I saw Skyfall this weekend. All in all, I found it entertaining, exciting, and better than Quantum of Solace. But, like any person with an awareness for the institutions of patriarchy and racism, I found it difficult to turn off my brain.
Naomie Harris is Skyfall’s quasi-Bond Girl. “Quasi” because people will argue that she plays Eve Moneypenny, neither villain nor sexpot. She is pretty and smart and black.
And she shaves James Bond’s face.
Aside from Daniel Craig’s whiteness, did no one else think of The Color Purple during this scene? I did. Maybe being a Cultural Studies major in college ruined me—analyze everything; deconstruct everything; be wearied by everything—but the idea that a young, beautiful, intelligent agent is reduced to performing such a menial task, a servant’s duty, for her white male counterpart makes me bristle.
Even worse? I don’t even think she got to tap that ass. When Bond sleeps with the sex slave of the villain later in the movie, we know they got it on. It was blatant, another exhibit in the Bond Museum of Sexploits. But Miss Moneypenny? She just shaves his face and then, they tell us, helps him get dressed.
I get it, shaving a guy’s face in the context of an already absurdly over-the-top action movie can be construed as sexy. I guess? But at least let her get some booty. Why should the damsel-in-distress-exotic-white-woman have all the fun? Bond is not the only character with a libido. His desire is fulfilled by the exotic white woman, while Moneypenny’s is left unsatisfied. I bet if Moneypenny had known she’d be playing the chambermaid when she walked in Bond’s hotel room, she’d say Mr. Bond can shave his face his damn self.