It turns out those all-female “Wonder Woman” screenings may not be legal. Alamo Drafthouse announced its plans to host women-only events for the new superhero drama, the first to be directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins), on May 24; many celebrated the move, while a vocal minority (mostly men) decried it as sexist. Now a lawyer in New York is filing a complaint with Austin’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office, telling the Austin American-Statesman that such events are “not lawful.”
“I’m a specialist in anti-discrimination law, so I was fairly certain that this was not lawful,” said Stephen Clark, an attorney and law professor from Albany. “If they were trying to do a gay-only ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ I would feel the same way.”
According to the Statesman, Austin’s city code does not allow “public accommodation” (including movie theaters) to limit its services on the basis of gender or other factors like race and sexual orientation.
“Their attitude was really off-putting to me … the suggestion that anybody who pointed out to them that this was illegal was misogynistic or insecure,” added Clarke. “Granted, a number of the men posting were nasty, but if you’re the one hosting the event and you’re already teetering on the edge of illegality, you might dial back the rhetoric.”
Read more at the Statesman.