What Happened When a Man Went to a Women’s Only Screening of Wonder Woman
“When Aquaman’s Jason Mamoa came on screen with water splashing all over his tanned, shirtless tattooed chest, an entire theater of women wooed and whistled.”
Last month, I blogged about Stephen Miller, who purchased a ticket to a “women only” screening of Wonder Women, held by the Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse. Naturally, the internet lost its mind.
Friday, Miller cashed in his ticket and enjoyed the latest superheroine flick. Here’s his account:
I didn’t know what to expect showing up to an advertised all women’s screening of Wonder Woman where radical outrage mongers on Twitter were offering bounties to either mace me in the face or dump soda on my head.
To avoid any possible conflicts in the lobby or media (The Daily Show had offered to tag along to “document” the adventure, as did provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. I declined both.) I purchased tickets to an earlier showing of another film, then simply walked past security into the theater showing Wonder Woman directly across.
When I took my seat there were no hisses. No soda bombs. No photographs. No Daily Show ambushes or mobs of proud boys, whatever the hell they are. No managers asking me to leave.
I was greeted by a lovely waitress who asked to see my ticket and nothing more. So again, why the controversy over a summer superhero film that had very little cultural controversy leading up to it’s release?
When Alamo Drafthouse New York declared on their website “No Guys Allowed” to limited screenings of the film, they had entered questionable legal territory. According to the state of New York, public settings (movie theaters included) cannot discriminate based on gender, or the ever so progressive and fluid terminology, gender identification. Alamo fudged their language to include “men who identify as women” on their website, but continued to advertise “Women Only” and “No Guys Allowed” screenings elsewhere, including in tweets and Facebook posts. Even so much as advertising such a public screening is legally problematic for Alamo, per New York code 8-107 citing unlawful discrimination.
What is interesting, is in all the coverage and media given to Alamo by outlets such as The New York Times and NPR, not a single journalist questioned Alamo’s legal right to offer and enforce such screenings. They questioned the philosophy, or took the position that this was some big event or accomplishment for women. But at the heart of the matter was real discrimination on the part of a business.
The legality was challenged by a law professor in two cities, New York and Austin. Albany Law School professor Stephen Clark (A gay man) filed a civil rights complaint with the city of New York. Those complaints are still pending.
In regards to the ticket I purchased, I received multiple media requests from both left and right outlets including The Blaze, UK Daily Mail, local New York networks & radio interviews, leading up to the screening. I declined all requests. Beyond a couple days of Twitter mobs, I didn’t really understand about supporting a film that was being called an all-encompassing example female empowerment.
By the reaction upon arrival, it became apparent how Twitter outrage is not real life (surprise) and as I had predicted, that no one in the theater would care. This was a movie theater, not a college campus and everyone there was there for the same reason. It’s the most anti-climatic case of a man buying a movie ticket in recent history.
Any apprehension dissipated, not when the movie started, but during the preview of the upcoming Justice League film, strangely enough. When Aquaman’s Jason Mamoa came on screen with water splashing all over his tanned, shirtless tattooed chest, an entire theater of women wooed and whistled. They totally objectified him. There were similar hollers at the screen when Chris Pine emerges nude from a bath early on in Wonder Woman and awkward tension between his character Steve Trevor and Gal Gadot’s title character.
His entire review is worth a read.
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye
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