Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

What is it about women and sex that men just don’t get?

on November 20, 2012

**Warning, this post involves a small spoiler about the movie Skyfall.**

Friday night, my friend Kristen and I went to see Skyfall.  We both enjoyed it quite a bit (probably more than or as much as the jumbotron bag of popcorn we split).  The movie did a lot of things right.  There was a great action sequence where Daniel Craig and his attacker were backlit.  The film hearkened back to the Bond films we all grew up loving, including a classic opening sequence.  And, best of all, Daniel Craig wore some really great suits.  (I love Tom Ford!)

Unfortunately, there was one thing I couldn’t get past.  Let me tell you about it.

While hunting down Silva (Javier Bardem’s baddy), Bond runs into a woman, Severine (played by Bérénice Marlohe).  Bond notes that Severine is scared of the man she “works” for.  He then uses his Bondly deduction skills to figure out that Severine was a victim of a sex-trafficking organization and is now victim to Silva, who owns her.  Bond, in turn, promises to save her.

She admits she is scared of her owner/jailor, and admits she’d like Bond’s help.  An hour later, Bond offers his help – by unexpectedly jumping in the shower and getting it on with her.

I’m sure men all over the globe cheered on this sex scene, and wished they could trade places with Bond for that one shower because Severine is hot.

And therein lies the problem.  We have a woman who’s been sexually victimized her whole life, and her savior comes in the form of… a guy who has sex with her.

The three writers of Skyfall are all men, so I’m assuming they just don’t get how that’s not cool.  What is it about men that makes it hard for them to understand how sex can affect and damage a woman?

From comments about “legitimate rape” to people suggesting women are to blame for rape, it seems that many men trivialize the role of sex in a woman’s life.

I’ve never suffered a sexual trauma (thank heavens), but I can see how this would be a life-changing and majorly devastating event.  I realize that for Severine, a true hero would have chosen NOT to have relations with her but instead maybe had a conversation.  (Go figure!)

How do we, as women, get men to understand these perceptions?  How do we get men to see how sex, in a negative sense, can be the worst thing to ever happen to someone?

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20 responses to “What is it about women and sex that men just don’t get?

  1. Raul Felix says:

    I disagree. Her having sex with Bond would be her having sex by CHOICE with a man she is actually attracted to. Thus, a way to be empowered. Bam!

    • Molar Mother says:

      Haha – bam!

      But he didn’t even say, “Wanna knock boots?” He just got naked and got in the shower!! And for a woman who’s lived a life of being expected to perform for men, did she think that was the price of freedom?

  2. Not only that, but he doesn’t even save her. All the trust she put in him, all for naught. That upset me, as well.

  3. Matt says:

    Evidently sex with Daniel Craig can cure anyone of the ravages of sexual exploitation.

    Women are objectified in society and culture, and this is just one example of that objectification. Now, though, instead of fixing the problem, we’re just starting to objectify men too. For example, Daniel Craig in a speedo in Casino Royale or Taylor Lautner (underage and semi-nude) in Twilight.

  4. Sally Bosco says:

    I haven’t seen the film, but based on what you said, I agree. It’s like she’s just getting used by another man. It’s not like he’s offering her any genuine caring, which is what she needs. Some men may have been sensitive to this fact, but the writers weren’t.

  5. C.A. Jacobs says:

    You’ve just hit on the number one main reason I stopped supporting the Bond franchise. I think it’s probably been more than a decade since I watched a Bond flick. I have never liked nor been comfortable with the objectification of women in the Bond flicks. He never keeps the same woman from movie to movie and there are never any negative consequences for him to continue having random sex with whomever he feels. For as much sex as he has, he should have gotten at least one STD or gotten someone pregnant, but instead, he just keeps finding more poor saps to have sex with.

    As for Bond having immediate shower intercourse with a woman who has been a victim of human trafficking, I personally feel as though that woman probably feels as though that is just the type of currency used in her world. If I were her, I’d like to think that his actions mark him as just another in the long list of people who were just going to use her for whatever their own desires were and not actually help her.

    Keep in mind that often times in my occupation, I’m exposed to a good deal of how men behave when there is no one around that they wish to impress or screw and it has left me bitter and untrusting of the motives of guys in general. In that respect, I’d say I would have a similar mindset to someone who is used to men just doing whatever and whoever they want with no emotional attachments.

    I met a wannabe writer once who told me all about how his goal for the books he wanted to write was for all the guys to want to be his “hero” character and all the women to want to screw his “hero” character. I tried to explain that for me as a woman, sex is the expression of a stronger emotional attachment. I do, however, acknowledge that there are women out there who just like to screw any guy they can and that are not looking to express something more meaningful. Maybe that’s the dream of most guys – to have sex with beautiful people and have any committments or stability. I don’t know.

    But I do know that I don’t need to see Daniel Craig cruising around in a speedo because I don’t want to objectify men any more than I want them to objectify me. He maybe a very physically attractive male, but his actions in the Bond movies make the Bond character as unattractive as I could ever imagine. So for me, Bond’s attractive value is non-existent because of how he acts. I’m probably not a very good example of an average person, though.

    • Molar Mother says:

      Bond dealing with an STD… Next Bond film?

      • Sally Bosco says:

        I thought Casino Royale was good. It had a plot, and Bond did seem to have an actual personality and fell in love with the girl. With that film I thought they were evolving Bond more. But the film after that just felt like a series of car/boat/whatever chases. I was never offended by the old Sean Connery Bond films. Yes, they objectified women, but they were so stylized, I just thought they were fun and exciting.

  6. Nikki says:

    I’ve always had this issue with Bond, like C.a. above. My husband wants to share the Bond movies (classic Connery, mostly, but he did gleefully point out that Skyfall is rated a mere PG-13) with our sons. I won’t let him. With names like Octopussy, Pussy Galore, and Honey Ryder, why would I? Not until my kids are muuuuch better able to compartmentalize the sexuality in the movies. The Bond movies have *always* objectified and misrepresented women’s sexuality. Skyfall is certainly not exception, but merely an addition to the rule.

    The only answer to the question about how the Bond writers are so disconnected from a damaged feminine psyche is that Bond is fiction and he is meant to be virile masculinity wrapped up in those damn fine Tom Ford suits. Men are such physical creatures, they like to think that their touch can heal all kinds of evil. This can be a good thing, like the fact that the first thing my husband does when I’m upset is hug me, or a bad thing, like the extreme example of Bond healing a women of sexual victimization by *gasp* sexing it right out of her. Bond is the ultimate example of the potent male. An awful lot of men like the fantasy of a woman who falls at their feet, just as women fell for the idea of a dominant Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s the ultimate embodiment of the sexual extremes.

    Do I think it’s a good idea to propagate the idea that dominant sex is the answer to a woman’s problems? Hell no. But James Bond is not meant to be reality. Could the writers have chosen a better dilemma for Severine than sex trafficking, something that would have made her a better bedmate for Bond? Yep. But sex sells. Sad, but true.

    • Molar Mother says:

      So what is our female equivalent? In Salt, Jolie’s character was married…

      • Nikki says:

        There are a couple possibilities I can think of, but none are so dominant as Bond. The Lara Croft character. Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill. Mrs. Smith from Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Lisbeth Salander. The biggest difference between most of the female characters and Bond is that the women tend to be more than one-dimensional. Gee….

      • Molar Mother says:

        I will give that Daniel Craig plays a good Bond. And the sex scenes, though frequent, we’re pretty chaste. (hence the PG-13)

  7. Becky says:

    Believe it or not, I’ve never seen a Bond movie. I refuse to, because I don’t think the world needs one more misogynistic hero.

    That being said, I’m probably not the best person to comment on Bond, but I do have something to contribute.

    It’s not that guys just don’t understand, it’s that we all don’t understand. Most producers/writers/directors in Hollywood and running the largest production companies are men. Thus, everything is produced/written/directed from a (heterosexual) male gaze. Men are always on the prowl. Women are always waiting, ready, and willing to have sex no matter what. That’s just how it is portrayed. Anything else is the exception.

    Oftentimes, people will make the argument that if women participate, they are willing. Not the case. Women often participate because that’s what they think they should do– they have been socialized to act as they see women behave in movies, thus act as a man wishes a woman would act (there’s that pesky male gaze again). If she participates, it doesn’t mean she’s empowered. It means that she’s been socialized to think that’s what she needs to do.

    Women too, don’t realize how they have been affected. We all want to believe that we are capable of looking at our lives and being in complete control. The truth is, we act certain ways because that’s what society has told us. It’s similar for men, but in a less sexualized way. I encounter people who fight me on this all the time in my classes at school, but in my opinion, if you truly want to be able to act in a way that society does not affect you, you need to realize that society has influenced you in the first place.

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