Albany Law Professor Stephen Clark has taken on case with truly heroic dimensions. Clark has challenged the decision of Alamo Drafthouse to hold showings of the movie Wonder Woman in a female-only event. Clark, 48, has said that as a gay man he is sympathetic with efforts to help disadvantaged groups, but he viewed the event as per se unlawful.
Austin’s code bars gender discrimination and Clark filed an administrative charge with the city’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office. Not only did the events bar male customers but it also promised to staff only women at the event — discriminating against male employees.
Clark said that he was motivated in part after reading the dismissive and even mocking tone of the theater in response to the objections from men. The theater posted this statement:
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. 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.”
Morgan Hendrix, the creative manager of Alamo Drafthouse, was equally unresponsive to the complaints, stating “We are very excited to present select, women-only WONDER WOMAN screenings at Alamo Drafthouse. That providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right.”
Referring to objectors as “trolls” is rather dismissive. On its face, this is gender discrimination. It is doubtful that many supporters would take an equally dismissive view of barring women from some sporting events or other movies. The controversy captures a long-standing debate on this blog where discrimination or segregation is being embraced in the name of diversity or “safe spaces.”
What do you think?