“In 1921, early suffragettes often donned a bathing suit and ate pizza in large groups to annoy men…it was a custom at the time.”
TIME TO REVIVE A CUSTOM
"“July 31, 1921. Washington, D.C. ‘Pie eating contest at Tidal Basin bathing beach.’”
While the original Tumblr posting got one count right, this photo was taken in 1921, there are several unfortunate inaccuracies and anachronisms in the post.
First, it’s not pizza, it’s pie. Arguably a finite distinction (you might call it “pizza pie” after all), but considering the historical context of the photo, pizza just doesn’t seem likely. The first pizza restaurant opened in the U.S. in 1905, but it wasn’t until the the early 1930s that pizza became a popular food in the American diet. Like all things, it took a while to catch on. While the women in this photograph could have been familiar with pizza, it would have take several decades more before “pizza parties” were a normative thing. Pie, on the other hand, was quite well established.
Secondly, the picture was taken at the Tidal Basin bathing beach in D.C. This means that not only would there not have been a scandal or any impropriety in these women wearing their bathing suits (which look more like modern sun dresses) in a designated bathing area, but there were paid decency police officials who were tasked with making sure that suit skirts were at an appropriate length.
Finally, even if this picture caption were entirely true, in no way would any suffragette in 1921 be considered “early” as the American Women’s Suffrage movement began over a decade earlier and women officially gained the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920, a year before this photo was taken. If anything, these suffragettes are fashionably late to the party.”