Classic Bond films are sometimes said to be sexist. Even in GE his boss, the new M, says he's a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. In defence of the classic Bond films, pre-Judi Dench, I suggest we take a look at the women and how they are portrayed in them.
1960's: against all odds, most Bond girls are smart and competent.
Dr. No: Honey Ryder is intelligent, courageous and resourceful. She is not too modest to tell Bond he doesn't know anything about animals and overall she knows a lot more than he does.
From Russia with Love: To be honest, Tatiana Romanova is not the strongest female around, but she does kill Klebb so she actually saves Bond here.
Goldfinger: Pussy Galore is a damn good pilot, she changed the nerve gas and she contacted Washington. While Bond is captured throughout the final act, Pussy saves the day.
Thunderball: We never get the feeling Domino Derval is a weak woman. In the end she avenges her brother and she saves Bond while shooting main villain Largo.
You Only Live Twice: Kissy and Aki are both very competent agents of Tiger and prove to be very useful in completing the mission.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Tracy di Vincenzo is probably the most charismatic Bond girl ever, just try not to fall in love with her yourself.
1970's: the beginning of this era might be responsible for the reputation of clumsy and defenceless Bond women however.
Diamonds Are Forever: Both Plenty and Tiffany are rather stupid throughout.
Live and Let Die: Solitaire gets tricked by Bond in a very unconvincing fashion and she doesn't do much herself.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Mary Goodnight is clumsy as hell, but Miss Anders is courageous and beautifully sophisticated.
The Spy Who Loved Me: Anya never failed on a mission and she doesn't do so this time around, though Bond does help quite a bit.
Moonraker: Corinne and Manuela are all too easily impressed, NASA-expert Holly Goodhead not at all however.
1980's: there is an exception here, but overall most main Bond women are quite impressive.
For Your Eyes Only: Melina is not to be messed with, she's good with a crossbow and therefore excellent for stealth attacks like the on in the final act. She does have to make up a bit for Bibi's spoiled child behaviour.
Octopussy: Magda and Octopussy are both competent in what they do. Octopussy saves the day too, so nothing wrong here.
A View to a Kill: yes, helpless Stacey Sutton scores very little points for her screaming. Though May Day and to a lesser extent Pola Ivanova make up for that.
The Living Daylights: a point can be made for Kara Milovy as a bit defenceless, however her romance with monogamous Bond is much more believable than anything we got since OHMSS and until CR.
Licence to Kill: Pam Bouvier helps along during the whole mission and she makes herself very useful throughout, she's a brilliant pilot and Bond falls for her instead of the less intelligent Lupe. Literally.
I didn't include female villains here, except for May Day who changes sides anyway.
Any thoughts, suggestions?