The Sheriff mocks Mrs. Wright's concern for the familiar, saying, "Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder and worryin' about her preserves," not understanding that Mrs. Wright has nothing else to worry about. Her life ended when she killed her husband; only the trappings of normal domesticity, like her fruit, can bring her comfort.
As the play progresses, the gender gap widens with the Attorney's ridicule of Mrs. Wright's housekeeping. Mrs. Hale's asserts, "Men's hands aren't always as clean as they might be," suggesting that the mess is not entirely Mrs. Wright's fault. Mrs. Hale is a strong woman who sticks up for other women. She shows her loyalty, saying, "I'd hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticising." It chafes her that men should register an opinion on a kitchen's cleanliness: they do not want her opinion on the murder.
The men's dismissal of the women is expressed in the Sheriff's casual, "I suppose anything Mrs. Peters does'll be all right," as if a woman couldn't affect the environment. Later, the Attorney says, "Mrs. Peters doesn't need supervising. a sheriff's wife is married to the law," suggesting that a woman's thoughts, motivation, and identity are defined her husband.