Continuing with the Kingsley Amis analysis of Bond Girls in Ian Fleming books, the following may come as a surprise to those less studied in the world of 007.

Bond-girl has athletic and other abilities, can swim and dive, wields a rifle or a bow and arrow, sets about rescuing herself from danger without waiting for Bond’s help, a couple of times (in the persons of Tiffany Case and Kissy Suzuki) gets him away to safety when he’s in no state to move unaided. If this is a dream-girl, she deserves more respect than harem types or gossip-column international-set types, one or the other of which has supplied almost every secret agent … with his lady associates. Bond doesn’t happen to like girls who are ‘in any way public property.’ Good for him.

Amis went on to note that the Bond Girl is “inside the plot rather than a sexy or status-conferring appendix to it” (emphasis added). This is “a gratifyingly far cry” from other plot appointments “who existed solely to be kissed” or “thrown to safety” or “kidnapped.”

Nor is Bond-girl what the popular critic view [of 1965, mind you] says she is, ‘an animated pin-up, conceived purely as sexual object.’

The Bond Girl is thus not just a brand in the sense of another critical and differentiating element in the 007 stories. For this Branding, James Bond Branding study, she is also a meta-brand. In this closer examination, we have a fantastic example of just how obviously baseless so many cliché criticisms of Bond stories obviously are — among critics who’ve failed to do their homework.