As a mother of boys, I appreciated the feminist male perspective of Scot Moore’s one-man show Men Will Be Boys at Theater in the Round. I was glad my 15 year-old got to see it with us—it sparked some conversation on the way home.
Moore creates six different contemporary male characters who each give an extended monologue. Most of the characters are “men behaving badly”. There is a six year-old boy who is in time-out at school because he just called a girl in his class a “whore”. You realize he learned this from his Dad. We see the beginnings of the damage caused by a “boys will be boys” culture. There is a preacher and an entitled college man who can’t even concede that gender bias exists in 2013. The scene that impacted me the most was “the gamer”. It focuses on a misogynistic teenage boy who says some vile things to a female gamer. His behavior is offensive. The emotionally stunted character does not know how to relate to women at all. But you could also see in Moore’s face the boy’s pain and confusion. Anyone who is around teenage boys all of the time knows that they get so many mixed messages about what it means to be a man. This show is an honest exploration of our culture.