Why can’t I have my own Bond Movie?

22 Sep

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Between my work-from-anywhere marketing research job, I started binge-watching James Bond movies.

When I was in high school, my dad and I watched these movies together. I remember getting blissfully lost in the exotic locales and charming appeal of the hero.

We never traveled as a family, so watching James Bond made me feel like I was leaving the depressing confines of my hometown: London today, Thailand tomorrow. I lived vicariously through Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan.

Or was I living vicariously through the Bond girls, daydreaming of the day some man would save me with his adventures?

Now, as I watch Bond movie after Bond movie, I feel increasingly terrible, and also foolish for realizing so late how blatantly these movies exclude a woman’s personal journey. They are hero movies for men – the male protagonist’s adventures lead him to some grand pinnacle of personal achievement, thus creating his deep sense of self worth.

Women spectate. Women get romantic comedies, where marriage is the heroine’s happy denouement.

For most of my teens, I think I genuinely believed that if I became the object of a man’s desire, it meant I was doing something right. I placed my happiness in a man’s hands. How ridiculous to place my happiness in anyone’s hands but my own. I was smart in every other way, but so dumb when it came to valuing myself.

Over the years, I lost myself waiting for someone else to make me happy.

Now, going through this breakup, I yearn for some story, some pop culture compass to tell me what to do. Where is the movie about the woman that has nothing to do with a man? Those stories are out there, I know.

Where are the stories of the strong women who gracefully rebounded from personal loss by giving an opposite, positive force to the world? These are the confident woman who never used their relationships to validate their self-worth, the women who had more important things to do than lament what they were better off without, the well-rounded women whose every happiness didn’t hinge on the self-loathing temperament of a selfish man.

Forget James Bond. I want to be THAT woman. That is not who I am now, but mark my words: Someday, I will be that woman.

I will be the International Woman of Mystery.

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