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10862 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2277790 16-Jul-2019 15:05
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surfisup1000: For sometime now, Hollywood prioritises special effects over a decent story.

Untrue. Explosions in the marketing trailers are so much more important!

13058 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2277803 16-Jul-2019 16:11
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From today's Daily Telegraph




"It’s (semi) official: 007 is a woman. A black woman. According to a Sunday report, ending the years of conjecture prompted by Daniel Craig’s announcement that he was standing down as James Bond, British star Lashana Lynch will be handed Bond’s licence to kill in the 25th movie, to be go on general release in April next year.


In what has pre-emptively been called “a popcorn-dropping moment”, the film is said to begin with spymaster M saying: “‘Come in 007’, and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.”


And although Ian Fleming purists can breathe easy – it turns out she’s not the new Bond, but an operative who takes over the spy’s secret agent number after he leaves MI6 – we’re assured the script has been washed clean of mucky misogynistic dialogue, with the phrase “Bond girls” banned, and poor “new man” Bond now a stooped, obsequious-faced, handbagged figure who has swapped the tux for a “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” T-shirt – and the microchipped cufflinks for a set of LGBT rainbow bracelets.


OK, so this last part may have been imagined. But the femi-vention comes from TV writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge – the “feminist” creator of Killing Eve and Fleabag – who was drafted after concerns that Bond may not be “relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women”, as Waller-Bridge puts it.


Never mind that Fleming’s age-, death- and STD-defying spy has always been about as “relevant” and “representative” as Charles Schulz’s fictional cartoon beagle, or that Bond’s chauvinist pig-isms were always designed to amuse, in these enlightened times, sexism is not funny. Ever.


There’s a problem with this. In my regressive little world, at least. Namely, that I still happen to find (overt) sexism funny.


Reading over Bond’s most sexist comments earlier had me snorting with laughter. “Now put your clothes back on and I’ll buy you an ice cream,” Bond instructs Bibi Dahl, the ice-skater niece of a Greek smuggler, in For Your Eyes Only. And in Octopussy, when warned by intelligence operative Vijay Amritraj that the island is “exclusively for women” the movie world’s favourite dinosaur muses: “Sexual discrimination… I will definitely have to pay it a visit.”


Aren’t flagrant generalisations at the root of comedy? Men can’t multitask. Women can’t drive. Men can’t change nappies. Women can’t map-read. Riffing away on gender stereotypes that range from painfully true to containing a grain of truth is all part of the joyful and undeniable business of Being Different.


And I struggle to find a level on which Philip Hammond’s latest comment offends me. “Did they let the girls fly the plane today?” the Chancellor is said to have asked after a turbulent landing when travelling on a royal plane full of female aides and RAF officers last year. To which the inevitable reaction could only be that of Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who concluded: “He should have been sacked years ago.”


In 2018, the Chancellor Philip Hammond appeared to mutter "stupid woman..." during Prime Minister's Questions
In 2018, the Chancellor Philip Hammond appeared to mutter "stupid woman..." during Prime Minister's Questions
It’s true that Hammond has form: in 2017, it was claimed the Chancellor said “even a woman” could drive a train, during a testy Cabinet exchange with Theresa May, and then last year he appeared to mouth “stupid woman” at MP Andrea Jenkyns during PMQs. And although I’d love “stupid woman” to equal “stupid man”, because of the in-built historical condescensions, we’re not quite there yet. Maybe one day when we’re all squared up.


Is there a ticker tape running through Hammond’s cerebral cortex that reads: “Men are superior to women. Men are superior to women…”? That I can’t tell you. Certainly, when a pattern emerges, you start to laugh a lot less and worry a lot more.


But the real dangers to society don’t tend to be the ones who walk around spouting Bond-isms, but those whose everyday language is riddled with insidious or implied prejudice and bigotry.


The man who, in response to me describing my job as a writer “working from home”, replied: “Great – so it’s a kind of extended maternity leave.” The one who introduced himself to a novelist friend of mine with the words: “Sorry, I never read books by women.” The men and women who talk about dads “babysitting” (while women parent). The school WhatsApp groups only ever addressed to mums, the handing of the bill to the man, always, and the pink flowery tool sets.


I’d take one of Bond’s searing sexisms over a “dinky” femi-fied toolset any day. And then I’d laughingly counter with one of my own.


Read Celia Walden on every Monday at 7pm"


635 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2280270 20-Jul-2019 14:08
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Women as new heroes everywhere (see Star Wars). But I still have to open cucumbers for them because they can't get them up. :-)

No backup, no pity. Anyway, RAID isn't one.

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