Ah, James Bond. That super-awesome lovable badass super spy and all-around really great guy and excellent role model-
Hang on, what is this?
James Bond is in a barn with his latest girl and... HE FRIGGIN' RAPES HER! Um... yeah... this guy was supposed to be the hero right? He's supposed to be the good guy that we're supposed to be rooting for and here he is sexually assaulting a young woman. Okay, you could argue that the woman does eventually consent but Bond still has to force himself onto her and she clearly tries to fight back. And the worst part? This scene is somehow supposed to be charming.
Ever since I watched Goldfinger for a class a few years ago I have found myself perplexed by this situation. The fact of the matter is that James Bond is incredibly sexist, and the worst offender is, ironically enough, Sean Connery i.e. the Bond that everyone else usually says is the greatest. Every time I hear someone (especially women) talking about how much they love Bond I always find myself thinking about scenes like this one, where Bond is, like it or not, a misogynistic jerk who seems to see women as little more than sex objects.
In the old films he'd sometimes go through four or five girls in one movie, usually moving onto one almost immediately after the last gets killed with almost no time to grieve (another example comes from a different film I'd seen before Goldfinger: You Only Live Twice, where Sean Connery's Bond spends about three quarters with one girl, only for her to get killed off and Bond to end up falling in love with some other female agent who was only present for the climax).
So why is it that Bond has such a fan base after all these years? That is hard to say, part of it may stem from the fact that more recent films have gotten a bit better about this (say what you will about Goldeneye, at least Bond didn't go through five different love interests), but many hardcore fans still defend Connery's Bond.
To bring up an analogy, let me refer to an older movie: Birth of a Nation. This was a film made long before Bond and was every bit as significant a part of film history as Bond, and possibly even more so (given most modern film making techniques came from it). The thing is, most people who aren't film historians or students tend to pretend this movie doesn't exist. Why? Because the story is incredibly racist and involves a glorification of the Klu Klux Klan.
From Birth of a Nation (1915): the heroic Klu Klux Klan has captured an evil black man and... WAIT WHAT?
I cite this example because it seems a double standard to me. Why is that most people will shun a film as blatantly racist as The Birth of A Nation and then go on to ignore the prominently sexist elements of James Bond films while talking about how awesome he supposedly is? (or might have been if he didn't treat women like crap)
As you've probably guessed from this post, I am not a fan of James Bond. Before anyone brings it up: yes, I am aware that some of the more recent incarnations have gotten better about this, at least starting with Pierce Brosnan in the 90's if not earlier. One of these days I might even work up the nerve to try watching one of Craig's Bond films. However, that does not change the fact that most fans point to Connery as the definitive James Bond. In other words, they look at a misogynistic pervert who likes to sexually assault every woman he sees and think "Wow, THIS is the guy I want saving the day."