James Bond brought out the sexist in us all


The death of Sir Roger Moore last week, who played 007 in seven of the Ian Fleming-inspired James Bond films, was arguably the best Bond to ever grace the role.

I say argue because that’s what my family did via text message for a full hour on Tuesday, May 16, when I brought up the fact that Moore was and is the best Bond to ever to grace the silver screen and how saddened I was by his passing.

I may not have said those words exactly. I think, I might have texted, “I can’t believe Roger Moore is dead and that Sean Connery is alive.”

It wasn’t my brightest or best moment, but in my defense, I was grief stricken.

Rather than offer condolences, the hyenas circled, questioned my competence, and subjected me to sexist remarks.

I watched Moore’s 007 unedited on the paid cable television service HBO in the 1970s, when we weren’t supposed to be watching the action-packed movies filled with too much sexual innuendo.

I would push down the No. 44 plastic beige button that would start up HBO. I had to really push to hear and feel the button lock into place. After the static and the Star Wars-like theme started each feature presentation and the H-B-O letters floated in space, I knew I was seconds away from hearing Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” and then seeing the skydiving Bond between a silhouette of a woman’s hands. Because HBO was in its infancy in the ’80s and didn’t have much programming, they played the movie at least 30 times a day, so I got familiar with “Bond, James Bond” and that arched eyebrow.

Moore taught me useful life lessons, for instance, what a martini was, and no matter how many times a bad guy is killed, another one will always take his place. Moore was the Bond, who introduced this Gen Xer to Fleming franchise. At the time, I thought all Englishmen had sexy facial moles.

His linen pant, open collar wearing gentlemanly Bond was way more approachable and charming than Connery’s tight clothes fitting, serial killer portrayal of Bond in the 1960s.

Everyone in my soon-to-be unfriended extended family on Facebook (I’m going to join Facebook and friend everyone just to unfriend them.) believes the Scottish Bond was more authentic than the British-born Moore.

My brother-in-law, who I’ll call K-dawg, said the best James Bond was Sean Connery and a few other misguided individuals chimed in about how good his taste was.

K-dawg told me that he remembers when I said, I liked Roger Moore more than Sean Connery as Bond and that was when he decided he liked his other sister-in-law better. My brother-in-law also likes licorice and candy corn so there’s no accounting for his taste. He and his father bonded, forgive the pun, over James Bond movies while my mother-in-law went to bridge club.

My father-in-law said of Moore, “that he wouldn’t make a wart on Connery’s (behind) as a 007 lead.”

Strong words coming from an illiterate drummer.

As for the man-I-live-with, he texted the famous quote that said Moore acted in the Bond movies “like he was hosting a James Bond Film Festival.”

The animals started circling when I stepped atop my soapbox and proclaimed that unlike Connery, Moore understood he was acting in a B movie, so he camped it up. Oh, and I may have also mentioned Connery’s penchant for sexist roles because he himself was and grew up in a sexist era.

To which the man I-live-with replied, “Christine, go clean the kitchen.”

As a way to cut the texting-tension, K-dawg asked if anyone had seen the first Bond movie starring George Lazenby, who none of the Cookes could remember until they were grounded in a tennis analogy. Lazenby was the man who married Pam Shriver, the tennis star of the early 1980s. Apparently Lazenby’s role as Bond explained the sexism and womanizing of Bond.

And just like that we were all on good texting terms. Ended the threat in a truce with all of us agreeing that James Bond movies have the best title songs ever.

That is, if you don’t count the “Mission Impossible” movies.