1920s Culture

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The Culture of the Roaring 20s With the end of World War One, came a great time of prosperity in America. There were many changing times and people began to modernize themselves and their lives. The 1920s introduced the new age of Hollywood stars and the radio. It revolutionized how women were seen in American culture and brought sports to the forefront. Consumerism was on the rise and people were becoming more comfortable and confident with themselves. With the advent of Prohibition, the banning of the sale of alcohol, came speakeasies and underground clubs. People began to go out and enjoy themselves more and did things for their own pleasure, rather than because they felt like they had to. The 1920s also saw a major revolution of the challenging…show more content…
The 1920s were changing times and with people becoming more open about who they were, the idea of homosexuality began to become more widespread. However, that did not mean that homosexuality was in any way accepted by society. Doctors and psychologists believed that there was something wrong with people who identified as homosexual and there was a way to “fix” them. The doctors underwent studies attempting to classify and categorize these people based on their human behavior. Havelock Ellis was a physician and psychologist who discussed a phenomenon known as “sexual inversion.” In Ellis’ mind, homosexuals were known as “inverts” and the things that they were doing were problematic in his eyes. He believed that they were their own community and they had their own practices. He speaks of clubs that they go to and he categorizes them based on their attitudes and character. Ellis seems to believe that they have a “characteristic” hip movement in the way they walk and they have very feminine voices. In the 1920s, the culture of homosexuality was placed in a very tight box. There was a certain mold that the general public believed fit the so-called “gay persona.” They believed that there was something wrong with them and they needed to be fixed. Ellis claims that 99 “normal” men out of one hundred claimed to have been accosted on…show more content…
Dr. Irving Steinhardt published Ten Sex Talks to Girls. Part of this book addressed the issue of sexuality between women. Irving stated that any sort of intimacy or affection between two females could lead to death and disease. Irving’s book details steps that you should take to avoid this type of affection. She advises young girls to not get close to any girls who act too affectionate towards them, to avoid touching of any kind with other girls, to avoid sleeping in the same bed as other girls, and to go to sleep as quickly as possible if you do have to sleep in the same bed. Irving says that girls are easily influenced into doing something bad with another girl and by doing anything of the sort with another girl, she will be disgracing the other members of her sex. At a time when girls were finally becoming able to be open about their sexuality, these essays were probably very confusing to girls. On one hand, people like Sanger and Dell were telling girls to open up and explore their sexuality, but on the other, people like Irving were telling them to stifle any sort of impulses that they may have at the risk of contracting a disease or bringing about moral ruin for the name of women

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