Sunday, December 9, 2012

Media Moment: James Bond never dies if he has his girls

I’m huge fan of James Bond, I grew up with watching many Hollywood movies, among them, 007 series is my favorite action movie. But without knowing what we have learned from this class (hegemony and patriarchy), we will keep see this unrealistic movies that reinforcing hegemonic images of women and portraying colored women in negative filter that white world created.
You don’t even need to think about any specific episode of 007 series, entire 007 series; picked the bond girl who meets with hegemonic beauty of women: blonde, glamor, skinny, and seductive to man. But the bond girls are submissive and often depicted as supporter of the male protagonist.
And ethnicity is also matters – women with colored-skin or non-west nationality often depicted as one-night stand (sleep) partner for James Bond, and mostly these colored-women depicted as “uglier” than white women, by taking antagonist role: helping villains, or, betrayer character.
I was somewhat happy with seeing Asian woman from one of the 007 series; Michelle Yeoh’s taking big role in the Tomorrow Never Dies. But she is the one of two characters that Asian women in Hollywood film, the Dragon Lady. Well, indeed, Yeoh is famous for her natural born martial art actions but her role strictly follows the characteristics of Dragon Lady.
And prior to the Yeoh’s Dragon Lady character, I can vividly remember the most demonic character May Day (Grace Johns) which roles a sidekick of her master Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). She kills people without hesitation, lifting up man easily, and wears high-leg tights that look scary to audiences. And May Day dies eventually by her own decision – which was to me to ask about why all black people die in Hollywood films.
I just want to ask about what is your opinion about this longest running film in film franchise. Do we need to see another 50 or 100 year of women with blonde hair lying on the bed with 007 and colored women killing men?
Roger Moore said in an interview (after premiere of Skyfall) “I saw a screening of it a couple of weeks ago. It not only guarantees another 50 years of Bond but probably 100. It's quite extraordinary

1 comment:


    I actually wrote about one of the Bond films for our second paper, and yes, I tried to examine all of what you pointed out. That women are, almost uniformly, portrayed by the fhalt-p ideals. The fact that they decorate the set as pretty objects instead of fleshed-out characters that hold their own with Bond. I don't want to just rehash much of what I wrote in my essay, so I won't.

    But I will say that I think, very slowly, the Bond franchise has tried to shift its representations of women, in line with the glacially moving cultural norms and ideology. I'm basing that claim off of 2006's Casino Royale, which for the first time in recent memory, I can recall seeing a female character in a Bond film that actually had developed characterization and dialogue, and formed somewhat of a counterpart to Bond. But she still conformed to the 'feminized,' submissive, need-to-be protected by Bond at all times archetype that's become synonymous with the franchise.

    I haven't seen Skyfall, but I've read some articles that argue that it is a less misogynistic Bond film. While there's no doubt that Bond is still a male-dominated, chauvinistic universe, it would be nice to see a different generation of Bond - in the next few decades, if it lasts that long - with a reformed sense of gender (and race) representations.