Friday, September 4, 2015

Etiquette, Manners and Flapperism

The disposition on the part of young people to conform or not to conform to the fundamental requirements of morality is not to be gauged by adherence to ballroom rules or dictates of an etiquette not of their choosing.

Every generation lives in its own world. Happy the parents who can recognize this fact and keep the confidence of their children by sympathetic tolerance of new things. 

The press is manifesting the growth of public interest in flappers. We are being treated in news dispatches to definitions of the term —efforts to define the indefinable. Clergymen are giving their views, statesman are called on for theirs. "Bathhouse John" of Chicago contributes his. Twenty years ago this social autocrat declared that any girl who smoke cigarettes "degenerates herself" —the distinction between the transitive and intransitive verb being one he had neither the patience nor the narrowness of mind to observe. When the subject comes with in the ken of "Bathhouse John" it has reached the dignity of a public question.
                                                        
The bobbed hair of flapperism.
To the apprehensive, the question of flapperism is a solemn and portentous one. When the flapper was born it was supposed that she would do exactly as her parents had done before her, and to their shocked surprise she seems to have found a new set of manners not at all like theirs. Those parents should reflect, however, that their manners were at many points unlike those of the flapper's grandparents, whose manners were undoubtedly different from those of her great-grandparents. If ways never changed the world could not progress.
                                                           
It's not the polka, mother!
That there is more real evil in society for these changes of manner we strongly doubt. The disposition on the part of young people to conform or not to conform to the fundamental requirements of morality is not to be gauged by adherence to ballroom rules or dictates of an etiquette not of their choosing. They bob their hair. Long hair is not a prerequisite of sanctity. They shorten their skirts. That is sanitary. They go on long hikes. That is healthful.

Flapperism is not serious, but superficial. The best thing to do with flappers, is to let them flap. But not too much. — From S.F. Journal reprinted in Red Bluff Daily News, 1922
                                                                       
An expensive trend in its day.


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