Zelda Fitzgerald: The Role Of Women In The 1920's

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“She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn’t boring.” (The Collected Writings of Zelda Fitzgerald). Nicknamed “the first American Flapper”, Zelda Fitzgerald was a social icon that helped kickstart the change in how women participated in the new American society. After the war, there was a big time of change for women and how they could live life more freely. They were given the right to vote provided by the 19th Amendment, the idea of “the new woman” was common, and there was a shift in the medical community. As America’s society changed after World War One, the lives of women improved in the United States in the 1920’s with the country giving them more public freedom and rights. The 1920’s was an important time for women’s suffrage, …show more content…
A flapper was categorized as a woman who was commonly young, and single living in the city with bobbed hair, short dresses that cut off at the knee, said unlady like things and even drank and smoked. The flapper style was also thought of as “the new woman”, a woman who went against traditional views and styles than those in history (History.com: The Roaring 20’s). Going against traditional views upset groups of people who didn’t like the change of society. Many ministers and older generations thought that this would be the end of respectable ladies. In a New York Times article published May 21, 1922, a minister and former chairman for Northwestern University said that “the world is going to the dogs” and that the short skirts “offend our naturally conservative selves” (“Flappers Upheld by this Minister”). Many young woman in the cities dressed like flappers, but many of those ladies did not go to the full degree of activities flappers were involved in. (History.com: The Roaring 20’s). In the extent of flapper fashion, they were thought of as being more sexually free and the “new woman” was less hesitant about intimate relationships. They would go out on dates without chaperones, publicly flirt with men, and have sex before marriage which was uncommon before then. Women frequently were found now at jazz clubs and Vaudeville shows. Another alternative to find young city women would be at speakeasies. Even during prohibition, many places illegally sold alcohol and with the growth of the “new lady”, it was more common to see women drinking publicly, and even seen smoking. Women who were fully committed to the flapper lifestyle started smoking which before was thought of as a male thing to do. Before the 1920’s a women who smoked was considered unlady like and it was frowned upon, but after the war and women’s suffrage movement, tobacco use by women was more common and

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