The Feminist Case for Bond Girls

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 31 2012 9:41 AM

A Feminist Case for Bond Girls

bondgirl
Ursula Andress in Dr. No, in a still from "Growing Up a Bond Girl"

Vimeo

50 years after the first Bond movie, and with another one on the way soon, the Internet is rife with 007-themed videos, mostly of the mash-up variety. (The latest version of Bond vs. Bond is one of the better ones.) But the smart film blog Press Play has, as always, taken a more thoughtful approach, with the video essay below written by Deborah Lipp, narrated by her sister Roberta, and edited by past Brow Beat contributor Kevin B. Lee.

Lipp, who has written a book about Bond (and blogs about TV at Basket of Kisses), argues that, especially in a time of Doris Day movies and I Dream of Jeannie, the pilots, spies, and villains who were the original Bond girls could be feminist icons. They were “sexy, in a whole new way.” She acknowledges that there is also sexism in the Bond movies, but feminism, she argues, “isn’t just a self-conscious rejection of sexism, it’s also about showing girls options.” Also: Pussy Galore is gay.

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Watch the video essay below, or read the text-only version at Press Play.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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