By Heidi Stevens Chicago Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Some men are upset over women-only screenings of Wonder Woman. One man in Austin was so angry about a screening that he wrote a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Adler's response is priceless.
There are clap backs, and there are mayoral clap backs.
A fellow calling himself Richard A. Ameduri emailed Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, Texas, last week to complain about a women-only "Wonder Woman" screening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin.
The note, which you can read in its entirety on Mayor Adler's website, called on men to boycott Austin.
"The notion of a woman hero is a fine example of women's eagerness to accept the appearance of achievement without actual achievement," the email reads. "Women learn from an early age to value make-up, that it's OK to pretend that you are greater than you actually are. Women pretend they do not know that only men serve in combat because they are content to have an easier ride. Women gladly accept gold medals at the Olympics for coming in 10th and competing only against the second class of athletes. Name something invented by a woman! Achievements by the second rate gender pale in comparison to virtually everything great in human history was accomplished by men, not women."
There's more, but you get the gist.
"I get thousands of emails, but this one just kind of stuck in my craw a little bit," Adler told me by phone.
"Dear Mr. Ameduri," Adler's reply begins. "I am writing to alert you that your email account has been hacked by an unfortunate and unusually hostile individual. Please remedy your account's security right away, lest this person's uninformed and sexist rantings give you a bad name. After all, we men have to look out for each other!
"Can you imagine if someone thought that you didn't know women could serve in our combat units now without exclusion? What if someone thought you didn't know that women invented medical syringes, life rafts, fire escapes, central and solar heating, a war-time communications system for radio-controlling torpedoes that laid the technological foundations for everything from Wi-Fi to GPS, and beer? And I hesitate to imagine how embarrassed you'd be if someone thought you were upset that a private business was realizing a business opportunity by reserving one screening this weekend for women to see a superhero movie."
Adler said he considered not responding at all, but that didn't feel quite right.
"At some point, even when something's real outrageous, sometimes I think it's important to address it," he said. "Sometimes I think silence can be taken as acquiescence or even approval."
His note continued:
"You and I are serious men of substance with little time for the delicate sensitivities displayed by the pitiful creature who maligned your good name and sterling character by writing that abysmal email," Adler writes. "I trust the news that your email account has been hacked does not cause you undue alarm and wish you well in securing your account. And in the future, should your travels take you to Austin, please know that everyone is welcome here, even people like those who wrote that email whose views are an embarrassment to modernity, decency, and common sense."
Adler has three daughters, ages 33, 31 and 26. He said they're enjoying watching their dad trend on social media. He doesn't mind the attention either, though he wondered at first why other topics he's addressed (climate change, public safety) didn't find the same audience.
"My first thought on that was, 'I wish people were paying attention to the important things,' " he said. "But when people talk to me about the note and what it meant to them, I realize this was important as well."
Keep Austin savage, Mayor Adler. You're a superhero in your own right.