Are we living in a male oriented society? Gender roles are defined by attitudes that a society links to each sex. They are basically prejudicial descriptions of who men and women are. In today's society, men and women are divided into two stereotypical gender-roles; the feminine code and the masculine code. Men have been described as being insensitive, dominant, strong, rational, aggressive and rude, whereas women have been described as sensitive, weak, emotional, talkative, passive and more polite. As we read Trifles, women begin a rebellion against a male-dominated society. As the play progresses, the author tries to show that the omission of the clues found in the kitchen and the complete disregard for women serve as a consequence to solving the case. In this play written by Susan Glaspell, the plot, the actions of various characters, and the dialogue communicate the author's disapproval of gender-role stereotypes. .
From the very beginning of the play, the author presents a patriarchal society through the setting. According to gender-role stereotypes, women are thought to be domestic and live in their "private sphere," in the confinements of the house, specifically the kitchen, the place where the women in the play remain. Men are presumed to live in the "public sphere," away from the chores of the house and provide for the family as indicated by the jobs the male characters hold. Very early in the play, Mr. Hale decides to talk to Mr. Wright, before his wife, in order to see if Wright would go in with him on a party telephone. However, Hale says, "I said to Harry that I didn't know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John. As if a women's opinion in a patriarchal society would have no effect on Wright's choice. Later on in the play, by asking the question "Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?" the County Attorney suggests that women are supposed to know about housekeeping because society comprehends women in that way.