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Women in the 1920s


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Women in the 1920s

  2. 2. Introduction  In the 1920s, women began to grow more independent  This would change the role of womens lives on the 1920s.  Quote: “American women were transformed after World War I. They seemed to embody the changes going on in the country itself. The United States went from a young industrial state that was accumulating the capital to build factories and railroads to a world power with a consumer economy that relied on its citizens to keep the boom going by borrowing money and buying homes and cars. Meanwhile, the celibate settlement house worker was replaced as a female prototype by the jazz-crazed flapper dancing the Charleston in a speakeasy. Everything that had anything to do with consumption was in style. That included drinking, smoking, and sex - for women as well as men.” -- Americas Women, 400 years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins(Role Of Women In The 1920s – source 5) (Americas Women, Collins – source 1) KS
  3. 3. Opportunities ofWomen in the 1920s KATE SIMON KS
  4. 4. The Working Woman in the 1920s  In 1920 women composed 23.6% of the labor force  During WWI  When men were at war the women took the place of men at their jobs. That were dangerous and a men’s job. These jobs included:  Worked as conductors of trams or buses  Worked on farms  In engineering  In highly dangerous munitions Industries  There was a high demand of women to do heavy lifting such as unloading coal, stocking furnaces and building ships.  After WWI, more jobs came open for women. These jobs included:  Teacher, secretaries, typists, nurses, seamstresses  Even when men came back from war, women continued to stay in the workforce Google Images – Working Women in the 1920s(Role Of Women In The 1920s – source 5) (Women and Gender, Sumner – source3) KS
  5. 5. The Working Woman in the 1920s  The American Federation of Labor did not support the working woman. It did not want women competing for mens jobs.  The main jobs that were thought of as "feminine" were nursing and teaching. This all changed in the 1920s. More women were involved in clerical work, sales work, and some worked in the factories.  While the first generation of college-educated women entered professions in the 1920s, they found opportunities only in nurturing "womens professions," such as nursing, teaching, social work, and, within medicine, pediatrics.  Many women (in New York especially) went to work in the Garment District  By the late 1920s, the Garment District was home to half of the city’s garment plants.  Many manufacturers, now wealthy, became real estate developers and helped change the face of the district Google Image s – Working Women in the 1920s(Role Of Women In The 1920s – source 5) (Garment Industry – source 8) KS
  6. 6. Newfound Social Freedoms  Women’s Christian Temperance Union  Smoking was more acceptable than now, although it was a sign of sophistication. was pivotal in bringing about national  Young women who smoked were regarded as Prohibition in the United States of sinful by the religious types. America, believing it would protect families, women and children from the effects of abuse of alcohol.  Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) was founded in 1929 to rescue America’s families and communities from the ten Google Images – Women’s Christian Temperance Union years of alcohol prohibition.  These women had been important in bringing about alcohol prohibition, yet once they saw the damage this was having on their homes, families and communities, they united to bring an end to this failed and unconstitutional legislation. Google Images – Womens Organization for National Prohibition Reform(We The American Women, Millstein – source 10) (Women in the 1920s – source 9) KS
  7. 7. Quote: “Women took upsmoking in the twenties with thesame suddenness they cut theirhair and raised their skirts. Theysmoked in restaurants, inspeakeasies, in the country clubswhere they went to play golf andbridge, and in private homesduring that new invention, thecocktail hour. For the youngergeneration, smoking wasanother example of "freedom"and womens right to enjoy thesame pleasures as men. But theygot a prod from the mass media.Magazine ads urged weight-conscious flappers to "reach fora Lucky instead of a sweet".Cigarettes, which had frequentlybeen marketed as a health aidthat would cure nervousness oraid indigestion, became aweapon in the war against fat.” - Woman using a cigarette holder – 1920Americas Women, 400 years ofDolls, Drudges, Helpmates andHeroines by Gail Collins Google Images – Women Smoking in the 1920s(Americas Women, Collins – source 1) KS
  8. 8. Newfound Social Freedoms  The image of flappers were young women who went by night to jazz clubs where they danced provocatively, smoked cigarettes through long holders, and dated freely, perhaps indiscriminately.  They rode bicycles, drove cars, and openly drank alcohol, a defiant act in the Google Images – Drinking in the 1920s American period of Prohibition.  The cocktail hour’s rise to popularity  Women also played sports; women’s baseball became popular in the 1920s  Such baseball teams were New York-based Google Images – Women’s Baseball 1920s(Women Gain Rights, Fashion, and Flappers – source 6) (Women in Baseball – source 7) KS
  9. 9. Political Freedoms  The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution  Prohibits any U.S. citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex.  Ratified on August 18, 1920.  Boosted women’s confidence.  It made them feel less like property  Made them feel like they had a purpose in society  The 19th amendment sparked women to speak up for themselves and take on a new role in society and not just the role as the “homemaker”  Women started going out and getting jobs, playing sports, wearing looser and shorter clothes, getting different hair styles, voicing their opinions in public  Suffragists transformed the National American Woman Suffrage Association into the League of Women Voters (LWV) in 1920.  Carrie Chapman Catt and other leaders of the LWV saw enfranchised women as individuals with their own relationship to the state, and they set out to train these women in good Google Images – 19th Amendment citizenship.(Suffrage Movement – source 12) (The Grounding of Modern Feminism, Cott – source 4) KS
  10. 10. Political Freedoms  The Equal Rights Amendment  Written by Alice Paul  First proposed in 1923 to affirm that women and men have equal rights under the law  Still not part of the U.S. Constitution.  “Lucretia Mott Amendment,"  "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." Google Images - Equal Rights Amendment 1923  U.S. Women’s movements inspired women worldwide:  The Matrimonial Causes Act  Put into force in the UK in 1923  In the event of a divorce, both spouses were Google Images regarded as equals. - Alice Paul(Equal Rights Amendment – source 2) (Divorce UK – source 11) KS
  11. 11. Expression of Women in the 1920s ALYSSA AMICI AA
  12. 12. Fashion : A Practical lifestyle The 20’s were very colorful especially when new patterns were introduced. Designers included color into every article of clothing from the stocking to shoes. Stockings actually became visible, they served a purpose to fashion, not just the opinion of society. Fashion became a career choice for women also. Classes were also available for women and girls to take on how to learn to make clothes. It was a way for women to make some cash while their husbands were away at war. Although the 20’s were viewed as the “golden years” many people did not have money and dressmaking was a way that women could have the latest fashion without spending an immense amount of money. Although fashion helped women play a part in society and increased the vibrancy of the era, it was highly rejected by the public, mainly male population and older generation, it was sought out to be racy and a disgrace to American society. AA
  13. 13. New Looks Google images (flapper girl dress) Women’s fashion changed dramatically in this time era. More skin was definitely shown. Sleeveless dresses were introduced and hem lines went from being right above the ankle to right above the knee. This was the start of the flapper dress. Corsets became a thing of the past and new forms of under garments were introduced that allowed more movement/freedom for women making them way more comfortable. Corsets were sometimes applied so tight that they would cause rib breakage. The new undergarments allowed women to be active in more activities, such as dance and sports. Again leading to the flapper girl. Since hemlines on skirts and dresses were raised, shoes and stockings became visible making them a major part of an outfit. Silk and Lisle stockings were introduced that became popular with women of all ages across the U.S. Google images(20s bathing suit) Bathing suits caused a major controversy and were slower to evolve into something more modern. Bathing suits were not flattering to the female figure and made it hard for them to move around in. However in the mid 20s that all changed when form-fitting bathing suits were introduced in a variety of different colors. Short hairstyles inspired newly designed type of hats. Hats went from wide brimmed hats to smaller fitting hats to show off the new hairstyles. Hats were also made in variety of colors to match outfits. Google images (flapper girl hat) One of the biggest accessories that played a part in women’s fashion were purses and handbags. Purses and handbags were considered to be the “eye candy” of the outfit, they held the outfit together. Purses came with beautiful beading and materials such as silk. If you could not afford one, you made one. Everyone had one. Jewelry was inspired from popular events, or subjects of that time. Platinum was the most wanted kind of metal at the time. Pins and broaches were very popular because they were used to hold clothes together but in a very stylish way. Google images(1920s jewlery) AA
  14. 14. The Flapper vs. The Gibson GirlThe Flapper Gibson Girl• Short dark bobbed hair • Long loose hair• Short skirts just below • Long straight skirts the knee, and no corsets. with corsets.• Bell-shaped hats • Large hats• Waistline dropped to hipline. • Shirts with high• Silk stocking that were collars Google images (gibson girl) visible • Wore absolutely no make up• Wore makeup (eyeliner, • Activities included, tennis, bicycling, mascara, lipstick, blush.) golf. Sports where they could not get all dark and visible. hurt.• Dancing was a popular • Not allowed to date, they were set up activity. with their husband by their parents.• Casually dated • Drinking and smoking were not• Smoked and drank in allowed at all. It was not womanly. public Google images (flapper girl) AA
  15. 15. Hairstyles The first major transition of hair styles was from the 19th century traditional long hair to the very short,straight,sleek bob. First modeled by a famous ball room dancer Irene Castle. F. Scotts Fitzgerald wrote a short story “Bernice Bobs her Hair, the story is about this plain Jane who chops all her hair off and evolves into this free spirit. Clara Bow and Louise Brooks were one of the first fashion icons to promote the look. Since barbershops were the only places available for women to get their haircut, men complained that the women were invading their barbershops. Some women would actually keep their long hair and then just pin it underneath Google images (Fancy bob) to hide their new stylish haircut at court events or just in general. In New York City, reports of up to 2,000 heads per day were being clipped. The sleek bob evolved into a more sophisticated look. Still a bob but with finger waved and relaxed curls with a shiny look. The bob created such a controversy that one teacher in New Jersey was ordered by the board of education to let her hair grow and that the bob was a distraction. Other hairstyles were introduced such as the Eton Crop but it wasn’t nearly as popular as the “bob” and the “shingled bob” or “boyish haircut”. Barbers and hairdressers were constantly trying to compete against each other on who could create the latest fad. Hairstyle was popular among all ages. Bobbed hair led to the invention of the bobby pin. Google images (bob) AA
  16. 16. Media: The Rockettes The first form of the radio city rockettes were formed called the “Missouri Rockets”. Inspired by the John Tiller Girls in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1922 – John tiller formed a group of amateur dancers that sparked his interest in music and theatre. Founded by Russell Markert in 1925 who said, If I ever got a chance to get a group of American girls who would be taller and have longer legs and could do really complicated tap routines and eye-high kicks... theyd knock your socks off!" Showman “Roxy” Rothafel discovered the dance troop and brought them to perform at his Roxy Theatre in New York City, changing them to the “Roxyettes.” Girls from the Tiller Girls and the St. Louis girls preformed together to create the rockettes. Rockettes are known for their long legs, tall and slender figures, and dark hair. They all looked the same to keep the sense of unison. Rockettes were a way for women to be a part of society and have the public notice them. It allowed the women to feel spontaneous but Google images (early rockettes) structured at the same time. AA
  17. 17. Media : Broadway Jazz provided a form of rebellion for women, such as dance halls, jazz clubs, and speakeasies. Jazz provided jobs for women such as women like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainy who paved the way for women to pursue careers in the popular performing arts. Jazz did not just give women a career for singing the blue, but playing the blues such as Lil’ Hardin. Jazz was the start as the “Flapper Girl” or otherwise Google images (flapper girls dancing) known as “Jazz babies”. Flapper girls wore short dresses with high stockings and long beaded necklaces. Flappers were rejected by society because their appearance and the way they presented themselves while dancing was to provocative. Frederick Allen stated that "Women were the guardians of morality; they were made of finer stuff than men and were to act accordingly" Jazz was an outlet for women to be seen as individuals Google images ma rainey and get noticed by the advertising companies. New York and Chicago were cultural centers for Jazz. Google images bessie smith AA
  18. 18. Media : Radio Shows Large radio broadcasts were introduced in1922. It was another way that women could voice their opinions and have the public hear them. Radio shows were another outlet of rebellion, it allowed world wide notification about the cultural changes the 20s were experiencing. Women would star on the comedy shows hoping to get noticed googles images -Radio show by producers to star in movies. Radio shows were also the beginning of many popular jazz singer careers, such as Ma Rainy. Ma Rainy was first discovered with her husband Pa Rainy because it was the only way they would allow her onto the show. Flapper girls would star on radio shows also, even though no one could see them dancing the radio talk show host would talk about them and crack jokes and have them respond to a little skit. Google images (girls on the radio show) Radio shows were a job for women that let them have their 3 seconds of fame. AA
  19. 19. Media : Dancing Charleston was one of the most popular dances at the time. The dance was mostly associated with the flapper girls. Women danced to the Charleston as a form of mocking the citizens who supported the Prohibition act They knew that people who disapproved of the dance found it to be inappropriate and immoral so they kept dancing to it to outrage them more. Googlesimages (the charleston) Googles images (the charelston) Google images (the charelston) AA
  20. 20. KS
  21. 21. Achievements, Self Image &Female Role Models of the 1920s JAMIE HUANG JH
  22. 22. Women’s Role 1920s Before the 1920’s women typically never left the house, they stayed home and did domestic chores like cooking, cleaning and taking care of kids. However, after the end of the 1910s, and the beginning of 1920, the 19th amendment was passed and women began to have more freedom and rights. They began to be involved in politics, which only men could do. Women started nursing careers at hospitals, instead of just being a stay home mom. Some minority of women, however, did not like the change in their roles because if the Equal Rights Amendment was to be passed, then they would lose their protective legislation law, which is a law passed to protect women from hazards or difficulties of paid work. Over all women had more opportunities in jobs and careers, but they had less pay and worked significantly harder than men did. White- nely/1920s/1920hk/women.html collar positions were respectable for the women work force. The women in the working class proved that they were capable of economic independence and could make their own money to survive. ch? The women employment rate in the 1920s rose by 50.1%. ddlet/history/women/time/wh-20s.html JH
  23. 23. Female Empowerment in the 1920s During the 1920’s, women had gained many respect and power through their freedom and rights. The Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 1923, which gave women and men the same rights. The 19th Amendment was also passed around that time, in 1920, giving the women the right to vote freely. In 1925, the first female U.S. governor Nellie Tayloe Ross was sworn into office, her effectiveness at her duty surprised many men and women, which gave women more respect and praise from men. The World Expo of Women’s Progress, the first women’s world’s fair, opened in Chicago in 1925. The expo featured women’s ideas, work, and raised money to support women’s Republican Party organizations. Women began to compete in Olympic field events like running, distance running, and other track events. Women also began to wear and dress in different clothing and styles, they had the power and freedom to do so and the men of that time enjoyed this change in cloth. Women did things that men would normally do like smoking, and drinking. JH
  24. 24. Birth Control Movement The freedom that women got in the 1920’s made them question the trend of having babies and keeping the family going. The majority of women did not want to have child and wanted to create something to stop childbirth, called Birth Control. Magaret Sanger and her Birth Control League, the BCL, battled for birth control using scientific and intellectual fields and backed up with many women who also wanted Birth Control. The birth control movement of the 1920s had a goal of taking the power away from commercial advertisers and placing that power in the hands of physicians. The whole movement began with women wanting to have more freedom over their bodies, their sexuality, and their life choices. They wanted to live life without becoming mothers, they wanted to enjoy life. Finally, the Supreme Court made distributions of 457706/the_great_birth_control_debate_of contraception information, or birth control, legal in _the_pg4.html?cat=37 1936. But the first birth control pill was not developed until 1960, from then on the pill was used widely among ory-birth-control-movement.html women in the US who did not want to be moms. JH
  25. 25. Role Models - Nellie Tayloe Ross Nellie Tayloe Ross was born near Amazonia, in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1876. She was active in the Cheyenne Woman’s Club, a club that focused on intellectual self-improvement during the 1910s. Nellie later married in 1902 to William Bradford Ross, who later became a leader in the Democratic Party in Wyoming. William Ross ran for governor several times but lost to Republicans. Finally in 1922, he was elected Governor of Wyoming. He held office for a year and a half, but died of surgery complications in 1924, and left the office empty. Nellie was nominated on October 14, 1924 to succeed William as the Governor of Wyoming. She, however, had little involvement with politics and little involvement with woman suffrage campaign, she was hesitant, but wanted to complete what her husband has left behind. Nellie was sworn into office January 5th, 1925, despite Republicans disagreement, as the first woman governor of the U.S. Ross wanted to prove to the public and show them that woman could hold high position jobs. She lost her re-election because she was a Democrat in a heavy populated Republican state. Nellie also believed that she should have and would have never pursued a political career, but only because of her husband that she did. She thinks that women belonged at home to care for the family. During office, she advocated and supported the prohibition. JH
  26. 26. Role Models - Amelia Earhart Amelia was born in Atchison, Kansas, with the full name as Amelia Mary Earhart. She had a younger sister (2 years younger), name Grace Muriel Earhart. Amelia had a hard early life with her family, once wealthy, her father could not make ends meet to hold up the family, and the family quickly broke apart. During 1917, after a visit to Amelia’s sister, Grace’s college in Canada, she decided to train as a nurse aid in Toronto and served as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) for the war until the Armistice in 1918. In 1919, Amelia went to be a pre-med student in Columbia University. 1920, Amelia abandoned her pursue for health studies and reunited with parents in California. She quickly took an interest in flying and that she knew “that I myself had to fly”. Amelia took flying lessons with Anita “Neta” Snook, and purchased her own prototype of the Kinner Airster airplane, naming it “The Canary” She quickly set a woman record altitude level of 14,000 feet, and became the 16th women to receive a pilot’s license. She was very fond of flying. In 1926, a call from Captain H.H. Railey asked Amelia if she “like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic” Her love for flying caused her to want more than just flying across the Atlantic, she wanted to fly solo. She first take off attempt at flying across the world failed as the plane (Lockheed Electra 10E) was unbalanced in weight and crashed causing heavy damage. After repairs, Amelia, along with her navigator Fred Noonan lifted off on June 1, 1937. First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, but not the Pacific. JH
  27. 27. Role Models - Amelia Earhart “Please know I am quite aware of theAmelia Earharts hazards...I want to do it because I wantfamous quotebefore MIF to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others” JH
  28. 28. Role Models - Gertrude Ederle Gertrude Ederle was born in 1905, New York City, New York, and was raised in a family of hardcore swimmers. Gertrude was born with measles, resulting in hearing loss and was advised to stay out of water as the wetness will worsen the effect, but she didn’t listen. She became a competitive swimmer in the early 1920s in the Women’s Swimming Association facility in Manhattan and quickly began to swim in the Olympic Level; she was breaking women AND men records left and right. Gertrude competed in the 1924 Olympics in France was received 1 gold and 2 bronze. After her success at the Olympics, she wanted to challenge herself at a swim across the English Channel, a grueling 35 miles of water after she had went off course for some time. Gertrude had an earlier attempt but failed because her coach in the over watch boat dragged her into the boat because he thought she was struggling. She http://www.n became the first woman to ever swim across the channel, with otablebiograp bad weather conditions in 14 hours, 31 minutes, which is 2 hours faster than the men’s record. When she got back to NYC, wsmakers2/2 the news spread and she quickly became a celebrity and her 005-A- story was sensational. She was then nick named “America’s best Fi/Ederle- Gertrude.htm girl” and had many marriage proposals from men, she turned l them all down. She proved to men that women can perform as http://www.a well as, if not, better than what men can achieve. Women swimmers became more common after Gertrude. opic/gertrude -ederle Gertrude’s hearing worsened and soon lost her hearings around 1940s. JH
  29. 29. Works Cited Collins, Gail. Americas Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. New York: William Morrow, 2003. Print. Quote about women and smoking/drinking in the 1920s Equal Rights Amendment Home Page. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>. Sumner, Gregory. "Women and Gender." Sharpe - Online Reference | Homepage. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>. Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987. Unknown. "Role Of Women In The 1920s - College Essays - Rhs08." Free Term Papers, Research Papers, Essays, Book Reports | Web. 14 Nov. 2011. < 1920S/110959>. Unknown. "Women Gain Rights, Fashion, and Flappers (The 1920s)." Think Quest. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>. "Women in Baseball." New York Womens Baseball Association. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>. Unknown. "Garment Industry." Gotham Center. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>. Info regarding the Garment District and women working in industries Unknown. "Women in the 1920s." Roaring Twenties. 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <>. Kava, Beth Millstein, and Jeanne Bodin. We, the American Women: a Documentary History. [New York]: J. S. Ozer, 1977. Print. Unknown. "Divorce UK | Marriage Breakdown | Divorce Law." Annuity Rates | Annuity Quotes | Annuities | Pensions | Divorce. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <>. Student, Elizabeth SmiltneekGraduate. "Suffrage Movement (Informational Paper)." Learning to Give. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <>.
  30. 30. Works Cited "Gale - Free Resources - Womens History - Biographies - Nellie Tayloe Ross." Gale - Home. Cengage Learning. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Nellie Tayloe Ross: Biography from" Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "The Ninety-Nines, Inc. | Our History | Women in Aviation History | Amelia Earhart." The Ninety-Nines, Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots. SunStar Media. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Amelia Earhart - The Last Flight, Biography." Ellens Place - Art, Photography, Biographies, Travel, History. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Gertrude Ederle Biography - Family, Children, Parents, School, Born, Siblings, House, Marriage, Time - Newsmakers Cumulation." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Advameg, Inc. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Gertrude Ederle: Biography from" Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Working Women in the 1920s." RSU54 / MSAD54. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "American Women Through Time: 1920-1929." Google. Middle Tennesee State University Library. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. Monet, Dolores. "Womens Fashions of the 1920s - Flappers and the Jazz Age." Dolores Monet on HubPages. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. "Decade by Decade: 1920s - Women of the Century -" Free Teacher Resources | Discovery Education. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. Waterworth, Kristi. "The Great Birth Control Debate of the 1920s, Page 4 of 6." Associated Content from Yahoo! - Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. Boelcke, Allison. "History of the Birth Control Movement |" EHow | How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the Expert in You. | Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>.