#NerdsUnite: Is James Bond Now a Woman?
Talk Nerdy To Me’s @StaffWriter:
There is still a lot of controversy over the new female James Bond.
It was trending on Twitter just last week.
In 2021, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said that they were delighted to announce that the exceptionally talented Lashana Lynch will be joining the cast of the Bond franchise as 007.
But not everyone is on board with the new gender of James Bond.
Should James Bond Be a Woman?
Many longtime fans of the franchise argue that Ian Fleming, the spy novelist who created James Bond, never intended the character to be anything but male.
And many are expressing concern about Bond’s traditionally ‘masculine traits’.
But what exactly are the traits associated with Bond? What is traditionally masculine? And can a woman portray these qualities convincingly?
These questions have been raised by historians, screenwriters, and fans of James Bond.
However, in defense of Lynch’s casting in the role, there have also been people who say that gender has nothing to do with playing 007.
Since Bond is not a real person, the character can easily switch genders. The person inside the person remains the same.
Other fans (and the general public) were generally quick to defend the decision to cast Lynch. Some say it’s about time.
Backlash Over Female James Bond
What is the backlash over the first female James Bond? Is it strict adherence to the tradition of the character or a gross display of misguided misogyny?
Either way, the James Bond series has been shaken by two controversies recently.
First, the producers announced that they will replace Daniel Craig’s incarnation of the famous spy with a new black actress playing a new female version of 007: Lashana Lynch.
This announcement received backlash from fans and critics who argue that Bond should not be black or female because Ian Fleming, the original author of the novels, did not intend for that character to be anything but male and white.
Some people have even called it “political correctness gone mad.”
Backlash Over First Black Female James Bond
I love the original James Bond character, but I’m totally open to embracing a new black female James Bond.
I don’t think everyone who doesn’t agree is somehow a terrible person, dead wrong, or (in the extreme) racist. Some probably are, but most likely just don’t want one of the favorite fictional characters to change.
We saw similar controversy around the female recasting of Ghostbusters. While some people were upset, most people were overwhelmingly in favor of the all-female Ghostbusters.
Given this, I’m very disappointed that such a large percentage of people seem to have so much hatred against the idea.
Perhaps many fans of James Bond are just more vocal about it than average moviegoers? That is one guess.
I don’t know if changing the character from a male to a female is a good or bad move but, if it’s going to happen, then I feel Lynch is an excellent choice for the role.
In fact, she is an especially great choice given her love for spy movies and action roles in general. In light of this news, I took some time to watch Lynch in Captain Marvel and I was thoroughly impressed.
Why James Bond Going Female Is a Good Thing
James Bond is an iconic character but changing him to a woman isn’t the end of the world. The person inside will be exactly the same; James Bond’s personality will remain intact under different circumstances.
Changing the character from male to female also opens new opportunities for future stories – like playing with typical gender roles. Furthermore, it sends out a message that women can play strong spy characters, too (and should).
Lynch is talented but I think she will do very well as 007.
I’m excited to see what happens next! And if they cast Daniel Craig again, then he could even play her boss or love interest!?! Is Daniel Craig now going to play the head of MI6? Maybe they should change the title from “James Bond” to something more gender-neutral, like 008.
Ok, no, I like 007 too much.
James Bond Can Be a Woman Because He Is Not a Real Person
The character of James Bond is only a fictional character, not a real person.
I mean, Daniel Craig didn’t actually shoot anyone with a Walther PPK, and he’s not really licensed to kill. Elba is certainly no more British than I am (but don’t tell him that). I doubt Idris has his own private island either. Though if he does, please invite me over sometime.
So, it doesn’t matter what color or sex they cast—as long as they can play the role convincingly.
A Female James Bond and Gender Roles
For how long have we been dismantling traditional gender roles without asking ourselves why they are so deeply rooted in our society’s unconsciousness?
We all know it’s true. It is as true as the fact that there is such a thing as gravity, and we can’t break it. So, given this truth, why do some people react so strongly to fictional characters being part of those roles?
What I mean by that is: Do they work on some level for us even though we want to dismantle them on another? We always strive for equality and fairness in society, yet we still have male/female pronouns and gender-specific phrases like “mankind” and “mother nature.”
I don’t think these things are objectively wrong—I’m just making an observation.
Fictional characters, gender, and societal perceptions are inexorably connected, whether we like it or not.
How might gender roles play into the perception of James Bond?
Well, James Bond is traditionally very much a man’s man. He has old-fashioned values and is charming—but he also likes to sleep around, drink too much, drive fast cars, shoot guns/kill people, and basically live on the edge of society.
He might not be traditionally handsome, but his destructive tendencies reveal a kind of raw sex appeal.
In short, he is a man’s man and a womanizing playboy type with a license to kill.
This character is in line with our current societal perceptions of what a “tough man” entails—but not so much what we perceive as the qualities of a “woman.” However, women can be strong, independent, and badass.