Things I Hate: James Bond

Published in Feminism / Film and TV - 2 mins to read

In this exciting new series (exciting for me anyway) I plan to just complain a lot about things and try to emulate the great Charlie Brooker so that it’s hopefully either funny or gets across a meaningful underlying point. For the first installment, I thought I’d start with Britain’s leading man; James Bond.

I fucking hate James Bond. Honestly, I hate everything about the character, I can’t think of a single redeeming feature, he is the locus of my vitriol for toxic masculinity. One of my friends is, uhh, a little bit less employed than I am right now, and has taken it upon himself to watch every Bond film in order, and review them on Twitter. He’s four in so far, and in two of them Bond has sexually assaulted women. He has 21 films left, and while I am hopeful the amount of glorified explicit assault on stream will go down, I know full well that the amount of misogyny as a whole will not. Bond very clearly treats women terribly, as objects, playthings that are there to serve his desires. He doesn’t view them as people at all, and for some reason this has never really seemed to bother anyone as much as it clearly should?

Bond is held up as a male archetpye - he never expresses any kind of emotion (despite clearly going through a huge number of traumatic events), he solves problems with violence, and he clearly measures his own self worth by the number of notches in his bed post. It makes me so, so sad that so many young men have historically looked up to this character, idolised him, and wanted to emulate what he does - because he’s a deplorable piece of shit. When I was growing up, I was the same - he was what I thought a man should be like - and that completely erroneous conditioning has caused me untold amounts of pain and angst over the past decade.

I’m sure Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s influence on the new film will be a massively positive thing to try to drag the franchise kicking and screaming into the modern age. There is a lot of speculation about who will take over the role once Daniel Craig departs - can’t we just assign Bond to the bin, and replace him in the cultural zeitgeist with stories and characters that are diverse and inclusive - or at the very least have some vague sense of morality?

Oh, and for totality - he’s an appalling poker player.