Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"'New Women' stride in."
The students, workers and career women of the 1920s sound remarkably similar to contemporary women.
And the social upheaval of the times offers interesting parallels to the activist '60s following the domestic '50s.
What things have changed for women in the decades since the twenties? Have there been real improvements in women's
political and economic power, and social status?
- The image of women has gone through a series of transformations in this century.
In what ways did the flapper or career woman really differ from the turn-of-the-century housewife?
Is there a new model of woman from decade to decade or do we just perceive her differently -- whether portrayed
as nostalgic mother/homemaker, savvy career woman or sexy adventuress? Do these images represent many
different women or one woman with many different sides? Do such images limit the reality?
- Washington women gained the right to vote in state and municipal elections in 1910 and
federal elections in 1920. Why is the right to vote so important and what does it signify in
terms of citizenship? Why did it take so long for women to achieve this right? Think about the
first 20 years of this century as described in recent Centennial pages. Do you think history would
have been different if women had had the vote? Do you think there's a single "women's constituency"
today, and if so, what decisions has it influenced?
- The "new women" of the '20s made great newspaper copy. The Times made hay with increased advertising revenue
from ads aimed at newly independent consumers, while featuring lurid stories about the sex lives of emancipated women
and editorial campaigns for higher wages in "women's professions." But it also expressed concern about the
consequences of new freedoms on family life, citing the impact of increased divorce on children.
Has our society come to any resolution on these issues yet? What things could we do as a society to
support both economic/professional independence and family life?
- The Times Women's Page of the day blended old values with new, and the Society editor
was one of few women working in the newsroom. Look for bylines in today's newspaper.
Does it appear to have as many female reporters as male? Now look for stories, sections
and ads that seem to be intended for women -- or men. How can you tell? What features in the newspaper
seem to be without "gender?" Are there "women's movies" and "men's movies?"
How comfortable are you with media aimed at the opposite sex?
Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company