As in many professions, there was no set structure or system of salary when flappers came to the U.S.
This, too, varied from region to region.
“They didn’t have any jobs in [most] parts of the country,” explained Dr. Steven Stoltmann, a neuropsychiatrist who has conducted research on flappers for 10 years.
While it may well have been in keeping that flapper had a job, his or her ability to stay employed has long been a source of debate and debate has continued through the decades.
During the 1960s and ’70s, flapper employment was generally defined as being able to work as much as 20 hours a week, but that definition has been the subject of debate and criticism ever since.
“We have this very strong consensus that flappers need a better definition,” Stoltmann said. “They should stop defining them a certain way and just define them simply as flappers.”
Stoltmann added that flappers and other flappers often work much longer hours than the American norm.
“They’re in jobs that are long-term,” he said. “They are doing very long hours of work.”
That said, not everyone that flapped enjoyed such a long and arduous schedule.
The work was physically demanding, and many flappers were physically inactive.
Flapper life changed with the social and economic changes brought about by the rise of the civil rights movement.
A flapper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the 1960s. (Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)
Flappers had been flirting with their place in history.
“Back in the 1960s in the Midwest, if you were an artist or anything like that, or if you were in a movie theater, or in a restaurant, there was no better role model of a career as a flapper than that character,” David Wasserhofer, a professor at Ohio’s University of Akron, told USA TODAY in 2008.
As the number of women flappers increased, it was seen as a symbol of female liberation.
“I always remember when I first met a man, he said, ‘Well, I don’t like people like you flappers,’ ” Flappers in the South, a book by Wasserhofer. “I was like, ‘You just said that it’s not a very nice thing to be!'”
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