James Bond movies are all about male fantasy, and we live in a culture where women are violently dominated by men, so it doesn’t surprise me to learn that the new film Skyfall is misogynist.
We’re all used to the cavalier Bond creatively foiling super-sexxay ladyvillains. That isn’t enough to keep the lead in Dude Nation’s pencil any more. The movie franchise wants to keep their money-maker relevant, so they’re doing so by kicking the woman-hatey crap up a notch.
Bond is a rapist now.
From a unpublished article by Giles Coren:
…there is a young woman in this film whom Bond correctly identifies (in his smug, smart-arse way) as a sex-worker who was kidnapped and enslaved as a child by human traffickers. She is now a brutalised and unwilling gangster’s moll. She gives no sign of being sexually interested in Bond, merely of being incredibly scared and unhappy. So he creeps uninvited into her hotel shower cubicle later that night, like Jimmy Savile, and silently screws her because he is bored.
But it’s okay, because he only raped a prostituted woman, and that doesn’t really count as rape, right?
Bond is a cultural icon who is supposed to represent the kind of man ordinary men dream of being. Director Sam Mendes presents these ordinary men the opportunity to forget the tedium of their own lives by vicarious participation in the rape and murder of a prostituted woman, from the safe anonymity of a dark movie theater.
So what if our heroes are rapists? Rape is great! Just ask our other heroes who’ve appeared in the media lately: Julian Assange, Gary Glitter, Freddie Starr or, if you have an ouija board handy, Jimmy Savile. Even alleged feminists like Naomi Wolf will make excuses for a rapist if the rapist also happens to be more important than his victim. (Even though she herself was victimized by a professional dude more socially prominent than herself, so she knows exactly what that feels like.)
Men who achieve a lot deserve women as trophies for their efforts – whether the women in question want the hero or not. Who cares what women want, anyway? They’re just subhumans.
I am ashamed, as a British person, that this film will be mistaken abroad for an example of prevailing values here.
I really really hate to tell you this, Giles, but those ARE the prevailing values. In the UK and everywhere else. We’re living in a rape culture. Women are punching bags and meatsocks for male use. When men no longer have a use for women, they’re killed. Not only is this not considered a problem, it’s even funny.
Movies, books, TV shows only reinforce our gender roles, which remain fixed however much sugar-coated hipster irony is sprinkled all over them.
Read the rest of this article and wonder why the Times wouldn’t print it. Criticizing misogyny in a meaningful, non-ironic way is notoriously bad for a newspaper’s advertising revenue, since much of capitalism depends on keeping women down.
Women, men hate you.
Well, maybe our good-hearted Giles doesn’t, but he’s not the majority.