A Time of Change

In books like Skyscraper, we see how women who struggled to enter the male dominated workforce. It is estimated that only 11 million women in the United States were actually employed during the 1930s. That equates to about 24 percent of the women in the country or one in ten women held a job. The majority of women worked within the home, not in the business world. Up until this time, men didn’t consider women and children too different from one another; both needed to be taken care of.  Men were supposed to provide and protect their families outside the home while women took care of the house. Needless to say, at first, this movement toward change was slow.

Youthfulness has always been something that humanity clings to, never wanting it to fade away and always trying to mimic it in our later years. It’s true; no one ever wants to get old. That’s what sparks our curiosity for stories like the fabled Fountain of Youth. We all desire to have perpetual youth and this desire grows greater with every grey hair and newly found wrinkle that we discover on ourselves. We discussed briefly in class that people of the 30s, more specifically the Flappers, exhibited the attitudes of children. I mean that they were care free and wanted to enjoy life rather than take everything seriously. This in its self creates a problem, especially with working women of the 30’s. During this time, women are just beginning to enter into the workforce and become something other than homemakers. It is up to these women to present themselves as being able to handle the tasks being presented to them

Did the youthful, childlike attitude associated with Flappers hinder women that desire to become more in their lives than homemakers? Conveying an attitude that coincides with the carelessness and youthfulness of a child directly conflicts with women’s desire to show that they can be independent and that they can be reliable in the workforce. This made a difficult task for women who wanted a life outside of the home that much more difficult. Business clubs helped to address this issue by insuring that the women that were represented by the business club would be reliable and serious about their employment. Perhaps the management of the time needed to be insured that they wouldn’t be hiring overgrown children.

Today, women have not only integrated themselves into the workforce but they have become formidable competitors. Society doesn’t see women as solely homemakers, they have the opportunity to attend college and build a career. This has also given men the opportunity to become stay-at-home fathers without being labeled deadbeats. The way women were viewed has come a long way since the 1930s and has opened up doors for other groups of people to further themselves in society. Hopefully this trend will continue to spread throughout the world and tap into the potential that women and other segregated individuals have to offer society.



Jennifer, Rosenberg. “Flappers in the Roaring Twenties.” About.com. New York Times Company, 2012. Web. 6 Jun 2012. <http://history1900s.about.com/od/1920s/a/flappers.htm&gt;.

 McMahon, K. A.. “The Invisible Women Of the Great Depression .” Enzine articles. Google, 2009. Web. 6 Jun 2012. <http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Invisible-Women-of-the-Great-Depression&id=1888970&gt;.




1 Comment

Filed under City Cultures

One response to “A Time of Change

  1. Your question definitely makes sense. Would a valuation of women who acted youthful and carefree make them seem less credible in the working world? I guess I’d point to Tom in Skyscraper to say that this valuation of youth culture didn’t just extend to women. Tom is always described using youthful language too: he’s gawky and cocky and has a similarly childish attitude to Sarah when he fights.

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