The "New" Women of the 1920s: Image and Reality
The 1920s began with the end of World War I and ended with the stock market crash of 1929. Technological and economical growth flew threw this era and urbanization began. Things like radio and movies created a national pop culture' and new music: Jazz, some even refer to this era as the "Jazz Era". It was during this time of change and growth that women begin to gain a strong hold on equal rights. In 1920 the nineteenth amendment to the constitution enabled women the right to vote and during this era one in four women worked for pay. The new' women image is portrayed in The Sheik as a feminist who is against marriage and desires her own independence. The main character has a "modern" sex life where she takes trips with men and no chaperone. In the Plastic Age the guys at the school discuss how the women "go as fast as the men" when it comes to sex and they are all shown as being drunk. Essentially, form the fiction point of view women are being shown as drunken whores. The non-fiction sources present views on debated topics. Women and The New Race explain the author's anti-birth control view point and he goes on to explain that women have the private and the responsibility' of bearing young. The 1920s American women image was displayed in an exaggerated form. Women became ostracized and criticized for participating in behaviors and activates that men participated in. Men drank, women did became drunks, men had premarital sexual relations and women did and became whores. This is what I call the "good old American double standard"; say one thing and then do something different. Yet, despite these insular views of the time the feminist did not surrender their wishes and maybe not by the end of the 1920s but, ultimately they achieved there goals; change is not always swifts but eventually we get our heads on strait and fix things.
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