The first and most obvious example would be flappers. Flappers would be the stereotypical and short hair females of the mid-1800’s. Some were even considered to sport their hair straight out from the crown. Flappers were commonly considered to be an easy working class.
Flappers were a working class group who lived in low-income housing projects and operated their own grocery stores and other businesses. Many flappers worked as maids and housekeepers who would often be required to wash and iron clothes. Many were considered to be the lowest in society. This set of characteristics was used to differentiate them from working-class women. Many of these women were expected to take care of the menfolk while they were away to work at their businesses. Many of them were paid a minimum wage.
In 1894, James Gaskin published the book ‘The Flappable Women of the West” which highlighted the work-class women (flappers) of the West and the stereotypes they were forced to endure. As women became better educated, flapper culture was forgotten. As an example to this, one of the last recorded flapper women was L.C. Moore who was also in her early thirties when she died in 1898. She died in a sanitarium in New York. The fact that she could not afford to leave her family in the West after their death may be due to her working class background.
Women from lower classes such as the paupers and itinerant women, were also considered flappers. This was not the only group considered to work class. This group would include women from the country, the West Indies, and parts of the East Indies. These are women who had to travel long distances and deal with the daily struggles of poverty. Many of these women were considered as the working class. They tended to live in the rural areas of America and were living in conditions not seen in their own communities.
Flappers were known to have their share of illnesses as well. Many of them had contracted some type of disease from the alcohol they drank. The majority of flappers were sexually active and were often the victims of rape. Due to the sexual nature of the lifestyle and their work-class lifestyle, many of them were forced to leave their families in the West to move to the city. Many of them were forced to leave their jobs to work, and as a result many came home as orphans.
Many of these women were not considered to be the working class.