Study Guide

Heist Society Women

By Ally Carter

Women

No one knew for certain when the trouble started at the Colgan School. Some members of its alumni association blamed the decision to admit girls. (1.1)

The world of private universities, so often ruled by Headmasters as opposed to Headmistresses, is a total boy's club. Forreal. Even though things have changed for the better.

"I didn't know there were so many math guys," Hale said. [...] Kat cleared her throat. "And women," he added. "Math women." (7.3)

Kat's not content to let Hale unconsciously perpetuate the stereotype that women are bad at math. We kind of wish Kat's crew had a female tech expert, instead of that dude Simon.

It was too bad that [Gabrielle's] head hadn't filled out quite as completely as her bra. (8.18)

Wow. Kat goes pretty fast from wanting to be a strong, independent woman to snarking on her cousin. What's the deal with that? Why is she so nasty to Gabrielle?

[Kat] had simply been so long inside boys' clubs that she forgot sometimes that, anatomically at least, she was not a younger, smaller version of the men who sat around Uncle Eddie's kitchen table. (9.14)

Once again, we see how the environment you're raised in inevitably shapes your values. Kat values stereotypically masculine ideals: level-headedness, strength, and confidence. Which is why she often views herself as one of the boys. (And why, we're guessing, she sometimes has trouble viewing herself as an attractive woman.)

How was it possible for Gabrielle to be even prettier when she slept, when Kat herself could rarely wake up without encountering at least a little bit of drool. (11.66)

Even though Kat values stereotypically masculine personality traits, she sometimes yearns to be a bit elegant and feminine, too. Boys drool, girls rule, that type of thing.

If you lived in 1921, and if you had more money than time, and if you were a woman, then there were very few acceptable ways in which you were allowed to fill your days. (18.1)

The woman imagined in this passage, an art collector, would have been Kat had she lived in 1921. Fast forward a hundred years, though, and Kat is a globe-trotting art thief. We're not sure if that's considered "acceptable," but it sounds a bit more exciting to us than "spinster."

When [the guards] remembered the girl with the long legs and the short skirt who lay on the cold marble floor, she was too unconscious and too pretty for anyone at the Henley to stay made for long. (18.35)

Having a "babe" is a necessary part of any heist. It's the perfect way to exploit a weakness in the boys' club: a weakness for the opposite sex. And, as we see, Gabrielle uses her feminine charms to her advantage. She's cleverer than Kat thinks, in our opinion.

Amelia Bennet [...] was not the only woman [in Interpol]. And yet, in an agency that was in every way a part of the Old Boy network, it was impossible for anyone to look at her without first registering that was neither old nor boy. (21.1)

Amelia Bennett is pretty much Kat's adult counterpart, just on the other side of the law. Don't you think these two have a lot in common? Why would the author draw a parallel between these two characters, do you think?

"Take Angus and Hamis. Take Simon. [...] Take... Nick, if that's what you want." (29.31)

Hale is mad at Kat for taking Gabrielle, the only other female in the group, to meet Taccone. Now, go back and reread all of his suggestions. What do they have in common? Male anatomy. Is Hale right to suggest Kat needs to take a man with her for protection? Or is he just being overbearing, and maybe a little sexist?

"Seriously, Kat," Simon said, inching closer, "when did you get boobs?" (30.11)

Okay, we know Simon's a little sheltered and awkward, but reaching for Kat's breasts is a little much. However, all the attention is a little flattering for Kat, because she usually feels like one of the boys.

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