Roaring Twenties and the Flappers

The Roaring Twenties are recalled as the crazy age of social revolutions of sexes and behaviors. The social revolutionists from that era, especially the flappers (the young, sexually liberated women), were ultimately violating the religious and social taboos that were once strictly enforced. It was probably beyond the imagination of most Americans before the 1900s.

A video depicting our grannies, the women of Roaring Twenties, is located at the bottom of the post. The video, which has footage taken from the 1920s, illustrates the gregarious and luxurious life-styles of the brave women of the age of breaking former social taboos.

*It is worthwhile to note that Foner has described the reaction from Europe as positively amazed and envious. The actual wording is reproduced here: “Observers from Europe, where class divisions were starkly visible in work, politics, and social relations, marveled at the uniformity of American Life.”

I understand that Foner do not wish to go more depth for this topic, but I find his claim to be single-opinionated and without enough supporting evidences. Certainly, some Europeans probably had admired the liberal lifestyles of Americans; however, it’s hard to imagine that conservatives and religious Europeans would give recognition to the flappers. Foner’s claim probably had not given us a very accurate image, or is not well-supported enough to convince certain readers.


Step Aside for the Flappers!

In the 1920s, a group, known as “flappers,” emerged into society. Flappers were defined as young, single women who strayed away from the traditional identity and role of women in previous generations. The birth of flappers was the result of the success in attaining women’s suffrage through the 19th Amendment. Granted with political rights, women now have more say and power. Therefore, flappers were a representation of change. Flappers typically had bob haircuts, wore short skirts, and smoke and drank in public venues. This is illustrated in the pictures above. On the left, is a picture of a flapper smoking. On the right, shows a flapper holding guns in both hands. These pictures illustrate how women were radically different in terms of fashion and behavior. If these pictures were taken a decade ago, it would have draw massive criticism and disapproval. This comes to show that times have changed, and the definition of a “woman” is evolving.