Growing up without a mother, Scout is used to spending the majority of her time around males, like Atticus, Jem, and Dill. She is a notorious tomboy, who would rather play outside in overalls than socialize at a tea party in a dress. Scout's disposition and affinity for outdoor activities rub Aunt Alexandra the wrong way, and she makes her attend a missionary circle with the local ladies. Alexandra's attempt to expose Scout to feminine activities enlightens her to the hypocritical nature of Maycomb's presumably Christian society. She is appalled by Mrs. Merriweather's hypocrisy and feels uncomfortable among the women. Despite Scout's negative view of the feminine world, she is impressed by the subtleness of Miss Maudie's interaction with Aunt Alexandra.
Miss Maudie comes to Atticus's defense by confronting Mrs. Merriweather about her critical, unflattering comments. Following the tense interaction, Scout notices the subtle look of appreciation Alexandra gives Maudie and wonders "at the world of women." There is something about the way women communicate that Scout finds fascinating, which she looks forward to learning as she matures.
Later on, Atticus interrupts the missionary circle to inform Calpurnia, Alexandria, and Miss Maudie that Tom Robinson was shot dead attempting to escape from the Enfield Prison Farm. Shortly after Atticus leaves, Scout witnesses Alexandra break down and express her concern for Atticus. Fortunately, Miss Maudie is able to calm her nerves, and Alexandra collects herself. Once Alexandra enters the living room, Scout admires the way she carries herself in a composed manner. As an intuitive, perceptive young girl, Scout recognizes the courage and composure that her aunt displays and mentions,
I carefully picked up the tray and watched myself walk to Mrs. Merriweather. With my best company manners, I asked her if she would have some. After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I (217).
Overall, Scout changes her mind about becoming a lady by noticing the subtle way in which women communicate and by admiring Aunt Alexandra's courage to maintain her composure after receiving difficult news.