The New Women Of 1920's Essay

1575 words - 6 pages

As we look around at our women in today’s era, we might ask how did she become so independent, successful, and confidant? Even when I look at my own my mom, she was hired as the first woman to work as a manager at a fortune 500 business, and then created her own business. As well as my friends’ mom, who also has her own business in psychology; accomplishments like these must have originated from somewhere. The answer lies in the 1920’s. A couple years earlier, World War I was waging havoc, killing many men, while allowing women more freedom. The effects of World War I gave birth to the new women, also known as the Flappers, and inspiration for the 19th amendment. The flappers stirred up traditions and launched a new way of living. It soon became very apparent that the new women of the 1920’s helped redefine the social norms of society.
During World War I, many men were drafted away from their families to fight for America. The men left an excess of jobs available for women to take. These jobs were not just an option but also a necessary responsibility to support their family, while their husbands were at war. In the absence of many men, women wore shorter skirts for functionality, learned to drive cars, and cut their hair. It is believed that because of the shortage of qualified men, women became more aggressive towards them, demonstrating behavior of a “Flapper” ("Flappers." Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion”) World War 1 gave women a taste of what it was like to earn a living outside of the house and they liked the independence. When the men came back from the war, women were not so eager to give it up. Also, the war had wiped out a number of males, not only leaving more jobs available for women, but also leaving wives and mothers to fend for themselves and their family. Therefore a large percent of women remained employed. When we look at the women of today, we are still experiencing an increase in jobs held by women.
After World War I, these women with their revolutionizing traits started to be called “flappers”; the term “Flapper” actually came from the sounds of galoshes women would wear that would “flap” as they walked. These women emerged in the early 1920s, they were known as to challenge social norms such as the way they dressed. They were characterized as a women with a short bob, riské fashion, who drank and smoked, all the while challenging gender roles. These women were much more open to sex and dating than their traditional ancestors (Roaring Twenties: 1919–29”). Although they were not the majority of the population they did become a significant symbol of change. At this time people were raging about the Flappers and media helped. F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Held Jr. writer and photographer depicted the Flapper as admirable and glorifying. F Scott Fitzgerald quoted that they were the “spark that lit up the Flaming Youth and Colleen Moore was the torch”. Colleen Moore was a famous actress during that time ("Women Go to...

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