Hester takes stand by your man seriously—so seriously that she stands by two men, keeping secrets not only for her secret lover but for her wacko husband, too. And it's a good thing that someone is looking out for them, since they both seem incapable of taking care of themselves. But Hester isn't The Scarlet Letter's only woman: we see all kinds of femininity, from the bitter witchiness of Mistress Hibbins to the gentle piety of the one of two wives who actually feel sorry for Hester. Women might be the weaker sex, but, the way Hawthorne sees it, they have plenty of power.
Hawthorne characterizes women as strong and independent (though sometimes morally repugnant), while many of his male characters are morally weak.
In The Scarlet Letter, women can either be evil witches or good wives. Hester confuses the community because she chooses to be neither.