I don’t think James Bond was ever liked because he seemed like a really good person to have a family with. He’s likeable because he saves the world every day. I think a person of any gender who does that scores some pretty big points with people.
There’s no really good reason that James Bond hasn’t been a woman other than the fact that it hasn’t been done before. Which, of course, is a pretty substantial reason, but not a good enough one to say that it can’t be done, ever.
James Bond. Female. Next movie. Let’s make it happen. She can have a male secretary who is pining after her, because being a spy’s secretary is the kind of profession that is attractive to people who absolutely love pining.
My only fear is that if anyone actually tries this, they’re going to have her drinking a cosmopolitan.
Pictures via Wiki