I love James Bond. I am currently engaged in a Bond-a-thon, of sorts; I’m watching all 24 Bond movies this summer in preparation for the 25th Bond movie to be released… Well, sometime soon, I hope.
It is the absurdity of the spy trade that makes these movies so entertaining. That men feel the need to create such useless drama is proof positive that we need saber-tooth tigers and mastodons to keep them occupied against real threats and stop them from thinking up stupid reasons to kill each other. Thus, leaving women to do what needs to be done to govern a productive and peaceful world. A matriarchal society where men are men and women are women and there is no us against them crap to contend with is my idea of utopia.
Don’t get me wrong. I love and admire men. I am in constant awe at the useful skills they contribute to life, their physical strength and their ingenuity. There is nothing sexier than a strong, creative man who knows how to solve problems and can adroitly employ discernment between defense and aggression; and who doesn’t just try to “fix” things all the time. Why do men always try to fix things?
As a feminist, I try to advocate for equality not sameness (there is a huge difference!). And, while, yes, I do think a matriarchal society would be grand, I posit that in it, men would not be deemed beneath women, but revered and celebrated in far more healthy ways than the patriarchal model has so far demonstrated in its view upon women. But that is a different blog and I apologize for the minor digression.
Back to Bond. James Bond.
Bond has been portrayed by six different actors: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig; the debonair Sir Roger being my all-time favourite of the group, with Daniel Craig being a very – very, very, very! – close second. Each of these accomplished actors brought his own qualities to the role and assisted in elevating the legendary spy to epic heights as an iconic hero of the people. Sexy, smart, resourceful and, of course, licensed to kill, Bond engages men and women alike for his abilities, though, perhaps, for different reasons. With just a touch – for really, that’s all a man needs – of vulnerability, Bond represents the epitome of manhood.
Except that he is a spy. But he has the coolest gadgets. Like his wet suit with the rubber duck on the top piece used in Goldfinger. Who says spy gadget makers don’t have a sense of humour?
Still, he’s a spy. The modern saber-tooth tiger hunter. With gadgets!
And I love him. Almost as much as I love Batman. Batman is everything that Bond is, with more money. (I think.) And he’s not a spy. Just a guy with strong principles who doesn’t go looking for trouble necessarily, but doesn’t back down from it either. And he has a cape. And a mask. And a utility belt. And an awesome butler.
Oops! Another digression.
I love Bond because he is a hero – even if he is a spy – and I need a hero. Heroes are harbingers of hope and there are times when hope is all I have. If I can’t have a real hero in my life, at least I can have literary ones. Like Bond. (And Batman.) May he (they) always be there to lift my spirits, so often both shaken and stirred!