The Revolution of Women's Role in Society During the Prohibition Era


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In the 1920s and early 30s there was a thing called prohibition. Prohibition was a band if any use of alcohol /booze world wide. There were multiple reasons that alcohol was banned but one of the main reasons was if everyone were to stop drinking then they thought it would solve the nations crime, poverty and violence levels. Overall they thought that drinking alcohol was the main reason for everyone’s terrible personal and social behaviours. So in the the next few paragraphs I will talk further about the three different times of prohibition. Why women tried forming prohibition, what went on during prohibition and what happened/ how did it affect women’s roles once prohibition was gotten rid of.

First of all it was mainly women who wanted prohibition. A lot of women were the main caretakers of her and her husbands kids at the time. Mainly for the reason that there husbands were always at the bar. Which isn’t really the ideal picture for most women. Women were also occasionally abused by their husbands when they came home late at night and drunk. Finally for the women who were allowed to work and make money; they worked very hard at their kids but their husbands always took their hard earned cash and wasted it on liquor. Doing so it didn’t leave the families much money to buy necessities such as clothes, food, medicine or even enough money to pay their landlords and/or rent. For example just as Will Rogers says in one of his quotes: “TOO many people spend they haven’t earned”. Is a quote that represents a good amount of the men that drank in the 1920s.

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Secondly, during prohibition a lot of things happened such as corruption, illegal booze making and illegal drinking spots. In order to smuggle booze into Canada we had a lot of corrupted people such as police officers, security guards at the borders and even people in the government. When smuggling booze into Canada you were called “rumrunners” and when they were to greet a corrupted person while doing their business/ jobs they would say “Hi Jack!” to each other as a code/ secret message. Secondly there was a lot of illegal stills where they made dangerous booze out of whatever they could savage such as mouthwash, vanilla extract, hand sanitizer, NyQuil and even windshield wiper fluid… some people were really desperate for alcohol of any sort. Lastly there were multiple illegal drinking spots. Many of them were called speakeasy’s or blind pigs. They were usually hidden or disguised so that way they wouldn’t get gatecrashed by the police.

Finally after prohibition was gotten rid of a lot in Canada had changed. It may have moved very slowly but before prohibition they had a saying: “ persons in the matter of pains and penalties, but not in the matter of rights and privileges.” Which is how they referred to women but not long after prohibition in 1929 the “persons case” was introduced aid they changed the meaning of persons to women. Saying so women’s roles changed very much and they were permitted to do/ wear many new things they couldn’t wear before such as bobs, beads and higher hemlines; (even men started wearing hats). They could now also smoke, drink and swear in public. Which before was looked upon on women as not lady like.

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