Dating in the 1920s and now dating site for younger women
In a column about “working class lives,” he told of a clerk named Artie whose girlfriend was losing interest in him and beginning to see other men socially.When Artie confronts his fading love, he says, “I s’pose the other boy’s fillin’ all my dates?In Chicago, single women were known as “women adrift.” These circumstances gave birth to dating rituals and other unfortunate traditions that still remain — or, at least, still cause confusion as mores change — today.When women first hit the workforce, writes Weigel, “the belief remained widespread they were working not to support themselves but only to supplement the earnings of fathers or husbands.” As such, “employers used this misconception as an excuse to pay women far less than they paid men.The notion that “it” can be developed led to the origin of another phenomena — the dating-advice book.Weigel tells of a 1915 New York Times article on a lecture by author Susanna Cocroft, who seized on the trend by writing books like “What to Eat and When,” and this now-remarkable title, “Beauty a Duty.” “‘Beauty is no longer vanity; it is use,” Cocroft said.“At Bedford Reformatory, an institution founded to rehabilitate female delinquents in upstate New York, an Irish woman told her jailers again and again that she had ‘never taken money from men,’ ” Weigel writes.“Instead, men took her ‘to Coney Island to dances and Picture Shows.’ ” In time, the authorities gave up, overtaken by reality.
“The cosmetics industry exploded in the 1920s,” Weigel writes.
Of the “store employees, telephone girls, stenographers, etc.,” he noted that “their morals are loose, and there is no question that they are on terms of sexual intimacy with their male companions.” So heavy was the concern that these loose, immoral women might harm society that, “in the 1910s, John D.
Rockefeller Jr., the son of the Standard Oil founder, funded investigations into the commercialized vice industries of more than a dozen American cities.” By the mid-1910s, women on dates came to be known as “Charity Girls” — as in, since they took no money for their “favors,” they were perceived to be giving it away as charity — and by the 1920s, “the prostitutes at New York’s Strand Hotel complained that Charity Girls were putting them out of business.” It sounds like a joke, until you learn that some women were thrown in jail for this horrible crime.
“Frances Donovan, a University of Chicago–trained sociologist who taught at Calumet High School on the city’s South Side in the 1920s, interviewed senior girls about their plans after graduation,” Weigel writes.
“‘I would like to be a stenographer,’ one announced.