James Bond

Quantum of Solace, the latest in the James Bond franchise opened on Friday. It was the usual Bond-fare - dreamy Brit actor, sexy women, fancy gadgets, big guns, high body count. It was the stereotypical straight man's wet dream, although I'm certain other people (like this straight woman) enjoyed it. But it still left me with a sense of defeat when it comes to gender roles in cinema.

One thing that was mildly refreshing in this Bond film is that it had a degree of revenge, over a lost love. Meaning in the world of Bond, women weren't just play things. But because of the way things turned out with that love (she betrayed him and then killed herself to save him), and knowing that Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are supposed to be the beginning of the Bond story, perhaps that is supposed to explain why women are so expendable in the movies. I did get a small amount of satisfaction that in Quantum, the female lead not only had her own (tiny) back story, but that she also got to kill someone on her own (for her own reasons), and she didn't sleep with Bond. But she lived. The expendable minor female character that Bond did sleep with merely tripped a man down the stairs to help Bond, and she ended up dead. I'll admit that I'm no Bond expert, so I had to check with my husband to see if "sleep with Bond and end up dead" is consistent in the other movies, and according to him, it isn't. Whew. But the movies are still so overboard with gender stereotypes. Although I do appreciate Judi Dench's character, M. She seems to go against the stereotypical expectation. But maybe as gender roles have changed since the Bond franchise was first introduced, the gender roles in Bond movies can get a bit more progressive.

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