15 May 2014
Women of the 1920's
Women during the 1920's lifestyle, fashion, and morals were very different than women before the 1920's. Flappers became the new big thing after the 19th amendment was passed. Women's morals were loosened, clothing and haircuts got shorter, and fashion had a huge role in these young women.
Women before the 1920's were very different from the women of the Roarin' 20's. Gwen Hoerr Jordan stated that the ladies before the 1920's wore dresses that covered up most of their skin, had pinned up long hair, were very modest, had chaperones and had men make all of their decisions (1). "On both sides of the Atlantic they'd been struggling against the kind of rigidly sexist culture that meant a women could be arrested for smoking a cigarette while walking down a public street" (Judith 1). The women of the 1920's were independent, demanded equality and lived with bold depravity which is considered a flapper. These women's lives were not all fun and play; women had to work, often as maids in private homes, but, throughout the decade they could branch our to other jobs. "By 1920, there were more than 650 colleges that admitted both men and women, and more than seven percent of American women between the ages of 18 and 21 attended college" (Jordan 1-2). Women before the 1920's relied on men a lot and did not get very good educations.
The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote and let them feel like they have become full citizens which resulted in becoming a flapper. In 1917, women boycotted for the right to vote in front of the White House and for this "harmless act" many were incarcerated (West 1). On August 26, 1920, after a hard-won battle, women finally had become full citizens in their own minds. The 19th Amendment was added to the constitution giving women the right to vote and this gave them the freedom to do anything men could do (Jordan 1, Jailer-Chamberlain 1). The 19th Amendment states: "Section 1: The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex" (West 1).
Flappers were a new type of women. It Is popularly believed that, "The flappers were fashionable women in their 20's, considered shocking in both their behaviour and their clothes" (Dresses defined youth culture of 1920's 1) Truthfully, at that time, she was far more complex and threatening. She wanted to choose her own life, take her own lovers, earn herself a living, and explore the world before she wanted to get married and have children (Judith 1). "Many working-class girls in turn adopted the flapper image. Which for them was an expression of class aspiration as much as a statement for personal freedom" (Sharot 15). The flapper was a very strong, free, independent women.
Although flappers are a symbol of freedom and women's newly found rights, the author of the article "Dresses defined youth culture of the 1920s" stated: " 'Flapper' was...