by John Ellis
If you happen to be in Austin, TX this Friday, the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a special screening of the new movie Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. However, if you are in Austin, TX but are a man, don’t bother attending; the screening is for women only.
I’m fine with the movie theatre hosting a women-only screening of Wonder Woman. You see, I’m a conservative, and I believe that the free market is the best way for society to create wealth in order to fulfill the Bible’s commands to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and care for the oppressed. Because I support the free market, I happen to believe that business owners have the right to serve or not serve whomever they wish. This is why I support the Alamo Drafthouse’s right to host a women-only screening of Wonder Woman.
Don’t misunderstand, that doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of the political implications that swirl around this story. Nor does it mean that I’m not sadly chuckling to myself as I compose this article.
This current clash of ideologies is rife with hypocrisy and sweet irony. Unfortunately, many on both sides seem to continue to have their eyes closed and their grubby fingers jammed into their ears as they stick their tongue out at each other and snarl, “na na na boo boo, stick your head in doodoo!”
Almost immediately after the Alamo Drafthouse announced the women-only screening of Wonder Woman, Twitter, being Twitter, exploded. Upset, many men cried “foul,” and took the Alamo Drafthouse to task. At least one man that I’m aware of has purchased a ticket, claiming that he cannot be removed from a public place based on his sex/gender. I saw another tweet (which I can’t find anymore) from a man who said that he would claim to be a woman, and then attend the women-only screening.
Predictably, liberals erupted, quivering with SJW rage triggered by those who disagree with them. This Salon article sums up the SJW outrage best. Calling men who are upset at the Alamo Drafthouse “manbabies,” Matthew Rozsa defended the women-only screening by petulantly stomping around in the muddy puddle of identity politics (speaking of “manbabies).
One of the problems in all this, is that no one can talk to anyone else anymore, unless, of course, you happen to claim the exact same identity tag. On the flip-side, our new dialectical normal allows me to be flippant and dismissive while writing.
As a cisgender, white, heterosexual man, I understand that one side of this debate will automatically dismiss anything that I have to say, no matter how politely I say it. In case that’s unclear, I’m aware that liberals will automatically assign my thoughts to the ideological trash compactor of the unmerited and unwanted. In fact, if it were up to many of them, I wouldn’t even be allowed a voice, because within their ideology, everything is a zero-sum game; expressing my voice means that a member of an oppressed identity group is kept from expressing her, zir, ghptmvxklgbtqver voice. There is a universal law that only allows so many voices to be expressed at a time. I was first, so I win – haha! Na na na boo …, oh, never mind.
The other side, the conservatives, is my only audience, I’m afraid. Welcome to the world of required echo-chambers. Thank you, identity politics.
But, I’m off topic.
The thing is, much (not all, mind you) of the conservative outrage wasn’t about the event itself; it’s about the hypocrisy inherent in the event and the subsequent liberal defense of the Alamo Drafthouse’s women-only Wonder Woman screening. You see, technically and legally, the guy mentioned above, Stephen Miller, is correct when he says that he cannot be removed from a public place because of his sex/gender.
By law, movie theatres are considered public accommodations and are barred from discriminating on the basis of sex/gender, age, religion, sexuality, and a whole host of other identity tags that I’m probably unaware of (to be fair, new identity tags are discovered on a fairly frequent basis; it’s hard to keep up). That’s a liberal thing, not a conservative thing.
You see, and circling back to my introduction, we conservatives believe that business owners have the right to serve or not serve whomever they want. The owners of the Alamo Drafthouse are free to host all the women-only movie screenings their bleeding hearts desire. I mean that. If they want to permanently ban all men from attending any movies at their movie theatre, I support their right to do so. With the right incentives, I could probably even be compelled to hold a sign stating my support.
And here’s the thing, within the free market, that kind of business practice would probably lead to the eventual closure of the movie theatre. Watching movies is most often a communal activity. And most people enjoy watching movies with members of the opposite sex, whether they’re dating, simply hanging out with friends, or are family members. If the Alamo Drafthouse were to permantly ban men from attending movies there, I would bet lots of money that their market share would quickly plummet.
Another aspect to this is the glaring hypocrisy. Liberals enjoy a special, tingling glee in forcing small, Christian business owners to, for example and off the top of my head, bake a cake for a gay wedding. Discriminate against an event that is a tentpole within their ideological agenda (not a person, but an event), and liberals quickly grab their pitchforks and torches. Discriminate against an actual person (say, I don’t know, a movie theatre discriminating against men for being men), and liberals quickly grab their pitchforks and torches at the first sniff of resistance. Ideology trumps consistency, after all. Thank you, identity politics.
In anticipation of the potential, triggered sputtering from SJW’s, I’m going to say a brief word about Jim Crow.
Unbeknownst to many, Jim Crow was a product of, *gasp*, government regulation. Like many other sacred, regulative cows of liberals (minimum wage, gun control laws, etc.) Jim Crow was/is most decidedly racist and despicable. Furthermore, Jim Crow didn’t really exist in the South until the late nineteenth century when the government began requiring it of businesses (for more info, I point you to the seminal book The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward). Yep, my liberal frenemies, who probably aren’t reading anyway, Jim Crow is one of the many rotten fruits that dangle from your ideological tree.
It makes very little sense for business owners to voluntarily cut themselves off from potential customers. However, if they want to do so, they should be free to economically (and morally) shoot themselves in the foot if they so desire. You see, if I knew that a restaurant owner refused to serve minorities, my family and I, while not being minorities, would voluntarily segregate ourselves from that restaurant. And that’s a brief lesson in the free market.
If you claim to be a conservative, and you believe that the Alamo Drafthouse shouldn’t be allowed to host a women-only screening of Wonder Woman, I suggest that you may have a little bit of SJW in you. If you claim to be a liberal, first, allow me to congratulate you for reading this far; I know that it’s very triggering to be confronted with viewpoints that differ from yours. You can now curl up with a cup of organic, chai tea, and weep at my insensitivity. However – and *ahem* trigger warning – if you applaud the Alamo Drafthouse’s women-only screening of Wonder Woman, you are, in fact, a yuge hypocrite.