Compare and contrast the treatment of women in To Kill a Mockingbird's Maycomb in the 1930s with the treatment of women in contemporary society.Some differences and similarities? Please and thank you.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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EMPLOYMENT.  You may have noticed that very few of the women mentioned in To Kill a Mockingbird's Maycomb are employed except for perhaps Miss Eula May, the telephone operator, and Scout's teachers. These are stereotypical women's jobs of the mid-20th century. Most of the women in the novel are either matronly, single women or widowed, and we can only assume that they are living off family money. Such is not the case today where women now make up a much larger percentage of the work force.

SUFFRAGE.  In 1930s Alabama, women were still not allowed to serve on juries, as Atticus explains to Scout in Chapter 23. Women now have equal voting and legal rights with men in the USA.

RESPECT.  The respect earned by women in the 1930s is much different than in the 21st century. Although women are now viewed as equals to men in most ways (particularly in legal and employment matters), gender values were much different in the Thirties. Women were a gentler sex in the eyes of men, and they were extended many more courtesies than women today. For example, one of the crimes of which the young Boo Radley was charged was for "using abusive and profane language in the presence and hearing of a female." (Men's ears were more suitable for such talk apparently.) Scout and Jem have both been taught to call most of the neighborhood ladies "Miss," even though Maudie Atkinson is a widow. 

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