To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What are some examples of gender and social prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird?

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus sweetly discusses this topic with his children when they wonder about juries. They ask why city folks don't sit on them. Atticus explains that many business owners fear their decisions would affect their customers' repeat visits. Then, the topic of women on juries arises. Atticus, the one we all grow to love and defend and admire, stereotypes many of Maycomb's women with the greatest care and ease.

He points to Mrs. Dubose as an example. She would speak whenever she felt like it and would try to get Judge Taylor to do things her way. Here is Atticus' explanation in his own words:

"For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman -"

“You mean women in Alabama can’t—?” I was indignant.

“I do. I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s. Besides,” Atticus grinned, “I doubt if we’d ever get a complete case tried—the ladies’d be interrupting to ask questions.”

Jem and I laughed. Miss Maudie on a jury would be impressive. I thought of old Mrs. Dubose in her wheelchair—“Stop that rapping, John Taylor, I want to ask this man something.” Perhaps our forefathers were wise. (Chapter 23)

This demonstrates that women talk... and talk... and talk.

In chapter 24, more revealing details about women emerge. The women gather at an event that is all about impressing each other. This particular event, the Missionary Tea, takes place at the Finches house because Alexandra is hosting.

During this part, we see the white women find great empathy for the poor people that their missionary J. Grimes Everett serve, but they can't see the need right in front of...

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Some social prejudices result in how Boo Radley is considered an outcast because of his silence, or how Tom Robinson was automatically considered to be denied of a right of the truth because of his color of skin. Many prejudices revolve around Maycomb regarding status and color. Gender prejudices revolve around how Scout was unable to wear overalls because it made her seem less ladylike.