1920's Role of women and men.

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American History

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1920's Role of women and men.

Rural womenWorked for steel foundries, chemical plants, and were also nurses. Once the war was over, these women were expected to return to the home life and care for the children and put food on the table.

Women were now given political power like voting, having position in parties, and the ability to run for office. Women’s fashion changed dramatically from the earlier periods of time to the 1920s. The highly social and stylish flappers defied societal expectations of the prim and proper young woman and her conduct.

Rural MenBetween 1920 and 1932, one in four farms was sold to meet financial obligations and many farmers migrated to urban areas. With one-fifth of the American population making their living on the land, rural poverty was widespread. Most houses did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. The biggest change to rural was the automobile and the truck, this allowed for a quicker transportation of goods and crops and even for the rare feeling of freedom.

Urban MenAfter the passing of the 18th Amendment that prohibited the consumption, selling and purchase of alcoholic beverages, men found a new way to profit loads of cold hard cash. They illegally trafficked alcohol into the streets of New York and other urban areas and also underground illegal taverns called speakeasies. The money to be made through bootlegging encouraged the growth of organized crime. Many mafias formed across the United States. series of gang wars broke out in some parts of the country with the heavy usage of guns. Men’s fashion also changed during the era. Their clothing within the first half of the decade, was in a word, conservative. However, in the last few years of the decade, men were eager to experiment with the new, outgoing styles, sucha s prints, bold colors, and different materials.

1930s- The crash of the stock market led to the Great Depression, which then led to a rise in poverty and homelessness. Men were no longer able to gamble, for they had none to spare. Expensive clothing and luxury items such as cars, and new technology were unaffordable. Women could not afford costly make up, dresses and outfits, and jewelry. Approximately 25% of the nation was unemployed and during Herbert Hoover’s Presidential Administration, 13 million jobs were lost. Also, women worried about being abandoned by their husband, like in many cases where the man of the house would go off to look for work but never came back. Women were left with no food, clothing or shelter, and as one poor lady quoted, “There were maggots crawling in our food. I took off my glasses so that I wouldn’t have to see them while I was eating.” Women were also left to care for the children alone and to pay for the expenses of raising a growing child.or children. Men were either employed at ridiculous rates like 3 cents per hour for digging ditches with labor gangs, and others without work stood in soup lines and sat on top of trains. As the average family’s income plummeted 40 percent within 1929 and 1933, more and more men took second jobs or looked for better paying work in the fierce and oversaturated market. To sum up, it was the woman’s job to keep family cohesion while men supported the family financially. Women turned away from further education and career and focused on taking care of their family. During the time, many women lost their jobs, and were forced to enter the workforce to survive. Women lost more jobs than men and double the amount of unemployment than men.

A group of country women, dressed in modest clothing.


Farmers cultivating potatoes.

Men illegaly break open barrels of alcohol.

A jazz player, dressed in fine clothing, performs at a speakeasy.

The changing roles of women and men in the 1920s


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