This isn’t going to be much of an editorial since honestly the subject doesn’t really merit much more than a paragraph. However, this is something that is topical and it annoys me, two of the criteria from which I select what I’ll write about for the month. In fact, this “controversy” that I’m about to address taps into a much deeper issue that our collective American society has had for the past few years- people get offended by everything. No, scratch that; people get offended by anything.
The alleged controversy I’m referring to is a decision made by the Alamo Drafthouse, a movie theater chain in Texas, to do a single “Woman-Only” screening of the new film Wonder Woman. I won’t go too much into the background of the film or the character, in fact if you don’t know who Wonder Woman is I suggest leaving that rock you’ve been under and going outside. Even without being a comic book nerd, if I were to mention Wonder Woman to anyone they’d have a general idea of who she is. She transcends being just another super hero. She’s a timeless cultural icon, much like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or Archie. Most importantly, she’s one of the first female super heroes.
After appearing in countless comic books, television series and animated series, Wonder Woman is finally making her big-screen debut, so it makes sense that select theaters are celebrating the occasion with a little girl power. Alamo Drafthouse released this on their site near the end of May:
“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 ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”
Now, I live in Southern New Mexico and don’t normally spend my free time creeping around the websites for movie theaters in other states, so the first time I read this was when I saw an article about the legion of angry men complaining about this theater’s promotional event. Most of the outcry featured many grown men demanding all-male screenings of such diverse movies as Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and even my beloved Star Wars saga. I found it a bit ironic, considering that when I was a pre-teen/teenager back in the pre-Avengers days, most of these movies would have been all-male screenings regardless of theater policy. There was even one guy suggesting an all-clown screening of the It remake coming out in October, a screening that would surely drive-away most audiences. The backlash for the Women-Only screening of Wonder Woman was covered by CNN and the mayor of Austin even commented on the screenings, voicing his support of the decision. As I watched all of this play out, I couldn’t help what wonder what the big deal was.
The true agenda behind this nefarious “girls only” Wonder Woman screening can be summed up with just one word- it was meant to be “fun.” I know, it’s horrible, right? This is 2017, we can’t let people have fun! In all seriousness, people are taking this way too seriously and blowing things way out of proportion. This theater stunt is just a little bit of novelty and shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than the Guardians of the Galaxy Blizzards sold at Dairy Queen or the disgusting pop rock-laced Fourth of July Oreos you could find in certain stores last year (I tried some last year and found them waaaaay more offensive than this Wonder Woman screening.)
Why does everything need to be controversial or offensive, especially when it really isn’t? There are plenty of things to be concerned about these days and honestly, an all-female screening of a movie starring a feminist icon shouldn’t be among them. Movies are meant to be escapism and entertainment. More importantly, movies are meant to be fun, and our society could probably use a little more fun, considering that we’re stressed to the point of getting upset about movie theater stunts.
The Alamo Drafthouse in El Paso is doing an All-Woman Screening of Wonder Woman on Wednesday, June 7 at 6:45pm. If you’re in the area and identify as a woman, go see it, and most importantly, have fun! Proceeds go to The League of Women Voters.
As for The Mustang, we’ll be publishing a little more sporadically throughout the summer months. We’re still transitioning into a new staff and honestly, after the epic year our publication has had, going to Mexico, meeting the poet laureate, covering the state sessions in Santa Fe, and eating those magnificent burgers from Hatch, I need a bit of rest. Enjoy your summer if you’re taking time off, and study hard if you’re taking classes right now.
I’ll see you next month!
Special thanks to Roxanna Diaz for her Wonder Woman cosplay