1. do you identify as a woman
2. congratulations you’re a real woman
Taken from her book “Assata: In Her Own Words” (page 31)
— Evelyn Waugh (via chriswaltzs)
That’s the piece that most people forget: The flapper movement wasn’t simply a fashion trend, as Emily Spivack at Smithsonian.com’s Threaded blog explains; it was a full-blown, grassroots feminist revolution. After an 80-year campaign by suffragists, women were finally granted the right to vote in the United States in 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, many women entered the workforce, and when the soldiers returned in November 1918, their female counterparts were reluctant to give up their jobs.
As a result, young, unmarried women experienced far greater financial independence than they’d ever had before. Bicycles, and then cars, allowed them to get around town without a male escort. The spread of electric lighting allowed nightclubs to flourish, just as the Prohibition Amendment of 1919 forced them to go underground. Drinking at illegal “speakeasies” became a thrilling part of flapper culture. Suddenly, it was possible for women to go out and enjoy freedom and rebellion in a way they never had before when they were beholden to their fathers or husbands.
First, these flappers ditched the constraining, skin-covering clothes of their Edwardian mothers. Inspired by Cubist art and Art Nouveau haute couture, flappers rejected the dramatic, hyper-feminine S-shaped Edwardian silhouette created by tight, time-consuming corsets for sheath dresses that gave them boxy boyish shapes. In fact, this straight up-and-down figure was so extreme that curvier women went out of their way to squeeze into girdles and bandage their breasts flat. It was so severe that Luhrmann’s film doesn’t really go there, as most women today would not want to sport such a curveless look. These radical women pushed the boundaries of androgyny even further by chopping off their long Edwardian locks for bobbed hairstyles.
At the same time, flappers revealed a shocking amount of skin. The older generation was absolutely outraged by the site of bare knees and arms, which flappers would highlight with loads of bangles. They were also appalled by the red lips, rouged cheeks, and kohl-lined eyes of flappers, as previously only prostitutes had worn makeup. But these young women would load up with affordable costume jewelry and take their newly invented lipstick tubes and compacts out with them to speakeasies, where they would smoke, drink hard liquor, listen to jazz, and dance the Charleston, the Black Bottom, or the Lindy Hop, dances considered sexually provocative. So flappers were derided for being both too masculine and too titillating.
Importantly, most flappers felt no particular hurry to get married, since they were working and able to provide for themselves. They dated casually, flirting, kissing, petting, and even had sex with men they had no interest in committing to. It’s not surprising that artistic men like Fitzgerald would find them so attractive—and terrifying enough to make them the center of his novel cautioning against self-indulgence and hedonism. Look what might happen, he seems to worry, if we keep letting women drive cars!
— Charles Bukowski (via sarcasmdrips)
Art and text by me, Grace Kettenbrink http://grace-morgan-art.tumblr.com/
— Savage et. al. - A New Model of Social Class: Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment. (via thepovertyoftheory)
Cosmarxpolitan, Issue 9
Say what? 100 deflowering stories you won’t believe
There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough