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1920s Women Objective: List the changes that women made during the 1920s.

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Presentation on theme: "1920s Women Objective: List the changes that women made during the 1920s."— Presentation transcript:

1 1920s Women Objective: List the changes that women made during the 1920s

2 Importance Which strategy was not employed by women suffragists to obtain their goal? – 1. They called for female workers to strike. – 2. They advocated a constitutional amendment. – 3. They tested the Fourteenth Amendment in court. – 4. They convinced state legislatures to grant women the right to vote.

3 Vocab Traditonal – characteristic of the older style Restrictive – limitation of application, as terms, expressions Suffrage – the right to vote, esp. in a political election 19 th Amendment – citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex Liberate – to free (a group or individual) from social or economic constraints or discrimination Double Standard – different provisions for one group of people than for another Flapper – a young woman, esp. one who, during the 1920s, behaved and dressed in a boldly unconventional manner.

4 Major Themes 1.) Traditional roles of women 2.) Women Before World War One 3.) Women’s Rights (19 th Amendment) 4.) Women After World War One 5.) Women and the 1920s

5 Women’s Traditional Roles 1.) Family Focus Wife Mother 2.) Education not priority 3.) No political power

6 Women Before World War One 1.) Few Job Opportunities Examples: Maid, seamstress 2.) Restrictive Life No job=no money Limited education Under power of husband (Coverture Law) No political rights (not vote) No societal rights: not smoke in public, proper behavior, if dated be chaperoned. Dress: RESTRICTIVE! No make-up or pants, dresses only, cage-like corsets.

7 Examples of Restrictive Clothing



10 The Causes for Women’s Rights 1.) Post Civil War -13 th, 14 th, 15 th Amendments focused on African-Americans. -15 th Amendment gave ex-slaves the right to vote (1868) - Voting Rights belonged to men only. - Women begin to rally for their rights. -Wanted Suffrage (the right to vote).

11 Causes continued… 2. ) Women Suffrage Movement Suffrage: right to vote 1848-1920 (70 years) Seneca Falls Convention 1848: First meeting organized by women for their voting rights. Got women the right to vote.

12 Key Women Suffragists 1.) Susan B. Anthony – Involved in Progressive Movement (reform immigrants and poor) – Rallied for Women’s Rights.

13 Suffragists continued… 2.) Elizabeth Cady Stanton Organized rallies and wrote speeches for women’s rights. – Campaigned for women’s rights.

14 Women Campaigning for Votes

15 19 th Amendment The 19 th Amendment was passed in 1920. The 19 th Amendment gave women the right to vote. 19 th Amendment was the result of Women Suffragists.

16 Effects of 19 th Amendment Liberated women (freed women) Women had political power Women began to liberate themselves in society The start of the modern women The flapper of the 1920s

17 WOMEN AND THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE!!! 19 th Amendment (1920) marked greatest change made in voting history Ignorance/lack of interest of their right to vote and male domination kept many women away from polls (35%- 1920) 11% of women did not think they should have the right Rather than crusading for social progress young women concentrated on individual self- expression

18 Women After World War One Women had voting rights Women worked as a result of World War One – Job experience Women were financially independent Double Standard Marriage rights (right to a divorce) Change in behavior: – Young women were rebellious: cut hair and wore daring clothing – Smoked in public and wore make-up! – Media portrayed women as “sex symbols” Beginning of the modern women

19 A new modern woman emerges… The Flapper A rebellious BOLD woman…Smoke “devils weed”, drank, short hair, thin, flat chest, skirts above the knee, makeup, talked openly about sex MEN FLOCKED TO the new Flapper Lasting effect on today’s America

20 Women and the 1920s


22 Flapper What is the difference in fashion between the flapper and the women on the right? Why do you think the older generation was upset by this new fashion trend?

23 A group of women were at the forefront of the “fun” movement. They were called flappers. Flappers were characterized by the following traits: Short hair and short skirt Makeup (Oh No!) Turned down hose and powdered knees? Drinking, smoking, and cursing Why do you think these traits offended some of the older generation?

24 The Flapper Definition: rebellious young women embraced the urban attitudes and fashion of 1920s. Fashion: make-up, short hair, short skirts, drank and smoked. Reckless behavior Called flapper because of Charleston dance.

25 “The Flapper” By Dorothy Parker 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 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 may 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

26 Definition of a Flapper “Flapper” first started in Great Britain after WWI. It was used to describe young girls that were awkward and have not yet entered womanhood. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald describes flappers as “Lovely, expensive and about 19”. He drew the girls wearing unbuckled galoshes that made a “flapping” noise when they walked. The Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins describes a flapper as a “Giddy, attractive, slightly unconventional, somewhat foolish girl full of wild surmises and inclined to revolt against the precepts and admonitions of her elders”. Flappers had the image and the attitude to match.

27 Life of a Flapper The life of a flapper was a lot of fun! It consisted of constant partying. Flappers smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol – all of which were unheard of if you were a woman! They lived very reckless lives and would cling to their youth. Flappers were the first of the women to flaunt their sexuality. Their lifestyles were shown in the way that they dressed and danced.

28 The Flapper Look Flappers were the first to show off and get a little crazy in terms of fashion. They wore heavy make up with scarlet lips and heavy eye make up. Before the flappers, only “loose” women wore make up. Their clothes were a lot different than those of the past. They usually wore a dress that went just below the knee, stockings, heels and step ins (a one piece suit that was used as underwear instead of a corset). The look was created by Coco Chanel (the world famous Chanel that we have now) and it was all the rage. Women tried to look more like men in the twenties. They would tightly wrap their chest with strips of cloth to flatten it. They were trying to look around the age of a 15 year old boy. “The tube” was a fashion icon. This was when fashion focused less on the physical form. The hemlines dropped to the knees and the hiplines were lowered. The “Tube” look was straight from the shoulders to the hem.

29 The Flapper Look Part Two The twenties changed the way the world looked at hair styles. “The Bob” is the infamous hair style that was everywhere in the 20’s. Most women haircuts were very short in the back and 20 % longer in the front. The Cloche Hat was a must during the day. This was a hat that fit snuggly over short hair and reached the eyebrows.

30 Entertainment Drinking Drinking was a favorite pastime of the flappers. Prohibition was in effect, and the women were breaking the law. Before this, only men would drink. The women were seen as “Giddy Flappers” due to drunkenness. Many carried a flask, which was extremely unheard of – even for men!

31 Entertainment Dancing Dancing was a flappers favorite pastime. They would dance the Charleston, Black Bottom and the Shimmy. The May 1920 edition of Atlantic Monthly said that “flappers trot like foxes, limp like lame ducks, one step like cripples, and all the barbaric lawp of strange instruments which transform the whole scene into a moving picture of a fancy ball in bedliam”.


33 “In the 1920’s, a new woman was born. She smoked, drank, danced and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to petting parties. She was giddy and took risks. She was a flapper.”

34 Famous Flappers Anita PageColleen Moore Louise Brooks



37 Flappers got their name from a new dance craze called the Charleston, which required the dancers to flap their limbs erratically. The music of choice for this era was a new type of music called Jazz. Jazz was very popular among young people, but the older generation was getting nervous with the new styles. From the Ladies Home Journal Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation? by Anne Shaw Faulkner Jazz originally was the accompaniment of the voodoo dancer, stimulating the half-crazed barbarian to the vilest deeds. The weird chant, accompanied by the syncopated rhythm of the voodoo invokers, has also been employed by other barbaric people to stimulate brutality and sensuality. That it has a demoralizing effect upon the human brain has been demonstrated by many scientists

38 Limitations and Exceptions Women were still paid less than men, – even when they did the same job. In politics, women didn’t achieve equality – Only a handful of women had been elected by 1929. Strong conservative tradition in USA. – Combination of traditional religion & old country values – Kept American women in a much more restricted role. “Most middle class women concentrated on managing the home…Their daughters…were far more likely to prepare for careers as mothers and housewives.”

39 Conclusion Young middle class women in the cities – the flappers – experienced massive changes to roles in American society. Majority of women experienced minor changes – Lives remained very similar to how they had been before the war. Some women “more traditional rural areas” – outraged by the actions of the flappers in the cities – opposed many of the images of women in films, novels and magazines.

40 Importance Which strategy was not employed by women suffragists to obtain their goal? – 1. They called for female workers to strike. – 2. They advocated a constitutional amendment. – 3. They tested the Fourteenth Amendment in court. – 4. They convinced state legislatures to grant women the right to vote.

41 Closure During World War I, the American women's movement was strengthened when women – 1. joined the army and fought alongside men. – 2. stayed at home and ran the households. – 3. took over hundreds of jobs that men left. – 4. formed their own political parties.

42 Closure "Double standard" refers to – 1. stricter social and moral standards for women than for men in the 1920s. – 2. owner wages women earned compared to those earned by men in the 1920s. – 3. amount of work that women did both at home and outside the house in the 1920s. – 4. unfair treatment of women in the workplace in the 1920s.

43 Closure A study of the "flappers" of the 1920’s would indicate that – 1. some women rejected traditional feminine roles. – 2. many women were elected to national political office. – 3. women were fired from traditionally male occupations. – 4. the earning power of women was equal to that of men in the same occupation.

44 Closure Which of the following allowed women to shed old roles in the 1920s. – 1. Work opportunities provided by the new industrial economy. – 2. Equal wages paid to women and men. – 3. New managerial positions were open to women. – 4. Equality in the business world.

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