On June 6, the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Austin, Texas, will host “ for Wonder Women”—two special screenings of the upcoming DC Comics adaptation, exclusively for women. And when the venue says women only, it really means it: women staffers, women projectionists, and women in the kitchen. Plus, proceeds from the two screenings—the first of which sold out in just two hours, prompting organizers to add a second viewing—benefit Planned Parenthood. for Wonder Women”—two special screenings of the upcoming DC Comics adaptation, exclusively for women. And when the venue says women only, it really means it: women staffers, women projectionists, and women in the kitchen. Plus, proceeds from the two screenings—the first of which sold out in just two hours, prompting organizers to add a second viewing—benefit Planned Parenthood.
“The most iconic superheroine in comic book history finally has her own movie, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-female screening?” the theater said in the announcement of the screening on its website. It added on its Facebook page: “This is a celebration of a character that’s meant a great deal to many women since 1940.” This all seems enormously positive—but, well, some people are mad. And those people are men.
Over the past two days, the theater’s Facebook page has been overwhelmed by irate—predominantly male—commenters. “Will there be a male only screening of Thor: Ragnarok?” one intrepid commenter wrote, “or a special screening for IT that’s only for those who identify as clowns?” (The latter, the theater’s admin wrote back, is actually a pretty excellent idea.)
Many others echoed this sentiment: “Have you ever hosted a men’s only showing of any film?” another asked. The theater has taken it all in stride: “We’ve never done showings where you had to be a man to get in,” the Drafthouse responded, “but we did show the Entourage movie a few years ago.”
These comments also neglect the fact that Hollywood, and the films it produces, are predominantly by and for men. As Rachel Vorona Cote wrote in Rolling Stone, “You cannot be discriminated against in a world that is made for you.” When Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted at the end of 2015, it was decried for featuring a woman protagonist (played by Daisy Ridley) and villain (Gwendoline Christie). It’s telling that Wonder Woman, according to the Washington Post, is the first comic book-inspired film starring a woman superhero since Jennifer Garner in 2005’s Elektra. A women-only screening of a film starring a woman superhero is a small corrective in that kind of landscape, but an antidote nevertheless for women who have looked up to DC’s female figurehead.
Anyway, no one is keeping men from seeing Wonder Woman. They just can’t see Wonder Woman at these specific screenings. It’s not entirely clear that any of these men, particularly those who would propose a men-only screening of any other superhero movie, would actually be interested in Wonder Woman, but, apparently, it’s the principal of the thing. Right.
“That providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right,” the theater wrote in a statement to the Post. Their belief runs so deep, in fact, that they have scheduled similar screenings at the Drafthouse’s other locations across the country. See you all there.
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot was a very reluctant pageant queen: