What is similar about men and women in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    Although women in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, are bound to a subordinate social status thanks to the laws and protocol of 1930s Alabama life, many of them are among the strongest and most morally positive characters in the story.
    Aunt Alexandra is a particularly strong character who dominates her own husband and tries to strong-arm Atticus, especially concerning Calpurnia's role in the household and Scout's unladylike ways. Alexandra is a highly masculine character who is nonetheless obsessed with her own heritage and femininity. Miss Maudie is a kind of female Atticus, a liberal-minded widow who has chosen not to remarry and lives life on her own terms. Like Atticus, she disdains the treatment of the black townspeople by Maycomb's more conservative citizenry, and she recognizes the two-faced self-righteousness of her own missionary circle. 
    Scout, the tomboy, holds her own (and wins!) during every fracas she has with other boys. She is obviously the brightest child in her first grade class, and in some cases she even appears to have the upper hand in her arguments with adults (for example, at the jail with Mr. Cunningham and with Miss Caroline on her first day at school). Calpurnia is yet another strong female, exercising discipline in the Finch household and possessing an education and intelligence few other Maycomb women--white or black--can boast.
    More generally, both the men and women of Maycomb love to congregate and gossip. Many white townspeople of both sexes share racial biases against Negroes. Both men and women share their fascination with Boo Radley.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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