Women In The 20s Essay

1993 words - 8 pages

The Roaring Twenties: THE FLAPPER at the Forefront of An American Era of Moral, Political, Social and Cultural Reform "The Flapper" by Dorothy Parker The playful flapper here we see, The fairest of the fair - She's not what Grandma used to be "“ You might say, au contraire.Her girlish ways make a stir, Her manners cause a scene But there is no more harm in her Than in a submarine She nightly knocks for many a goal The usual dancing men Her speed is great, but her control Is something else again All spotlights focus on her pranks All tongues her prowess herald For which she well may render thanks To god and Scott Fitzgerald Her golden rule is plain enough; Just get them young and treat them rough The roles, behaviors and attitudes of women underwent radical change in the United States during the decade of the 1920's. With the end of World War I, some women became accustomed to working outside of the home, and were reluctant to give up the freedoms associated with employment. The 18th Amendment, ratified in January of 1919, which abolished the production or sale of alcohol, was widely disregarded, giving rise to an industry of organized crime and illegal "speakeasies" or dance halls that sold alcohol. These speakeasies became a favorite hangout for the "modern woman" of the 1920's, known as a flapper, a heavily made-up young woman who drank, smoked cigarettes, cursed, and was sexually active. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote."Amendment XIX, (adapted 1920) The right of citizen of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by any state on account of sex, congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." Having the privilege to vote, gave women lawful protection and judicial recognition on civil matters including the owning and transferring of property, further increasing a woman's sense of possibility and independence. The Stock Market boom encouraged a burgeoning affluent middle class and an atmosphere of risk-taking and speculation, and reasonably priced automobiles and electric appliances made everyday citizens' lives easier, while the radio was a powerful transmitter of mass communication. Thus, Post World War I prosperity created the Roaring Twenties, an era of breathtaking adventure, speculation and modernization, and these changes are reflected in the "thoroughly modern flappers" morals, behaviors, and fashions.The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the essence of youthful freedom, passion and recklessness in the Roaring twenties in his book The Great Gatsby."They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made" It was Fitzgerald who originated the term flapper. The term referred to a young, modern woman, between the ages of nineteen and thirty, who had been...

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