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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An Exhaustively Researched Paper

Here is an excerpt from my "U.S. History after 1870" class final. A final consisting of a grueling three hours to write a 1,000 word essay on "the rise of liberalism in the United States":

A case of liberalism that comes to mind where the government was not actively involved is the rise of the liberated woman, or the flapper. True, the government would be directly involved in giving women the right to vote and equality in the work place, but the government had no real say in the styles of clothing or the mannerisms of these women which developed in the 1920’s. These sexually liberated young women would wear short skirts and more revealing clothing under a philosophy easily summed up as “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” It is no surprise that I was considerably more attentive than usual while we were learning about these women in class (Yowza!).

These women went against what was socially “acceptable” at the time. They would “bob” their hair (a technique which may have influenced later liberal and somewhat controversial works such as the film, “Hairspray” and the popular Beach Boys hit, “Bobber-Ann”). They would wear excessive amounts of makeup as well as drink and smoke like a man. Then later they would drive (possibly drunk) like a man. All of these features of the flapper were unheard of and greatly discouraged among “respectable” women (stick-in-the-mud types). While both the prudent and ugly alike would despise these women, the emergence of these flappers would be a significant step in the feminist women’s liberation and liberalization movement.

I had a lot of inner debate as to whether I should use the onomatopoeia "Yowza" in a college paper. I think I made the right decision.