New book by Cambridge alumnus claims James Bond was actually a feminist

Prishita Eloise Maheshwari-Aplin 11 January 2017

A new book, written by Professor Jeremy Black at Exeter University, presents the famous philanderer, James Bond, as a “very modern man” who valued independent women. It aims to portray that Bond admired female partners who were not only as sexually liberated and demanding as him, but also resourceful and able to help him defeat villains.

In Goldfinger, Pussy Galore is the leader of a lesbian motorcycle gang that helps Bond foil the villain’s plot to gas the guards at Fort Knox. Furthermore, Bond voices his approval of the independence of Dominetta Vitali, the main “Bond girl”, in Thunderball.

Professor Black, who graduated from Queens’ College, Cambridge, with a starred first, said, “007 is not only the last of the club-land heroes with an older established code and set of values, but a modern gent who dislikes the depiction of women as 'slaves'”.  

The historian, who has been described as "the most prolific historical scholar of our age", suggested that much criticism of the spy is misdirected and partly due to his depiction in the films, where we see him sleep with 58 women.

"He is a far more complex and interesting character in the books than in the films," said Professor Black. "In the films the Bond Girls are stunning, and with startling regularity acquiesce with a sigh of 'Oh James', which has fed 007's reputation as an arch misogynist."

The World of James Bond, which will be published later this year, states that Fleming’s heroines are not constrained or defined by matrimony and motherhood, and James Bond, rather ahead of his time, respects and admires this in them.