Men's Feelings Get Hurt Over Wonder Woman

Men have become a lot more delicate and precious than I remember when I was growing up. In the '70s and '80s, real men never spoke about their feelings, never shed a tear, and never said a word when something was bothering them.

These days, some men get their feelings hurt, their bowels in an uproar, and their panties in a bunch over the tiniest incident that might prick their frail masculinity, they'll raise such a fuss you'd hardly recognize them as men.

I don't mean man-bun yoga boys or urban lumberjacks who've never actually held an axe. I'm talking about the so-called men who lost their ever-loving minds over an all-women's screening of Wonder Women at the Alamo Theater in Austin, Texas on opening weekend.

It was innocent enough. One theater decided to do something special for one showing on one screen for one day. They even had female ushers, projectionists, and other theater staff.

But to hear the protests, you'd have thought DC had decreed that, like the island of Themyscira, no man would ever be allowed to see Wonder Woman.

When the story hit the news, precious men everywhere were apoplectic. "How dare they?!" they thundered. "That's discrimination! That's sexism! You're leaving us out of your thing because of our gender. That's not fair!"

And women everywhere rolled their eyes and said, "Yep, we know all about that."

I don't see the problem. Why shouldn't women get their own showing? For one thing, it's a superhero movie starring a woman. It's the first female-led blockbuster action film. It was directed by a woman. And the message of the movie is women can be badasses.

But mostly I didn't see the problem because I'm not threatened when a group of women wants to do something for themselves. My sense of masculinity does not shrivel up with the empowerment of women. I do my thing, and they can do theirs.

But some men refused to accept this. They whined to Alamo Theater that there weren't men-only screenings of Demolition Man, Iron Man, or Man of Steel.
If they really wanted to see it so badly, they could have waited for a day and gone to that very same theater and watched the very same movie in the very same seats, assuming they had been vaccinated against girl cooties.

Instead, they created a bigger problem for themselves. Alamo Theater's decision was so popular, thanks to all the media attention, they have started doing women-only showings in some of their other theaters across the country, as well as additional shows in their Austin theater.

This is what's called the Streisand effect, so named when Barbra Streisand sued, demanding they take her house off their website because she didn't want people seeing it online.

Before the lawsuit, the photo had only ever been seen six times, including twice by Streisand's lawyers. After the lawsuit hit the news, it was seen 420,000 times in the first month.

And that's what the precious male snowflakes have done. They pouted so much about a single two-hour block of time that this may just become a national movement.

One of the things I've always appreciated about the males of most species is that they'll step up and protect their herd/pride/troop/family. When a younger male tries to encroach on his territory, the alpha male will fight the incomer and run him off. Then he'll strut around the watering hole that night and brag to his buddies, "You see that kid try to throw down with me today? I totally kicked his ass."

You can even see this behavior among human men. We posture and strut and show off for each other and our women, challenging each other's masculinity and prowess. We get bigger trucks, bigger guns, louder engines, louder stereos, anything that lets us shout our barbaric yawps from the rooftops of the world, "I'M A MAN! HEAR ME ROAR!"

But let 200 women see a movie by themselves, and those guys turn into whiny children fighting over the last juice box.

Ultimately, I question the masculinity of those men who are upset by this all-female screening. If you were truly masculine, you wouldn't be threatened by it. You wouldn't be threatened by a group of women wanting to see a movie without you. It's not like you were clamoring all this time to see "27 Dresses" and "Steel Magnolias." (If you really want us to believe this is about equality, demand an all-male screening of "Steel Magnolias.")

You would already believe in your own strength and your own fortitude, and you wouldn't be intimidated by anyone. You'd say, "Meh. I still have every other superhero movie ever made."

But if you really want to make a statement for male equality, take a few hundred of your burliest buddies down to the Alamo Theater, and buy up every single ticket for next weekend's screenings of Wonder Woman. That'll really show 'em.

And don't forget the all-dude movie candy, Mike & Ike.

Photo credit: Unsplash (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)

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