Gender roles are clearly established in House of Mirth. Men bring home the bacon, and women look pretty and keep tabs on the couple's social currency. Though they keep up good appearances, women in this novel can certainly be vicious – at least to each other. Married women guard their husbands carefully, both their affections and their money. Interestingly, however, it's the women who have the affairs in this novel, often with younger, less wealthy men who live off the married women's money in exchange for company.
Wharton's point of view in House of Mirth is a misogynist one.