Dance of the 1920’s: Flappers & Feminism

Here is a link to a book review and article in regards to the dance scene of the 1920’s. It gives a nod to Isadora Duncan and Josephine Baker and other notable women of the time. Since we are wrapping up our Biographical Sketch unit, this would be a wonderful extension of our class to explore!

4 thoughts on “Dance of the 1920’s: Flappers & Feminism

  1. Every woman wants to feel beautiful in her skin, without prejudice, and in my opinion dancing is one of the two areas in life where a woman can do that. This this is due to the women who took initiative, like the “flappers.” They were confident enough to challenge a society where tradition told women to cover and hide. Not to get confused who the women who sell their bodies, which is completely different. Instead these women are tasteful. Many other women envy them, even if they don’t speak it aloud for fear of getting in trouble. I feel like it is because of these women, today a woman can be literally naked but still appreciated in art. Today, a woman can be completely nude in a picture, painting, even dance, and still be respected. However, considering the reality, I don’t think many women prefer to dance naked. It is dancers like, Maud Allan to thank for this.

  2. After reading this article and others accompanying it, it made me think how different times were then in the 1920’s in comparison to now. The Vatican and the Aristocrats, who were considered influential figureheads during this era, implying flappers, were Single-handedly responsible for the unraveling of the social structure of a country back then pretty serious, but now not so much. In the 1920s, the feminist movement was in its infancy stage, but over the years, it has grown into what is now considered a “juggernaut”. So what happen then, the labeling and vilifying of women like Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker and Maude Allan by identifying them as flappers and using them as scapegoats for societal changes gone wrong, would not happen now.
    In society today, because of the Women’s Liberation Movement and the power they have, the blame or cause for the deterioration of the country’s social structure would be assigned to the rightful culprit. As a matter of fact, the perceived stigma attached to the word “flappers” and a woman’s desire to dance would not be tolerated. The outcry from women and women’s groups alike would be heard and felt from all corners of the country and cause them to ban together to bring awareness to this threat. The collapse of the moral fabric of society after World War I, which triggered societal improprieties and the overall breakdown of the family nucleus, has been well documented throughout history. The fact is after World War I, during the 1920s, a new woman was born. She smoked, drank, danced, and voted. She cut her hair into a bob, wore make-up, and engaged in petting in the back seat of a ford. She was unapologetic and took lots of risk and she is what we call today the “modern woman”.

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