James Bond: Morally Ambiguous Misogynist?

This weekend I’ve been burning through the Sean Connery Years of James Bond: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever.

In the 1960s movies I found James Bond got away with a lot of, shall we say morally ambiguous, actions. The barnyard scene in Goldfinger. That health spa chick he conned in Thunderball. Seriously, only in the 60s could you get away with this type of stuff.  Oh, and remember when he slapped around Tatiana in From Russia With Love? I imagine Connery isn’t the most popular Bond with female viewers.

There was a line in You Only Live Twice, where this guy actually says, In Japan “Men come first, women come second.”  Or in Goldfinger where he tells Dinx, “Go away.  Man talk,” and then slaps her in the butt.

Sean Connery’s Bond always had a kind of she-wants-it-she-just-doesn’t-know-that-she-wants-it kind of attitude when it came to flirting with the women in his films.  He does ooze confidence though, and a sick amount of style and class.

The Connery Bond IS Bond.

What are your feelings about the Sean Connery Bond and his character in his films?

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2 thoughts on “James Bond: Morally Ambiguous Misogynist?

  1. I remember re-watching the Connery Bonds after a long time and seeing all the problematic ways women are represented in the films, not to mention how Bond treats them. The Thunderball scene especially got me thinking as it is basically rape. That being said, I still enjoy the films, but I am glad to see that they have moved away from that aspect of Bond’s character. It detracts from his image as a smooth, cosmopolitan individual. I still like Connery as Bond, I just wish his interactions with women had been less problematic. Still, this was the early 60’s.

    I’d be curious to see if the dynamic changed by 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever in the wake of the sexual revolution and women’s rights. I have not seen that one in a long time though and I suspect it would require some attentive viewing to determine if there was any change in portrayal.

    Great post! I’m glad someone else brought this up because I had been thinking about it as well.

  2. The subordination of women is an issue worldwide that goes largely ignored and is not treated by most people as a serious issue. If James Bond had made remarks like that but racially charged instead, we might remember him differently.

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