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Women’s norm-breaking | role of women in the 1920s

Women's norm-breaking
Women's norm-breaking
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Why is the 1920s known in America as the roaring 20s? Has Women’s norm-breaking happened in this decade? What is the best example of how women went against social norms during the roaring twenties? Want to know more about social norms and stereotypes?

Let’s give an interesting explanation that knowing can be exciting and necessary for many people, especially women. There are always a lot of fans for gender norms article. Where do gender norms come from? No matter what age group people are, young, old, and even children enjoy learning about socially constructed gender norms.

The 1920s were a time of significant economic, cultural, political, and social growth in the United States, and Americans sought to maintain and improve their independence and challenge traditional values.

The 1920s also had its downsides, such as the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan used to power and violence to manipulate state and local politics. His goal was to target immigrants, Jews, Catholics, and African Americans.

Women's norm-breaking and a lady repairing her car tire
Women’s norm-breaking and a lady repairing her car tire

Who were the Flappers?

The flappers of the 1920s represented modern women. They were independent and confident women. The Flappers feminist movement gave women extraordinary power. In this way, they could participate in various occupations, politics, and social developments.

You may be interested in knowing that even though working women increased by 25 percent during the 1920s, they still cared for their homes and families. During this period, women enjoyed and enjoyed freedoms. These freedoms were things that in the past were only for men. But at that time, women, like men, enjoyed dancing, smoking, drinking, etc., these were no longer limited to men, and sexist social norms had changed.

Women's norm-breaking and a woman listening to music and smoking
Women’s norm-breaking and a woman listening to music and smoking

The role of women in society in 1920

Many people think about the changes in the 1920s in terms of social norms. In 1920, all women gained the right to vote, and this was a tremendous cultural and social leap in history.

American women played a unique role in changing social norms in the 1920s.

The 1920s are a new decade for the definition of woman. New women and traditional women and committed to the customs and women of antiquity.

Women’s norm-breaking started with young flappers. They designed new fashions and advocated for personal freedom and any new ideas that challenged the traditional role of women.

Traditionalists and women committed to traditional etiquette feared that flappers would threaten family values ​​and the traditional role of women in the home by playing the role of women for norm-breaking.

You should also know about the life of black American women in the 1920s, which was the result of the Harlem Renaissance and changes in rural and urban life.

Changing views and opinions in the 1920s

Women abandoned their old views and beliefs in the 1920s and, as before, were not committed to defining defined social norms. They were all influenced by the rise of consumerism in the United States.

There were extensive advertising campaigns through magazines, newspapers, radio, and movies.

Of course, the 1920s are not limited to women’s consumerism and changing their views. Instead, this decade was a period of prosperity.

At that time, American women had access to electricity and could use its power to launch new devices and save time. Women in that period enjoyed working with new inventions and innovations.

Women's norm-breaking and two women in a car enjoying driving
Women’s norm-breaking and two women in a car enjoying driving

Which is the best example of how women went against social norms during the roaring twenties?

We want to talk about women breaking the norm.

Also, continue this article on Women’s norm-breaking and What is the best example of how women went against social norms during the roaring twenties? We will give you more information.

The role of women was much different in the 1920s. In the past, even in ancient history in various societies, if you look, you will find that most women remained in the traditional role of housewife. Women did not have the right to vote, and no one cared about women’s views on political and economic issues.

But gradually, the number of working women increased. One of the most important reasons for the more active presence of women in society was to do various practical work during the First World War.

For this reason, we gradually saw the presence of 25% of them in the communities. Before we saw Women’s norm-breaking in the 1920s, they played minor roles in the administration. how social norms affect gender equality?

For example, women were allowed to work in limited positions, and their jobs included workers, secretaries, sales clerks, and telephone operators. But the number of women attending college increased to 10 percent by the end of the 1920s, suggesting that women could play more critical job positions.

Women's norm-breaking and a woman in the classroom
Women’s norm-breaking and a woman in the classroom

World War I and Women’s norm-breaking

One of the reasons for the change in the behavior of young women and women norm-breaking in the 1920s was World War I because this war ended in November 1918.

Many young men died during the war, and many people contracted the Spanish flu that same year. More than 20 to 40 million people died of the disease at the time. Changes in the behavior of young women began with a difference in their attitudes toward life and examples of standard social norms in society. They realized that life was short and could end at any moment. So young women put aside the constraints created by social norms and did not care about those norms. After World War I, women decided to enjoy their youth and not just sit at home and wait for a man to marry (Cellania, M.). They entered society and tried to play an active social role in various occupations.

Women's norm-breaking and a woman waiting for a train to travel
Women’s norm-breaking and a woman waiting for a train to travel

Who were the famous women of the 1920s?

Famous women in the 1920s included movie stars and fashion designers, and well-known writers and intellectuals, among whom we can name the following:

  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Mary Pickford
  • Theda Bara
  • Gloria Swanson
  • Zelda Fitzgerald
  • Edith Wharton
  • Dorothy Parker
  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Margaret Mead
  • Florence Sabin

Famous African American women in the 1920s

As we have said before, African women and black American women also played an essential role in changing the role of women in society in the 1920s, among whom we can mention the following famous women:

  • Josephine Baker
  • Bessie Smith
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Adelaide Hall
  • Ma Rainey
  • Lena Horne


This article describes the social norms of the 1920s and how Women’s norm-breaking changed existing views. We hope you find the articles I write about women attractive and that we can take a practical step towards recognizing women’s abilities. In your opinion, what traditions and social norms in today’s society are being challenged?

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  1. Cellania, M. (2013, March 25). The Rise of the Flapper – Sociological Images. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/03/25/guest-post-the-rise-of-the-flapper/
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