Ed Miliband, in an attempt to appear to be a normal human being instead of a malfunctioning robot, showed he at least knows one pop culture reference this week. When being interviewed about the upcoming General Election in which, obviously, he wants to be the next Prime Minister, he offered a little bit of an opinion about James Bond. The next James Bond, according to our next fearless leader, shouldn’t be Idris Elba. It should be Rosamund Pike.
If a woman were going to take over James Bond’s role, Pike would be an excellent choice. Daniel Craig’s Bond is far more brooding and sinister than other Bonds have been. In other words, he’s an actual person with an interesting story, a family history, and a suave way of doing literally everything. Not just a penis and a gun then. Pike can act with the best of them – she has an Oscar nomination to her name, which is more than Craig has. Her Gone Girl character was dark (putting it mildly), and she played her with nuance and sophistication. Yes, Pike for Bond would be interesting.
It wouldn’t be right though. James Bond is a specific kind of man: boozing, womanising, fast car-driving. His masculinity is literally the most important thing about him. You can’t just change his gender and expect this character to be the same when their gender plays such a huge role in who they are. Bond enacts a kind of masculinity which might not appeal to everyone, but does offer a kind of release for those who do enjoy seeing a man shoot and shag. That’s the point – Bond is a heightened, exaggerated man who lives to stick it in things, shoot bad guys and fix his cufflinks. Sam Mendes’s Skyfall did bring some more out of Bond than just that, but Bond is still the heightened idea of a man.
A solution: give Rosamund Pike another action franchise to take the lead in. When was the last time you saw a woman on the screen shooting the living daylight out of someone? I’m thinking Salt, the underrated Angelina Jolie film about a female spy. What we should be doing is making so many female driven action movies that movie-goers don’t have a choice but to see them. Force them to do well.
The desire to have women replace men in every single thing is demonising an entire class of man. It’s wrong to have desire towards woman, it’s wrong to watch James Bond do all the things you wish you could do. Men need a role model too, and men need some form of escapism without being demonised for it. This culture is contributing to the demonising and punishment of being a man, and it has to stop. It’s not wrong to want to be James Bond. It’s not wrong to want to be a man.
This article was originally published on Adam’s blog, found here.