What was the state of women’s hair at that time? Were they allowed to wear jeans when it came to women’s clothing? What was the state of women’s education at that time? Were they allowed to take the subway or have a regular driver at that time? Did men even get to sit in seats on streetcars in the 1920s? What was the state of women’s employment during that time? Did they get paid for their time? Who made decisions about women’s work in the 1920s? Who held the power in employment in the 1920s? Women didn’t get paid for doing work as much as men.
We also know that the women’s liberation movement was important for changing how women were viewed. For example, the first public appearance of Betty Friedan was in the women’s liberation magazines when she appeared in the March 25, 1951 issue of Harper’s Bazaar as an editor with a long black skirt. This was the first public demonstration for “feminism,” with the magazine promoting this feminist agenda that would not necessarily be acceptable to the “norms” at the time. I was also surprised that the women’s liberation movement didn’t succeed in making women more self-sufficient and independent. We know from the 1930s that women could work as secretaries or maids and that they were not denied a job in some way. We know that they were able to work as secretaries. We know that those secretary jobs did not need to be as lucrative as the professional jobs.
You can make a strong argument that women were able to make real change in their workplaces at the beginning of the 20th century not by a few activist writers, but by mainstream women who actually had access to new and better products and technologies. In the early 1920s women were able to use the same tools as men. They were able to use sewing machines to make skirts for the housewife.
It also happened that women had access to more effective and less expensive birth control methods like the pill, but they lacked access to birth control pills with their own hormones. It happened that for certain people like mothers and daughters or women who were more privileged because of family, there was an access to contraceptives. And that access was not restricted to women. All of those things happened at the same time and in many different ways.
And there were still a lot of myths to dispel. For example, there was the myth about the “cotton queen” who would not take a dime for her services other than a very small fraction of the
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