Wonder Woman may have been hailed by critics and audiences all over the world as a resounding success, but DC's empowering superhero flick has also attracted its fair share of controversy - although not for the reasons one may expect. Many theaters hosted all-female screenings of Wonder Woman to celebrate the positive role model's first ever live action feature film, but it's here where promotion for the movie has angered fans.
In the case of a screening in Leuven, Belgium, the all-female screening of Wonder Woman was marred by event freebies that seemed to be the punchline of a tone-deaf joke about female stereotypes.
As reported by The Daily Dot, the women who attended the exclusive screening of the DCEU's newest entry were handed gift bags that contained "dish sponges, squeegees, and diet pill informational pamphlets", as well as "chips, noodles, and chocolate."
At first glance, these freebies may look harmless, but cleaning products and these particular food items are commonly associated with unfortunate stereotypes that imply women are nothing but housewives or homebodies.
The irony was not lost on those who received the demeaning goody bags right after watching a movie where a strong female character led a group of rag-tag soldiers to victory against dangerous warmongers. Unsurprisingly, many were quick to raise their eyebrows and voice their opinions on the matter.
The management of the Kinepolis Theater (where the screening was held) quickly issued a statement to clarify the situation. According to a representative, the staff did not pick which items to give audience members since they were provided by the theater's sponsors beforehand. The Kinepolis Theater's management emphasized that it was not their intent to impose a negative sexist stereotype on their patrons.
While there is still a slight chance that the incident in Belgium was an unfortunate case of miscommunication, the same cannot be said for the movie's all-female screenings in America.
Wonder Woman And The 'Controversial' Women-Only Screenings
To celebrate the movie's strong female presence, the Alamo Drafthouse proudly promoted a selection of female-only screening of Wonder Woman earlier this month. Despite the company's intent to celebrate the critically acclaimed feature, the theater was quickly accused of inherent sexism and reversed sexism on social media. This got to the point where notable far-right figure Jack Posobiec filed a civil rights complaint against the theater, citing that the female-only screening was an act of blatant discrimination against men.
News of the controversy reached pretty much everyone involved with the film, including Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who admitted to having "mixed feelings" regarding the issue.
Meanwhile, Avengers and upcoming Batgirl director #JossWhedon told those still complaining about the all-women screenings to shut up.
In an act of defiance, the Alamo Drafthouse replied to these complaints by opening even more women-only showings of Wonder Woman across the country. Later on, management apologized for hosting an all-women's screenings of Wonder Woman and thereby hastening the end of the world.
The Dianas grew in number, emboldened by Teen Vogue think pieces. Since Last Man Standing had recently been canceled, there was no one left to challenge their total cultural takeover, and now all cishet [cisgender/heterosexual] men have been jailed in the abandoned Curves Gyms and Carl’s Jr’s across the globe.
Again, we at the Alamo Drafthouse regret this turn of events and the role we played in hastening the end of civilization. We were short sighted and didn’t realize that celebrating women for one night would have such dire consequences.
What do you think of the controversy surrounding all-female Wonder Woman screenings?