DId flappers have a positive effect on women’s rights in America in the 1920s?
Throughout the ages women have been stricken with often male-made oppression in many forms on the long, difficult road to their eventual initiation into equal rights. Some aspects of women’s rights today were obtained by questionable means in the past. One such act of liberation by questionable means was the introduction of a class of women in the 1920s known as flappers. These flappers were the beginning of a new wave of sexually and intellectually liberated women. Women of this age wore short skirts and revealing clothing in addition to cutting their hair into bobs and smoking and drinking publicly. These women were also outspoken in many areas, including matters of art, society, and politics. (“The changing values of a new generation”)
Many argued that these women were the source of much moral corruption and social confusion during the age. A large number of people believed that flappers were rowdy, trouble-making, time-wasting, destructive women and that their damaged morals were in need of correcting. In the eyes of many critics, flappers were a prime example of the growing immorality, irresponsibility, inconsideration, impatience, stupidity and selfish personal absorption of today’s female youth. Still others felt that the flappers were simply lazy and their lifestyles were not only evil and blasphemous but also unhealthy for the soul, body, and mind. Secretary of Labor, James Davis said in September of 1922, that the flappers lifestyle revolved mainly around sex and substance abuse. It was argued that the heightened displays of sexual freedom of these flappers promoted lower social morals, larger rates of promiscuity and greater irresponsibility in many young women. Many people saw flappers as being unintelligent, self absorbed, and were only concerned with their own personal gain, without taking others into consideration. They were often viewed as shameful recluses,...
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