Examples Of Gender Bias In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Any child who has attended a co-ed school knows the indignity the phrase "You_____like a girl!" can cause to the receiving end of the insult. This saying holds so much power over children because of the notion that men can accomplish the same tasks better than women—an idea rarely seen today, but commonplace in the early history of America. Children view doing something "like a girl" as a horrifying insult because of the implication that the insulted is feeble, weak, or lesser than the insulter. Although the popular view holds women as the majority victim of gender bias, men are also discriminated against in the socially acceptable ways they must behave, or the jobs they should be able to fulfill because of their manliness. However, the opposite is true of women, who are sometimes viewed as creatures who need protection from the things men must endure—an example being the once-popular tradition of keeping women indoors to preserve their frailty. Likewise, in her book To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee touches on themes of gender bias as she observed them in her society. The gender bias in To Kill a …show more content…
The notion of a woman's place in life being either the house or the yard reveals how some people viewed women as less resilient than men. The popular opinion of the day viewed women as too delicate and fragile to undergo the stresses of traditionally male-dominated jobs. For example, after Scout presses Atticus about why men exclusively serve as jurors, Atticus answers by stating, "'…I guess it's to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom's…'"[232]. Though he may have spoken these words with a sense of playfulness, they demonstrate how people of the day thought of women as unable to handle the same tasks as men. This gender bias describes a woman as delicate in words, dainty in hearing, and pure in thought, which excludes them from the evils of rigorous