| Quote #1
"Oh, we're gonna have some kids. […] I mean, kids is the only thing worth living for." (3.38)
For the white women in the novel, being a successful married woman (read: successful woman) means be able to have children. The pressure of this almost destroys Celia Rae Foote, who has several miscarriages before she understands that her husband loves her for herself, whether she has babies or not.
| Quote #2
My eyes drift down to HELP WANTED: MALE. There are at least four columns filled with bank managers, accountants, loan officers, cotton collate operators. On this side of the page, Percy and Gray, LP, is offering Jr. Stenographers fifty cents more an hour. (5.47)
As Skeeter observes, in the early 1960s employers were totally allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, and national origin.
| Quote #3
"Are you…do you…find men attractive? Are you having unnatural thoughts about…[…] girls or women? […] Because it says in this article there's a cure, a special root tea —" (6.66)
Since Skeeter hasn't married early enough by her mother's timetable, she fears that Skeeter is a lesbian. We can see how sharply defined the rules of what a "normal" woman should be like are in Skeeter's community.