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Austin Mayor Stands for Truth, Justice, & Female Wonder Woman Screening

Austin Mayor Stands for Truth, Justice, & Female Wonder Woman Screening

Wonder Woman

Mayor Steve Adler let it be known that misogyny will not stand in his city. 

Amit the turmoil that ensued when Austin's Alamo Drafthouse announced it would hold a women-only screening of Wonder Woman to honor female power and, you know, the first female-led superhero movie in over a decade and the first-ever superhero movie to be directed by a woman, the city's mayor has issued a dictum to the sensitive man-children moaning that they've been discriminated against that misogyny will not be tolerated.

Just over a week ago the Alamo Drafthouse, which screens films and also serves food and drinks, announced that it would hold a women-only screening of the blockbuster directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster), and it wasn't long before the venue's Facebook page was flooded with comments from men crying "discrimination." Despite their protestations, which resembled the outrage over last summer's female-led Ghostbusters, the screening sold out and the Alamo Drafthouse doubled down on its intent to host a girl-power party and added a second women-only screening. In the days since the melee occurred, the idea of a screening for women only has been, at turns, hotly debated, contested, and applauded (often by guys whose self-esteem isn't so fragile as to be threatened by two screenings for women out of all of cinematic history).

Austin's Mayor Steve Adler flexed his feminist prowess in response to a letter the mayor's office received from a particularly misogynist "poor me" type of men's rights activist who threatened to call for a boycott of the city if there were not some sort of counter screening for men only. The letter, signed Richard A. Ameduri, is so beyond the scope of your run-of-the-mill abhorrence of women that it can only be appreciated in full as it was posted to Adler's mayoral website.

I hope every man will boycott Austin and do what he can to diminish Austin and to cause damage to the city's image. The theater that pandered to the sexism typical of women will, I hope, regret it's decision. 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 makeup, 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 it's deteriorati on. 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. Don't bother to respond because I am sure your cowardice will generate nothing worth reading.

Well, the gauntlet was thrown, because Adler did respond with searing sarcasm in an attempt to goad the feeble ego of the letter's author.

"I am writing to alert you that your email account has been hacked by an unfortunate and unusually hostile individual. Please remedy your account's security right away, lest this person's uninformed and sexist rantings give you a bad name," Adler wrote in a letter he posted on his website. "After all, we men have to look out for each other!"

Throughout the past 20 years, as a politician and as a concerned citizen, Adler has acted as chair of the Anti-Defamation League and broadened opportunities for girls, women, and first-generation college students as a board member of GEN-Austin and Breakthrough. He was also chair of Ballet Austin, where he helped ensure access to the arts for all, according to the biography on his website.

Adler went on to dismantle Ameduri's letter, which stands as an extreme surrogate for the hundreds of Facebook comments ranging from offensive to clueless from men who were outraged that women were finally being offered a moment to celebrate sisterhood. One particularly tone-deaf comment from a guy who clearly has paid zero attention to the bro-fest of superhero movies throughout all of movie history read, "Great, let us know when you have guys-only screenings of Thor, Spider-Man, Star Wars, etc. Let's see you walk the walk now that you set this precedence." So while Adler directed his letter at one heightened case of deep misogyny, his response was truly an excoriation of all of the privileged male whining on display:

Can you imagine if someone thought that you didn't know women could serve in our combat units now without exclusion? 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 beer? 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.

Finally, like Saturday Night Live taunting Donald Trump's implacable views of gender with Melissa McCarthy (Sean Spicer) and Kate McKinnon (Jeff Sessions) feminizing the men in his life, Adler finished his letter by tapping into a frail brotherhood of masculinity.

"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," Adler wrote. "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."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.