Terrible Men’s Rights Activists have been pretty quiet in the lead-up to “Wonder Woman.” It’s been amazing. This hasn’t turned into another “Ghostbusters” redo fiasco (which was also unfair). There’s been no bombing the trailers on YouTube with dislikes. There’s been no talk about how the upcoming movie is ruining childhood memories of when America was a more patriarchal utopia. Granted, boys by and large don’t have the same kinship to mighty Diana Prince that girls do. But the lack of ire over a female-lead superhero movie in a genre that’s been all-dude since 2005’s “Electra” has been almost as refreshing as all the Trump impeachment talk.
But we knew awful men wouldn’t be silent for long. We were this close to the June 2nd release date when the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin announced all-women screenings of “Wonder Woman.” And stupid men came out of the woodwork like raccoons on trash night. Bros on Twitter starting using words like “unjust” and “sexist.” They argued about a “double standard” — how an all-male screening of the next “Thor” would cause an uproar. The smarter ones played dumb (or are actually just dumb), throwing in references to how it violates the Civil Rights Act (which, wait, is actually really dumb).
But what happened next is amazing: Last summer, the bad press engulfed “Ghostbusters” like a tsunami. It made some (also stupid) men nervous, or plain hostile, about seeing it. It had higher expectations to live up to. But the way Alamo — chiefly whoever mans their social media accounts — has ensured that the public opinion has swerved hardcore over to the Teams Alamo/”Wonder Woman.”
Being the kind of wonderful organization that already shames assholes who talk during movies, they of course made fun of the men. They didn’t perform weasely damage control, trying to make nice with their (again, moronic) detractors. They made jokes, they had great comebacks, they used logic to decimate their arguments that this should be a case of moral equivalency — that all-female screenings of “Wonder Woman” are not the same as theoretical all-men screenings of “Thor 3.”
As such, they’ve made asinine, tetchy, entitled sexist bros look asinine, tetchy, entitled and sexist. When the first wave of criticism came, the Almo’s response was to add more screenings to their theaters nationwide. As a result, they’ve had sell-out all-female screenings, having emboldened women to join forces and see the movie partly as a political act. And the cherry on top? “Wonder Woman” is really, really good. (We think the same thing about last year’s “Ghostbusters,” by the way.) It’s certainly way better than the very dude-ish “Deadpool.”
UPDATE: Alamo Drafthouse has released a statement regarding the controversy, just to clarify for those who don’t get it: “Obviously, Alamo Drafthouse recognizes ‘Wonder Woman’ is a film for all audiences, but our special women-only screenings may have created confusion – we want everybody to see this film.”