The Trump presidency is making it hard for even conservatives to take conservatism seriously, so right-wing outlets increasingly avoid The Leader’s nonsense and console themselves with culture-war fantasies. National Review, for example, recently featured long paeans to the conservative values of Billy Joel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and celebrated the holiday weekend with “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Memorial Day Movies” — which they advertised as “films certain to drive your liberal friends crazy,” because they’re war pictures and liberals all think “serving one’s country in uniform” is just something to be “dismissed or derided.” Take that, Hanoi Jane!
This may explain why the big thing currently exciting the brethren is not a policy or political matter, but some theaters offering ladies-only movie showings and some asshole promising to disrupt them.
It all started when the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain announced it would have a “No Guys Allowed” showing of the new Wonder Woman film in its Austin and Brooklyn theaters. “And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it,” added Alamo Drafthouse. “Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.” The Brooklyn Alamo also said it would donate proceeds from its all-girl showing to Planned Parenthood.
Sounds like a fun promotional idea, and the shows quickly sold out, prompting Alamo Drafthouse to add new gynocentric screenings. But not everyone was happy: The neckbeards and fedoras of the Men’s Rights–Red Pill–Professional Dick community moped on Facebook and Twitter that they were being discriminated against.
When this persecution mania was noticed and made fun of by Alamo Drafthouse and others, it just made the MRAs more upset. “Salon’s male writer got an opportunity to step up and signal how he’s a good little ally to the feminist cause with his internalized misandry by penning the most pathetic criticism he could come up with,” sputtered the appropriately named Tom Knighton at PJ Media.
Some of the boys gathered disconsolately around the Straight Dope message board to parse Blackstone on the legality of such a showing (“just the same if the movie theater said ‘whites only’ night”). “If I was in Austin and wanted to see the movie, I’d just show up and say I self-identify as a woman and livestream the response,” said Ace of Spades, shaking his fist and turning his face away so the gang couldn’t see his hot tears.
Ace of Spades’s challenge was taken up by one Stephen Miller, a/k/a @redsteeze. Miller, a “writer and activist in the New York city of Brooklyn,” had previously peddled himself as a high-class conservative culture warrior — his essays at The Wilderness include “YOUTH REVOLT: The Rise of the Counterculture Conservative,” “The Politics of Design & Why It Matters More Than Ever,” and “The Democrat Nomination is Joe Biden’s to Lose” — you know: next-Douthat stuff.
But apparently that wasn’t moving the needle for Miller — and besides, there was already a creepier Stephen Miller in the White House. So Miller made himself over and changed his image from Serious Well-Groomed Intellectual to Wacky Gel-and-Haircolor Provocateur, in which guise he announced he had bought a ticket to a June 4 Brooklyn women-only showing. When people pointed out this was a dick move, Miller did the typical passive-aggressive rightblogger you’re-the-real-bigot thing (“You want segregation back then? I don’t understand your argument”).
Rightbloggers were ecstatic that Miller planned to forcibly penetrate Girls’ Night Out. This was even better than “films certain to drive your liberal friends crazy” — now they could drive liberals and bitches crazy by fucking up their movies! Pass, as they say, the popcorn (and cut a hole in the bottom of it)!
“Payback! Guy spoils female-only showing of Wonder Woman…you wanted gender equality!” yelled Tom Tillison of BizPac Review, portraying his protuberance as a petard. “[Miller’s] timeline flooded with females enraged that he dare engage in this commerce,” tumesced Red State’s Brad Slager.
“Don’t let the ‘unity’ message from the Left fool you. They LOVE segregation and sexism,” said Trey Sanchez at Truth Revolt, and he added pics of men dressed in Wonder Woman outfits, because that always gets a laugh down at the frat house.
“FEMINISTS FURIOUS AFTER MAN BUYS TICKET TO ‘WOMEN-ONLY’ WONDER WOMAN SCREENING,” wrote Some Underpaid Intern at Milo Yiannopoulos’s site. “With the amount of triggering that has surrounded this film’s release,” added SUI, “one can only hope Mr. Miller will wear a bodycam to the women-only screening.” Then premium Milo subscribers can masturbate to images of Miller being yelled at and possibly laid hands on by an all-female staff. It’s win-wank!
As aficionados will have expected, red-pilled robowhore expert Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit was excited in multiple posts (“IF THE RIGHT HAD A PROPERLY DEVELOPED LEGAL INFRASTRUCTURE, SOME GLORIA-ALLRED-EQUIVALENT WOULD HAVE ALREADY FILED SUIT AND HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE”), climaxing, perhaps literally, with, “Bake me a cake, feminists.”
Some went in for logic puzzles on the order of Oh Yeah Why Don’t We Have White History Month Then?
“Let’s say you decided to hold a screening of the film for white women only,” riddle-me-this’d Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller. “Would everybody be okay with that? Of course not. That would be discrimination…” You get the idea: Girls’ Night Out is Jim Crow. (Treacher even did the “it’s not like he’s asking them to bake a cake for a gay wedding” thing, too. Amazing the guy’s still single!)
“[Alamo Drafthouse’s] philosophy isn’t logical,” claimed Jennifer Van Laar at Townhall; though “they say gender is a social construct…if one is genderfluid, they could have a male body, yet identify with a different gender depending on the situation — which means that literally ANYBODY could attend that screening.” Wow, bet Alamo Drafthouse never thought of that! Hope their ticket takers are trained in dorm-room sophistry.
These Bizzaro World civil rights arguments are just an excuse, of course — like Mark Whittington’s comparisons of Miller to Rosa Parks and Alamo Drafthouse to “countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran that follow strict, Islamic law,” they probably aren’t convincing to their readers, or even to their authors. But Whittington’s complaint that “the movie chain and its allies in the entertainment industry were quite nasty in pushing back against the male fans, calling them ‘crybabies’ and other names that cannot be repeated” — that you can bet they take seriously. And therein lies the power and utility of these culture-war beefs: Conservatives don’t remember the promises their preferred presidential candidate keeps breaking, but they never, ever forget any occasion when they were denied the deference they feel is owed to them as men.