I’ve almost reached my breaking point, guys. This truly might be the one that does me in. Seriously. I may be found deceased in front of my computer screen by the time I finish this column.
Apparently the “Jane Bond” debate is back in the news. In case you’re a little confused — or if you missed it the first time around — yes, we are talking about turning James Bond into a woman. Yes, that Bond. James Bond. (See what I did there?) Some of you might remember actresses Priyanka Chopra and Gillian Anderson being named as possibilities for the role as far back as 2016. In fact, Chopra flat out admitted that she would prefer to play the role of Bond, rather than be cast as a "Bond girl."
I guess feminist social justice warriors really have nothing better to do with their time than take on a literary figure who has been famous for his robust masculinity since the character’s inception in 1953. Somehow I doubt that English author Ian Fleming ever intended for Bond to wear lipstick and high heels or to stash all of those cool spy gadgets in a purse.
Nevertheless, many feminists are determined to see the famed MI-6 agent undergo a metaphorical (or, God-forbid, a literal) sex-change operation in order to appease the ideological notion that women should be able to embody any character that a man can embody. Of course, they can, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should.
For crying out loud, the reverse would be true for famous female roles throughout film history. I certainly don’t need or want to see masculinized versions of Mary Poppins, Elizabeth Swann, Sarah Connors, Dorthy Gale or Katniss Everdeen. Those roles are special in a way that bonds them exclusively to the women who played them and we should be able to appreciate that. To suddenly recast them as men would be purely insulting to the creators of those characters and insulting to the actresses who portrayed them. It would literally diminish their work. Also, it would be really weird.
Thankfully, actress Rachel Weisz is speaking out in the midst of all the utter stupidity. This couldn’t be more ironic, considering that she’s married to actor Daniel Craig, who has played James Bond in the last three cinematic installments of the blockbuster franchise. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, she rejected the idea of a feminine 007, arguing that women need to find and embrace their own unique characters and stories:
Ian Fleming devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women. Why not create your own story rather than jumping on to the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors? Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories.”
Weisz is absolutely correct here. A female James Bond is not James Bond at all. Just as an African American James Bond would not be James Bond. Sure, Idris Elba is a great actor, but not for this specific role. These aren’t sexist or racist assertions, they’re just factually correct based on the original intent of the original author who created the original character. Anyone with half a brain should be able to comprehend this.
You shouldn't screw around with the source material just to pacify the wants and desires of a small minority. Leave it alone.
James Bond is — and always has been — a white, male, British secret service agent with a penchant for fast cars, martinis and the sexual conquest of at least one woman per movie. Recasting Bond as a woman who sexually conquers feminized men would be so utterly backwards and twisted that I shouldn’t even have to explain its absurdity. That sort of film would not only tank at the box office (much like the feminized “Ghostbusters” film), but would simultaneously destroy the Bond character in the process, leaving many fans like myself wondering what the hell just happened.
And that would also be just as stupid.