Morality and Sexuality May 1, 2007Posted by jenniferlewk in alias, james bond, morality, sexuality.
In response to Linda’s morality comment in class–James Bond does not have to be moral for him to be the good guy and to be well respected, whereas Sydney in Alias, Jordan in G.I. Jane and other strong female characters must show the utmost morality in order to be granted the same agency as their male counterparts–I would like complicate this idea of morality with the idea of sexuality. James Bond loves sex. Women love him, he loves them, and every movie reveals his latest sexual conquest. We as viewers, however, accept this hyper-sexuality of Bond because for us, part of what makes Bond powerful is his heightened sex appeal. Saving the world is a sexy adventure, so he should get some side benefits as well. Moreover, because of the historicity of sexuality and women’s place in the world of sexuality, women can not be as sexually liberated and as sexually motivated on screen as a male can. If they are, they are immediately viewed with distrust. Indeed, instead of being viewed in a positive light, these women would no longer be possible role models, strong female characters, or committed to their jobs. They would be criticized for their overt sexuality, called weak because of yielding to their emotional side, and considered irresponsible and not fit for the job. I find it interesting that even though we know Sydney, for instance, is a sexual creature, her love affairs thus far have been monotonous and ones that have a future (instead of Bond’s glorious one-night stands). Thus, I think that very much tied to the idea of morality is sexuality, and I doubt that this tie will break soon.