The 1920s brought on the concept of "The New Woman," according to Yawp. The new woman was symbolized as the flapper, a woman who was proud of her independence and sexuality. She was able to vote and hold a job if she so chose. She could also enjoy various entertainments previously banned to her gender, such as speakeasies and nickelodeons.
The book states that the flapper is a symbol of the period, but it also mentions the contradictions in flapper culture. Most women still stayed at home caring for their own families. A 1930 advertisement cited in Yawp states that the woman can "vote, work, and have soap to match her bathroom decor." This implies that a woman's place was still in the domestic sphere no matter how many new rights she had. The book states that women often did not choose to work, but were rather forced to based on circumstances at home—the woman's salary was needed in order to maintain the household. New work-saving appliances meant that women's homes were often held to higher standards of cleanliness. Many jobs that women had were often in caring positions where they could use their nurturing abilities. This work was often low-paid with little hope for advancement. Even though the flapper symbolized the "liberated" woman, she still experienced many stereotypes about her role in greater society.
There are many factors that led to this movement for liberated women. One was the movies—people saw the glamorous life of Mary Pickford and Mae West and wanted to experience the same thing. More women gained an education at universities. This opened new doors for them socially as well as professionally. Women gained the right to vote in 1920. The economy boomed during the 1920s, but many factory jobs still had periodic layoffs—this meant everyone in the family had to work in order to provide financial stability or the ability to buy luxury items such as cars and radios. Women also took on greater responsibilities outside the home during WWI.