Stephen Miller, a political pundit known by his Twitter handle, RedSteeze, made headlines last Friday. How, you ask? He purchased a ticket to a women-only screening of Wonder Woman at The Alamo movie theater in Manhattan.
Mr. Miller’s decision to invade a space specifically designated for women was met with varied reactions. Some supported it, and some were against it, but both sides argued their views in the name of equality.
It’s arguable that Mr. Miller only purchased the ticket to cause an uproar. He claims that he will quietly sit in his seat and enjoy the screening. In any case, it comes off as a deliberate act of trolling.
However, there is a more important question: is a woman’s only screening necessary?
I’d say yes.
The film industry, despite some advances, still strongly favors men. Male directors outweigh female directors in Hollywood by 92%. 85% of films had no female direction whatsoever. And frequently, leading female actresses, like Jennifer Lawrence, make less money per film than their leading male counterparts.
For many years, this discrimination was an actual rule rather than just some cultural convention. The Hays Code, a set of film industry moral guidelines promoted from 1930 to 1968, was oppressive towards women. The Hays Code also did not allow mixed race couples to appear on screen, and did not allow men and women to sleep in the same bed.
Admittedly, that was a different time. However, these screenings are intended to be celebrations of women in film, as consumers, directors, producers, and stars.
Wonder Woman, more than many other modern films, is a huge achievement for women. Wonder Woman is the first female-fronted superhero film in the modern era. Further, it was directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins.
These women’s screenings honor the accomplishments of women in a field where being behind the camera is rare, and being recognized for your work is even rarer. So women should enjoy their girls night out, and celebrate all women can and have done. Because women can–and will–do anything.
And with regards to Mr. Miller, maybe I’ll even see him there.