Flappers Essay

1728 words - 7 pages

5/8/10Flappers Final DraftThe Flapper Era emerged as part of the Roaring 1920s. Flappers represented a new kind of girl. Younger generations mostly grasped a hold to the flapper lifestyle. The flapper style was so extremely different from previous styles, which was why it caused so much controversy. Flappers changed all standards of society.Flappers first emerged from Gibson Girls which were depictions of women drawn mostly in the 1890s. They were named after Charles Dana Gibson, who was the one that depicted these women. They were shown as women participating in activities that were generally done by men, such as manual labor. Even though they were doing activities that were aimed towards men, they kept their feminine side. These pictures gave women the idea that they could do jobs that only men could do before. (http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/flapper/ )The work women had to do during and after World War I also pushed women into the flapper era. When men came back from the war, they were not eager to go back to work. Sometimes the men just didn't come back from the war at all. The lack of men left many women single and many factories empty. The women who took the men's places in factories were known as "flappers" in England. They got this name because it referred to "young birds vainly trying to leave the nest," just as the women were. In the U.S. "flapper" was named after galoshes that flapped. (http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/flapper/ )The behavior of flappers was shunned and not respected. Flappers were seen as irresponsible and rebellious. Flappers lived on the edge, but they were usually not stupid. (Actually, they usually had a full education.)Flappers often smoked and drank. During the 1920s, prohibition was happening, so flappers constantly broke the law. Flappers not only smoked, but they did it very openly in the public. Women who were previously seen as the "nice girls" also drank and smoked. Hip flasks were used to hide the alcohol from the police and others who reported drinking. (Wukovits, J)In addition to alcohol and smoking, cars were also an example of flappers' edginess. Cars were becoming more available to the public around the 1920s. There were many risks to the early models of cars. The riskiness of these cars perfectly matched the riskiness of the flapper lifestyle. Flappers not only rode in cars, but insisted on driving them as well. Cars were also commonly used as places to meet with men. (Rosenberg, Jennirfer)Men became a large part of flappers' lives. Girls usually did not have "one-night stands" and "hook up" before the 1920s. However, women started going on joy rides in early morning/ late night with men after going out to dance. In the dance clubs, men and women went into dark rooms to engage in necking, heavy kissing of the neck, and petting, a gathering of youth couples necking in a dark room. In fact, "petting parties" had emerged as early as1916, and were now widespread. (Wukovits, J)The nightlife lived by...

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