From Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in regards to a targeted screening of Wonder Woman: Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying “No Guys Allowed” for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. And when we say “Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,” we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.
How many times have you been reading your friends’ Facebook posts and started an argument with one comment? Well, I’ve been doing my best to avoid that because in the past my whole day has been eaten up by a back and forth debate and usually there is no resolution as answers are never quite black and white–and then of course you end up saying stupid things to a friend or coworker that were better left unsaid. So I stopped myself from getting into an SJW argument over a screening of Wonder Woman–I only made one comment and then signed off after the reply even though I was itching to debate the matter. In the end, what do I do? I post my thoughts here. Hey, at least it adds content to my site instead of creating fuel for FB to sell more ads. Sigh, I couldn’t let it go…maybe I should go back and post a rebuttal on FB…no! I will not do it.
The original post on the controversy is from Flavorwire.com. And there are many similar posts from news sites if you Google it, but the gist of it is that a theater in Texas called the Alamo Drafthouse is putting on a special screening of Wonder Woman for women only–OR if you identify as a woman. But there’s more. Per their promotional text, as pasted above, not only will the patrons be all women, the entire staff is required for that night to be all female. Some of you may be rolling your eyes by now because my wife did when I mentioned it and she’s happy to be called a feminist. The first thing she said though is, “I don’t want special treatment.”
Here’s my dilemma. I’m caught between the SJWs (Social Justice Warriors if you haven’t been following online cultural battles) and the men’s movement. Each side has some legitimate beefs which eventually spiral into silliness when it comes to entertainment. I have no problem with Alamo Drafthouse putting on a ladies night out to watch Wonder Woman. Note though that I do not know the legal ramifications as this is by gender. Otherwise they do a variety of targeted group events. They even say in one of their FB posts that there is no political agenda implied (though I know from a marketing standpoint they are not so innocent). Where I draw the line is the staffing of “women only.” Why is this necessary? I can’t get away from the idea that this is actually discriminatory because there’s no reason for it. It’s not like this is a spa where women are disrobing. You can have a man behind the counter sell you popcorn. And it suggests “safe spaces” as if women are so powerless that they cannot handle the sight of a man. It seems like the movie itself should be reedited and all the men replaced with female actors (which would be ridiculous but that’s the point). I mean, why not do a showing of Descent instead?
So can men suggest this is discrimination on any level? Can they ask how women might whine, er, complain if a “men’s night only” was announced for the theater? I did for the sake of playing devil’s advocate on FB because, as mentioned above, I started to get that itch when a friend shared the article (and this was a man, by the way). To paraphrase the “male feminist” answer I got in return: Men are not allowed to complain and ask for “men’s only” events because it would empower men and serve the status quo. Women are allowed to have “women’s only” events because they are socially oppressed and it serves to empower them.
In other words, women are allowed to discriminate because of oppression and men should shut up about it as they are the oppressors. This takes the fun out of any ladies night when it is put in these terms. Unfortunately, it signals women do not want equality, they want social justice in the form of payback for past oppression or currently perceived oppression–all this in order to watch friggin’ Wonder Woman!? Social oppression past or present does not justify exclusionary events or any type of discrimination based on gender (for the sake of discussion, I am referring to binary male and female in this context because I know defining “gender” is another hot topic these days).
Generally speaking, the women I know want equality with men and not payback. They do not feel oppressed even as they realize there are still issues with inequality (especially the recent nonsense with not covering birth control in health care insurance). They do not want special treatment or social engineering because it’s patronizing and undermines any achievements they have made in their lives.
On the flipside, FB comments from men in response to the Alamo Drafthouse screening did come off as whiny; they took the bait. Fair or not, men in general are expected to be the “better man” when there is favoritism towards women (and usually the situation is trivial like this one). We smile and let it go and hope it scores enough points for a handjob later. So warning to defenders of men that happen to be men, this was fixed from the beginning because any reply that pointed out the obvious discrimination was jumped upon by feminist writers as “men losing their shit” (seriously, that’s the title of one article: Men Lose Their Shit Over Alamo Drafthouse’s Women-Only Wonder Woman Screening, Theater Responds By Adding More). An exaggeration if you actually take time to read the comments displayed on these articles.The better way to handle this would be to allow honest women to comment on the discrimination against men as it is harder to dismiss. I know, I know, as I said the itch to debate draws you in.
What I find funny is that in this particular scenario the feminists apparently want to prevent men from seeing a strong woman hero and the men are are apparently mad that they can’t watch a strong woman hero. Isn’t there something kind of fucked up about that?
If you look at the screenshots in the Flavorwire.com article you can eventually see Alamo Drafthouse having a good time with the comments from complaining men (why not? I would if I were the theater management). Some men were threatening to show up at the theater with beards and identify as women to get in. Alamo Drafthouse responses were basically, yeah, buy our tickets and give us money–that’ll show us! It’s a win-win for Alamo. Kudos to them for being able to exploit both feminists and the men who hate them. Regarding the legal ramifications, I doubt they would be stupid enough to deny a male patron a ticket, but I think they did open themselves up to a legal inquiry with staffing only women for the night (and added showings as of the last word on the story).
Putting aside what I think is a successful viral campaign, the whole thing ends up being juvenile. It’s not empowering to women to isolate them. Isn’t that the complaint we have with certain Middle Eastern countries and with our own past in the United States? Keep the genders segregated and there will be no trouble or advancement in gender relations. Empowerment is a meaningless word unless you define what it is to be empowered. Men should be empowered to be productive, responsible and civil with their female counterparts. You want men to do well–to be empowered–because it affects women. Wives and girlfriends count on the support of their significant others including a second income. You want women to be empowered in the same manner for the same reasons. A balanced workforce and a balanced society striving towards equality instead of this nonsense of women only or men only.
In the end, the Alamo Drafthouse screening will be showing a movie that was made with the cooperation of men and women, be they straight, gay or transgender. So for all the gleeful SJW feminists pointing out the whiny men on Facebook, you might not want to pat yourselves on the back too quickly. The real world is one where male and female coexist and cooperate to be successful. For the men who are starting to see male discrimination everywhere? Dude! That’s what I hate about third wave feminism–they see sexism everywhere! I’m not saying that men shouldn’t point out the obvious–maybe with a joke or two, but it’s still just a movie screening. And man, the DC line up of superhero movies have been stinkers. Both genders should just be thankful if Wonder Woman is any good. Otherwise, give me Marvel.