That got your attention, didnâ€™t it? And for all the wrong reasons.
â€œThe Guardianâ€ is arguing that we need a lesbian James Bond (instead of 007, a 006.9?). But just before you start conjuring up visions of Portia de Rossi or Ruby Rose incarnating as a female superspy, â€œThe Guardianâ€ helpfully corrects your overactive imagination: â€œSwap the tuxedo for dungarees, the sports car for a low-emission Mini and the martini for a pint of Stella, and you have the perfect Bond for the 21st centuryâ€. In fact, if you did think of bisexual actresses like Amber Heard or Anna Paquin first, before k d lang or Rosie Oâ€™Donnell, you are a filthy chauvinist pig who objectifies women and fetishizes female same-sex relationships.
I never could quite understand the desire to update fictional or otherwise popular characters â€“ a black Jesus, a female Bond or a gay Batman. I suspect that at best it is a similar argument to that about having a black or a female President, to provide a positive role model for under-represented groups and show all kids they can aspire to excellence and greatness in whatever form they choose. At worst, however, it strikes me as trendy left-wing cultural redistribution from straight white men, who, as we all know, have had and still have everything. Ironically, the same people who rile against cultural appropriation, are quite happy with pop cultural appropriation, as long as itâ€™s taking from the culturally rich to give to the culturally poor, Robin Hood-style (how about Robyn Hood, a minority Celt bisexual female outlaw?).
My solution has always been a free market one: leave the old heroes and characters alone â€“ you want more women and minorities as protagonists, superheroes and idols? Invent some new ones; thatâ€™s how culture works. There is no reason why the 21st century Western audiences wonâ€™t embrace a new female secret agent, a new transgender sleuth, or a new Afro-Asian superhero, and make them part of the modern pop cultural pantheon. Donâ€™t be a cultural revisionist; be a cultural innovator and creator.
Speaking of lesbians, this Canadian Facebook ad stirred up some controversy the last few days, forcing the company to pull it and apologise.
As one complainant wrote, â€œThat poster was disgusting, fetishizing queer women and reducing the existence of lesbians to something for menâ€™s pleasure â€“ for something for men to find â€œhotâ€. Queen relationships between women may be beautiful but they donâ€™t exist for men.â€
Take note: if you think that lesbians are unattractive, you are a disgusting homophobe; if you think that lesbians are hot, you are also a disgusting homophobe. Better not think about lesbians at all.