The sexist formula for Bond girls revealed

Ben Arnold
Sexist… the manner in which Bond girls are depicted – and despatched – has always been precisely prescribed – Credit: Sony

If you’re thinking of penning some James Bond fan fiction, there are more than a few vital formulae to consider in order to get the tone just right.

Not least of which will be swotting up on the proper, authentically sexist way in which you must despatch your Bond girls.

Though such guidelines have been knocking around for some time now, some notable passages from the book ‘Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism Of James Bond: The Feminism Of James Bond’ have recently starting doing the rounds on sites like Reddit.

And the archaic notes have caused not a few flying accusations of sexism, though perhaps no more than 007 might be used to.

Roald Dahl, who was once of the scriptwriters of ‘You Only Live Twice’ in 1967, is quoted in the book as describing the three types of Bond girl, as per an instructive conversation he had with Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman, the results published in an interview in Playboy magazine.

(Credit: Eon Productions)

“You use three different girls and Bond has them all. No more and no less,” he says.

“Girl number one is violently pro-Bond. She stays around roughly the first reel of the picture. Then, she is bumped off by the enemy, preferably in Bond’s arms. In bed or not in bed? Wherever (the writer) likes, so long as it’s in good taste.

“Girl number two is anti-Bond. She works for the enemy and stays around for the middle third of the picture. She must capture Bond, and Bond must save himself by bowling her over with sheer sexual magnetism. This girl should also be bumped off, preferably in an original fashion.

(Credit: Sony Pictures)

“Girl number three is violently pro-Bond. She occupies the final third of the picture, and she must on no account be killed. Nor must she permit Bond to take any lecherous liberties with her until the very end of the story. We’ll keep that for the fade-out.”

Referring back over the past 24 movies, this formula applies in a pretty substantial amount – if not all – cases.

Let’s hope if there’s a Moneypenny spin-off – very much just rumours at the moment, but among a swathe of potential spin-offs in a ‘Bond Universe’ – the balance can be redressed a bit.

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