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The part of the Roaring Twenties that interests me most is the change that came over women. I watch lots of old movies on DVDs, and I am always struck by the way women dressed in older times. They wore dresses that covered them from their necks down to their ankles and sometimes dragged along the ground. They let their hair grow so long that they had to pile it up in an enormous mound, and it must have been a tremendous job to wash it. It seems obvious now that they clothing was intended to be confining and inhibiting, not unlike the burkas and other things women wear in Islamic countries. The American and European women wore corsets and many petticoats and other undergarments. Even working women seemed overburdened by the clothing they felt compelled to wear. And then all of a sudden the younger women in the 1920s began abandoning all that suffocating clothing and cutting their hair short. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story titled "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" because he seemed to recognize that this wasn't just another change of hairstyles but had important symbolic and social significance. The younger women's mothers and grandmothers must have been horrified. The popular music became much more enjoyable at the same time that the women seemed to be staging a female revolution as symbolized in their clothing.
The aspect of the Roaring Twenties I find least appealing is all the heavy drinking and the gangsterism and political corruption that were tied to it because of Prohibition. I also dislike the "irrational exuberance" that led to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
Todays use of illegal drugs for pleasure and excitement seems equivalent to the use of liquor for the same purpose in the Twenties. The lawlessness associated with drugs seems to be very similar to the gangsterism associated with liquor in the Twenties.
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