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"Women-Only" Wonder Woman Screening Causes Outrage

  • Kristina Evans
  • May 27, 2017 11:26AM

A popular movie theater announced a “women only” screening of Wonder Woman and sparked online outrage at their decision. The Alamo Drafthouse announced Wednesday that they would be celebrating girl power by holding a screening of the new female-fronted superhero movie with one rule: “No boys allowed.”

“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” reads their website, “And when we say ‘People who Identify as Women Only,' we mean it. Everyone working at this screening - venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team - will be female. So lasso your geeky girlfriends together and grab your tickets to this celebration of one of the most enduring and inspiring characters ever created.”

Wonder Woman opens nationwide this week, and the theater chain will be hosting its women-only event the following week; June 4-5 in New York City and June 6 in Austin. The promotion on the Drafthouse’s social media worked, and the screenings sold out in just over two hours. Predictably, critics came out in full force on the internet, crying that the idea was not only discriminatory against men but worked against promoting gender equality. Many flooded the theater’s Facebook page and Twitter account to label the theater sexist and to never support them again. There were many cries of ‘reverse sexism,' ‘misandry,' and promises to boycott the Drafthouse in retaliation.

“Very tacky Alamo,” Facebook user Allan Dale wrote. “I’m all for equality [but] having a screening specifically stating it is not inclusive to everyone, is against equality. I’m not saying Alamo did this intentionally, but it is still just wrong.”

“It’s sexist and bigoted,” Evan Johnson commented--although the over 40 reactions to his comment appear to be laughing at his comment. Many of these drew their own critics mocking the initial outrage.

“Came here to see fragile masculinity and whining, was not disappointed at all,” Isaac Shabaz Boyles wrote. “Hey Alamo, can you do more of these sorts of things? I like laughing at men who are threatened by women getting to have their own lives without constant male presence 24/7.”

The theater itself even responded to some of the outrage, echoing the social media support to defend the gender-specific screening.

“This has zip to do with equality,” Drafthouse said. “This is a celebration of a character that’s meant a great deal to many women since 1940.” They also took to the net to clarify that all guests who identify as women were invited as well. Even better, all proceeds from these screenings will be donated to Planned Parenthood and local women’s shelters.

Alamo Drafthouse, founded in 1997, is well-known for not shying away from provocative marketing and public political stances to embody countercultural spirit. Last year, in the midst of the heated debates regarding transgender people’s use of public bathrooms, the theater's founder, Tim League, announced plans to build gender-neutral restrooms.

“I don’t want to have any ‘men’ or ‘women’ signs in the building,” League said at the time. And when the theater’s 26th location opened in Austin, it included gender-neutral toilets with all-gender urinals included.