Gender Quotes in The Help
How we cite our quotes:
"He gone get over it, that's what. He gone forget these babies cause mens is real good at that. Get to hoping for the next one." (18.86)
Minny is dead-on, at least where Johnny's concerned. He loves Celia for herself, not for her baby-making capacities. Although the novel has its share of nasty men, its focus is more on the nastiness of women. Through characters like Skeeter's dad and Johnny Foote, The Help takes pains to provide sympathetic white male characters in addition to nasty pieces of work like Raleigh Leefolt, Elizabeth's husband.
I wish to God I'd told John Dudley Green he ain't going to hell. That he ain't no sideshow freak cause he like boys. God I wish I'd fill his ear with good things like I'm trying to do with Mae Mobley. (22.45)
One of Aibileen's deepest regrets is that she didn't do more for John Green, who was beaten daily by his father with a stovepipe because he seemed to be attracted to boys and cross-dressed. This detail helps us understand the rigid gender roles for both men and women.
"Gertrude is every Southern woman's nightmare. I adore her." (28.213)
Gertrude is Minny's pseudonym. The quote is from Elaine Stein, editor of Help. Minny takes this as a high compliment. What does Stein mean? Well, Minny, because she is a Southern black woman, is expected to bow her head and stay in her place. But she defies expectations of how a black woman is expected to act toward white women, and how women in general are expected to act.