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The backlash against the all-female Wonder Woman screening refuses to die

Wonder Woman (Photo: Clay Enos)
Wonder Woman (Photo: Clay Enos)

Wonder Woman is now in theaters, the women-only screenings at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse will happen soon, and Austin mayor Steve Adler has already dropped a cosmic slam dunk on the people who refuse to stop complaining about it, but yet another man has bravely stepped up to drop a wholly unnecessary “well, actually” on the situation. This latest hero of maleness is Stephen Clark, a professor at Albany Law School, and he has now filed a complaint with Austin’s Equal Employment And Fair Housing Office because he believes the women-only Wonder Woman screenings are “illegal.”

This comes from The Washington Post, which says that it wasn’t the screenings themselves that convinced Clark to file his complaint, but the “snide” attitude of the Alamo Drafthouse in dealing with the misogynistic backlash—or “vibrant argument” as he described it. It was the theater’s willingness to “mock anyone who had a complaint” that really got to Clark, so even though he’s a law professor in New York and this literally doesn’t affect his life in any way, he decided to research Austin’s city code and concluded that the Drafthouse was discriminating against male customers and male employees by advertising the screening as “women only.”

Clark is gay and he notes that he’s been studying gay rights for years, so he points out that this is similar to how a gay bar can’t exclude people who are straight because it would be discriminatory. He also compares this situation—in which one theater is attempting to celebrate a female director finally making a movie about the biggest female superhero in the world—to “terribly disruptive” bachelorette parties at gay bars, in the sense that both bachelorette parties and the existence of misogyny are things that we all just have to put up with.

He goes on to say that he understands the impulse behind the women-only screenings, but “the equality principle is fundamental.” Clark also points out that there are “men in Austin who would like to celebrate women’s empowerment,” suggesting that seeing Wonder Woman on a Tuesday night at this specific theater is the only way to do that. Of course, one could argue that any man who wishes to celebrate women’s empowerment could simply shut the fuck up and let the women of Austin enjoy these two movie screenings without constantly whining about it, but that would require men to somehow refrain from jumping into arguments that don’t concern them—which is evidently impossible.

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