To celebrate the opening of Marvel’s Wonder Woman, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, announced an all-female screening of the blockbuster.
This was a controversial move, to say the least. Men’s rights activists felt that by excluding male viewers, the theater was advocating sexism. However, the Alamo Drafthouse insisted that the special screening provided attendees with a more comfortable viewing environment, noting that male viewers were welcome at any of the film’s regularly scheduled showings.
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” the theater wrote. “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.”
“We thought it might be kinda fun—for one screening—to celebrate a character who’s meant a great deal to women for close to eight decades,” a representative of the Alamo Drafthouse wrote on social media, responding to one offended fan.
The special showings sold out and went off without a hitch. Some of the proceeds from the ticket sales benefited local women’s charities, and that’s where the controversy probably should have ended.
However, one person was so outraged by the theater’s policy that he decided to appeal to Austin’s mayor.
Richard A. Ameduri reportedly wrote the following letter, addressed to Mayor Steve Adler. It gets pretty heated, even referring to female athletes as “second class.”
“I hope every man will boycott Austin and do what he can to diminish Austin and to cause damage to the city’s image,” Ameduri wrote. “The theater that pandered to the sexism typical of women will, I hope, regret it’s decision [sic].”
Ameduri continued, “The notion of a woman hero is a fine example of women’s eagerness to accept the appearance of achievement without actual achievement. Women learn from an early age to value make-up, that it’s OK to pretend that you are greater than you actually are. Women pretend they do not know that only men serve in combat because they are content to have an easier ride. Women gladly accept gold medals at the Olympics for coming in 10th and competing only against the second class of athletes.
“Name something invented by a woman! Achievements by the second rate gender pale in comparison to virtually everything great in human history was accomplished by men, not women. If Austin does not host a men only counter event, I will never visit Austin and will welcome its deterioration. And I will not forget that Austin is best known for Charles Whitman.
“Does Austin stand for gender equality or for kissing up to women? Don’t bother to respond. I already know the answer. I do not hate women. I hate their rampant hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of the ‘women’s movement.’ Women do not want gender equality; they want more for women.” Finally, Ameduri ends his letter, “Don’t bother to respond because I am sure your cowardice will generate nothing worth reading.”
Finally, Ameduri ends his letter, “Don’t bother to respond because I am sure your cowardice will generate nothing worth reading.”
Ameduri’s letter did reach the desk of the mayor.
Unfortunately for Mr. Ameduri (and fortunately for the rest of us), Mayor Adler didn’t share his point of view.
Of course, Adler could have simply ignored the message, but he decided that this letter deserved a response. He wrote up a sarcastic, scathing letter, then posted the entire exchange on his website.
“I am writing to alert you that your email account has been hacked by an unfortunate and unusually hostile individual,” Adler’s letter begins. “Please remedy your account’s security right away, lest this person’s uninformed and sexist rantings give you a bad name. After all, we men have to look out for each other!”
He kept the tongue-in-cheek tone for the next several paragraphs, gradually dismissing Ameduri’s points one by one.
“Can you imagine if someone thought that you didn’t know women could serve in our combat units now without exclusion?” the mayor wrote. “What if someone thought you didn’t know that women invented medical syringes, life rafts, fire escapes, central and solar heating, a war-time communications system for radio-controlling torpedoes that laid the technological foundations for everything from Wi-Fi to GPS?
“…And I hesitate to imagine how embarrassed you’d be if someone thought you were upset that a private business was realizing a business opportunity by reserving one screening this weekend for women to see a superhero movie.
“You and I are serious men of substance with little time for the delicate sensitivities displayed by the pitiful creature who maligned your good name and sterling character by writing that abysmal email. I trust the news that your email account has been hacked does not cause you undue alarm and wish you well in securing your account.
“And in the future, should your travels take you to Austin, please know that everyone is welcome here, even people like those who wrote that email whose views are an embarrassment to modernity, decency, and common sense.”
If Mayor Adler had been bound in Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, his response probably would have been much less diplomatic.
Still, we think his letter is perfect—hopefully, Mr. Ameduri is a little more respectful in the future.