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Women in the 1920's

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Shirley Kwan

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Women in the 1920's

Women in the 1920's
Gender Roles

Literature and Arts
Bertha K. Landes
First female mayor of Seattle

Women's Suffrage
History of the Suffrage Movement (1848-1920)
Physical Labor
25% - 40% of the people working were women and most of these women were non-whites.
Women earned less than men.
lots of women were farm workers.
Workplace Continued
Birth Control

Dorothy Parker

Start of her career:
1914-1919: sold her first poem to Vanity Fair
Took an editorial job at Vogue
became a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table; informal gathering of writers
Progressing onto 1920s:
1922-1929: Published her first short story, “Such a pretty Little Picture” for Smart Set
The New Yorker debuted and Parker was listed on the editorial board
“Constant Reader”
First collection of poetry, “Enough Rope” was published
Won the O. Henry Award for her autobiographical short story “Big Blondes”

By Cacima Lee, Ellen Nguyen, Nora Corrigan, Shirley Xu, Victoria Chan, Vyvy Bui
Louise Brooks:
Had influence over the public like trends, one in which included her short bob haircut. Many women had their hair cut like hers to mirror her image.
Unfortunately after the film, she was denied a promised raise, so she left to make films in Europe.
She refused to stay on Paramount, which in turn caused her name to be placed on the blacklist.
What does pregnancy do to a woman's body?
Ravages and deforms her body
Can't get out of the house
Eventually kills her
Lillian Gish:
She played tragic heroine roles.
Lillian Gish was also a director and directed her own films like, “Remodeling her Husband.”
Unfortunately when another director, Griffith, took his unit on location he had replied to Gish that “he thought the crew would work harder for a girl.”
After that Lillian never directed again. When reporters questioned her at the time, she had said that directing was a man’s job.

So who would want to get pregnant 50 thousand times in their life!?
Mary Breckinridge: founder of the Frontier Nursing Service
Army Reorganization Act (1920): A provision of the Army Reorganization Act grants military nurses the status of officers with "relative rank" from second lieutenant to major (but not full rights and privileges)
The Birth of Birth Control
Condoms made of linen or intestines
Abortive herbs
Physical obstructions inserted
Helen Wills:
was a passionate tennis player
nicknamed “Little Miss. Poker Face”
she practiced and played against a lot of men
refused to play in the long skirts and opted to wearing shorter skirts instead
became an international star and won a total of thirty one Grand Slams.
The First Contraceptives Discovered!
Before the Industrial Revolution
But then declared illegal...
Yay for the Comstock Laws!
The Road to legalization...
1. Soldiers were contracting STDs during WWI

2. They refused to practice abstinence

3. Superiors forced to distribute condoms

4. Soldiers took condoms back home

5. Condoms legalized by 1918, the end of the war
Contraceptives and Women's Suffrage
At first unwelcome. Allowed men to cheat more
So contraceptives were sold as feminine hygiene products
But then women saw it as a way of controlling their own bodies
"Broken Blossoms" or "The Yellow Man"
Silent film
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Lillian Gish played the role of Lucy Burrows.
Margaret Sanger
Mother died from 18 pregnancies

Founded the American Birth Control League, precursor to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Strong advocate for women's sexual rights
Use of birth control to stop birth of "misfits"
Stop birth of "defective" people
The Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress
present a selection of ten plays written by Hurston (1891-1960),
author, anthropologist, and folklorist
plays reflect Hurston's life experience, travels, and research
study of folklore in the African-American South
Had a hard time depicting blacks in her work
To be a black woman with a career in writing in the 1920's through the 1950's was uncommon
Zora Neale Hurston
Government and Legislation
- Bertha K Landes: first female mayor of Seattle
- 1923 Equal Rights Amendment drafted by Alice Paul
- United States Department of Labor: Women's Bureau established in 1920
- Women were successful in the 1920's as teachers and got the rights they fought for.
- the amount of female teachers declined during the 20’s
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Published her first famous poem, Renascence, at age nineteen
Published poetry, plays, political writings, and a libretto for an opera set.
In 1923 her work won the Pulitzer Prize.
Immediate post-World War I era, she emerged as a major figure in the Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village: important American literary, artistic, and political movement of the period.
Millay's work and life represented the modern, liberated woman of the jazz age
"My candle burns at both ends…”
- In July 1848, the first gathering devoted to women’s rights was held in Seneca Falls, New York.
- During the fractious movement, two different groups emerged: the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).
- The late 1880’s and 1890’s was the turning point.
- In 1913, Alice Paul formed the Congressional Union (later known as the National Woman’s Party), which embraced more militant actions.
- In 1915, Carrie Chapman Catt became the president of NWSA, securing more state victories.
- The Wilson administration finally deciding to enter WWI was the final catalyst in the movement.
- The 19th amendment was ratified on August 26, 1920, providing full voting rights for women nationally.

Alice Paul

Formed the National Woman’s Party, which emphasized working towards a federal constitutional amendment, not state-by-state. Their militant stands kept the issue at the forefront of the political world.

Carrie Chapman Catt
As president of NWSA several times throughout her career, her leadership was key in the final passage of the 19th amendment.

Jeannette Rankin
She became the first woman to be elected into congressional office, and opened congressional debate for what would become the 19th amendment.

Georgia O'Keeffe

-O'Keeffe has been a major figure in American art since the 1920s
-Known for paintings in which she synthesized abstraction and representation in of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes.
-She brought an American art style to Europe at a time when the majority of influence flowed in the opposite direction
-She found artistic inspiration, particularly in New Mexico, where she settled late in life.

In the twentieth century, women were often overlooked and disregarded when it came to men. However, the influence of the famous flapper-girl is notably written in American history. Strong, independent women like Alice Paul, Dorothy Parker, Margaret Sanger, Helen Wills, and Bertha K. Landes broke down gender barriers. The following presentation dives into the impact that women had in America though their various roles of the 1920's.
During this period, many women writers
wrote about, expressed and reflected their
struggle to accept the massive changes in society.
American literature during the 1920s stressed themes concerning need for self-definition and the changing role of women.
Dorothy Park, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Georgia O'Keefe carried out these roles through their works.
The rapid change of women's gender roles in the 1920's was due to
The Women's Suffrage Movement
Women's roles in entertainment
Women's rights and roles in the workplace
Women's roles in the arts and literature
Influential advocates for Women's rights
But the role of women in this world is still changing
Their fight isn't over yet!
Full transcript