In the story A Jury of Her Peers two women casually inspect the home of a woman and her husband after the husband is found dead. Their examining of the house is contrasted with that of a group of men (two husbands and a prosecutor) who are actively investigating it, looking for clues that would implicate the recently widowed woman.
The difference between the men and womens probes is that the women actually approached the situation with empathy and an ability to take the widow/killer seriously. When they’re all in the kitchen the men belittle the women for worrying about preserves:
“Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!”
The young attorney set his lips.
“I guess before we’re through with her she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about.”
“Oh, well,” said Mrs. Hale’s husband, with good-natured superiority, “women are used to worrying over trifles.”
This just illustrates how quick the men are to mock the women, setting them up to miss the big clue later on. Just a few moments later the prosecutor makes light of the widows work around the house, making it even more clear how little the men think of the women:
“Dirty towels! Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?”
He kicked his foot against some dirty pans under the sink.
The women’s response to these things are a lot more empathetic. They want to bring the preserves to the widow to give her comfort, and even defend her against the men’s accusations of untidiness. This level of understanding leads the women to examine the house, but not as a way to build a case against the widow and more to understand her experience living with her husband.
Because of the compassion the women feel for her, they actually discover the possible motive for the murder, a bird the dead husband killed that belonged to the killer/widow. Also, it leads them to decide the widow does not deserve punishment for the crime of killing her husband. To sum it up the men in general just did’t take the women or the widow serious.