Boys Will Be Boys | ‘There’s boy’s world and there’s girl’s world.’

Even Astrid, the protagonist of Boys Will Be Boys recognises the gender gap still exists in 2016 and she’s no J-Law, Beyoncé, or even an Emma. She’s definitely not a Tay Tay. #Squad is not in her vocab. And yet:

“I knew it when I was five… There’s boy’s world and there’s girl’s world and I’ve never been one for plaiting hair and playing house but how do you get into boy’s world when you’ve got a vagina?”
Astrid, Boys Will Be Boys

Boys Will Be Boys explores what it is to be female in the overwhelmingly male world of banking and asks if a woman can ever come out on top.

We thought we’d take the measurements of the gender gap in the 2010s (the Teens? The Tens? Why has no one thought of a name for this decade yet?) Here are three findings in no particular order:

1. It begins young.

richie rich

A study last week showed that the pay gap exists even in bloody pocket money. Boys get 13% more than girls. Why? It seems to be the case that boys demand more. Plus ça change

Last year Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay for Lena Dunham expressing her anger at the pay gap. She didn’t rail against the patriarchy. Instead she railed against herself.

“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony,” she writes. “I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”

2. It lasts a lifetime.

Or should that be you’re given half a lifetime?

In the opening scenes of Boys Will Be Boys, Astrid (who’s in her early forties) realises that the barman she thought had been flirting with her was actually feeling sorry for her.

It’s a scene reminiscent of Amy Schumer’s viral sketch Last Fuckable Day where she stumbles upon Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette lunching in the woods to commemorate Louis-Dreyfus’s passage from, in casting terms, “believably fuckable” female roles to ones “where you go to the wardrobe department and all they have for you to wear are long sweaters”.

“But what about men?” Schumer asks, “like, who tells men when it’s their last fuckable day?”. BAHAHAHA is the answer: “Honey… men don’t have that day”.


3. Even right-on brothers underestimate its size.

Okay maybe not totally scientific. But if the rubber glove fits…


A co-production between the Bush Theatre and Headlong, Boys Will Be Boys opens 25 June at Bush Hall and runs til 30 July. Find out more and book tickets here.