John Updike does something clever and interesting in "A&P": he gives us a lusty 19-year old guy for a narrator and has him perform what Updike calls "an act of feminist protest." Updike is talking about Sammy quitting his job to show the girls in bathing suits that he respects their right to dress the way they like and still be treated with respect. We can look at the girls' behavior as a feminist protest as well. By standing up for their right to wear bathing suits in public, they inspire Sammy to his act. We think the story suggests something powerful – that men and women can work together to create more freedom for both genders.
Sammy's disrespectful thoughts about women suggest that his motives for quitting his job aren't entirely pure.
"A&P" shows that men and women can work together to create more freedom for both genders.