Reel Talk: Bond is bad, but can be good

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Jillian Leiby, JagWire opinions editor

Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as James Bond,“Spectre,” came out last week. It was enjoyable, as the previous three movies were. It was hard, however, to ignore the blatant sexism in this movie, as with the others. And I don’t think that has to be the case.

In “Spectre,” Bond manages to bed a grand total of three women. I understand the appeal of the “Bond girl,” but that famous label just goes to show the inherent sexism in the franchise. It was fine when Bond was a suave womanizer in the past decades. But it’s 2015, and the idea of a woman being in a movie only for sexual purposes is archaic and gross.

Monica Bellucci’s casting as a Bond girl at 51 was a big step in the franchise, but she is rarely in the film and is once again used as an object for Bond. Lea Seydoux’s Dr. Madeleine Swann seemed like the perfect strong female character to stand alongside Bond, even denying his advances multiple times. But after Bond saves her from a crazy murderer, she falls in love with him. Furthermore, Naomi Harris’s Moneypenny, a woman of color, plays second fiddle to almost every male character in the movie.

While Craig has come out and called Bond a misogynist and applauded the steps the new generation of Bond has taken to not treating its female characters as objects, there are still many who are skeptical about have a female Bond (let alone a Bond of color). But why the skepticism? A woman has the same capabilities to be sexy, seductive and smart. If a male Bond can seduce multiple women while also killing the token villain, why can’t a female one do the same, either with multiple men or women? (Why don’t we just go full progressive here? This is the movie industry, after all.)

It’s time that people realize that James Bond is a misogynist who uses women (and tends to get them killed, if we are being real here). But Jane Bond doesn’t have to be. And I really want to see that film.

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