To celebrate the release of the new Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Godot in June, the Alamo Drafthouse chain of movie theaters announced a "women (and identifying women) only" screening of the film at an Austin, Texas, location. Predictably, men immediately took issue with what they perceived as "reverse sexism" and bombarded the movie theater's Facebook page to complain. However, tweets about the all-female Wonder Woman screening show that at least some people understand why female fans of the D.C. franchise would want to gather to celebrate the comic book legend. Even if everyone doesn't seem to get it.
The female-only screening is just one night. It's not as if men are banned from buying tickets at all or barred from seeing the movie in any way. It was just supposed to be a fun night for female fans.
The Austin-based Alamo location announced earlier this month:
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.
Male Fans Were Not Happy
Hey, men: it's just one night to celebrate a fictional, female comic hero. The comic book world is rife with sexism and lack of diversity. Hosting a female-only screening isn't reverse sexism. In fact, reverse sexism, much like reverse racism, doesn't exist. Men can't be discriminated against by definition. White men hold the power in society and are able to dictate societal norms, much like white people of any gender enjoy a level of privilege. Giving female Wonder Woman fans a safe space to celebrate the film isn't going to take away from anyone's agency or rights.
Tweets about some male's reaction to the Alamo Drafthouse all-female screening show that at least some people understand the irony of a bunch of angry men on Facebook acting out because they aren't invited to a party. Much like, you know, women are often not invited into a culture dominated by men.
The Alamo Drafthouse Was Ready For The Backlash
In one comment to an outraged fan, the movie theater chain responded:
Very sorry if you feel excluded. We thought it might be kinda fun — for one screening — to celebrate a character who’s meant a great deal to women for close to eight decades. Again, truly, truly, truly, truly sorry that we’ve offended you.
Actually, some of the Facebook comments from men betrayed the idea that action movies, especially comic book franchises, aren't sexist at all. One angry man wrote that the movie theater would be filled "by a quarter" if only women were allowed in. So much for that. The all-female sold out after the announcement. Because of that, the Austin location is going to do a second all-female screening and plans to hold them in other states. There are a lot of female fans of comics and action movies and it's about time there are some female protagonists to rally around.
It's going to be OK. A few theaters filled with women watching Wonder Woman shouldn't be so scary. Though it's sort of a compliment that so many men are worried about the kind of power that could take hold in a theater full of women.