MASQUERADE: Wonder Woman By Nan Ressue

Word Count 402
By Nan Ressue
Mother,” Elizabeth called, as she jumped to her feet and threw the newspaper into the nearest chair.
“Did you read that infuriating editorial in this morning’s Gazette? New York has never had a more stupid, narrow minded editor than that man”, she continued, stomping her high button shoe for emphasis.
“Imagine thinking that women are only fit for cleaning, cooking, and child bearing. What does he think we have between our ears? Empty space? That man will be receiving a rude letter from one of his irate readers who wholeheartedly disagrees. Prepare to take fire, Mr. Editor”
Not too many days went by before the guilty editor called her with an invitation to visit his office. Still seething, she went prepared to further defend her values as an intelligent woman, capable of all life’s assignments. To her amazement, the purpose of this anticipated matching of wits was a job offer, an opportunity to prove herself. i
“Can I do this?”, she asked herself nervously. “Why Not? I’d match my brain against any of these stuffed shirted men.”
With steady eye contact and a firm handshake she answered,” I’d be pleased to work for you.”
“You realize, I’m sure, that if you are going to be a writer, you’ll need a pen name. Do you have one in mind?”,
“Have you ever heard of Stephen Poster?”, she inquired. “He’s written a new popular song called “Nellie Bly. I’d like to try that one”.
“Well Nellie, let’s get down to business. Would you agree that the best writing is drawn from personal experience?”
“Yes sir,” she replied without hesitation
Standing up and leaning forward over the desk, he announced,” I‘ve arranged for you to be committed in cognito to Blackwell Island Insane Asylum to see firsthand how the patients are abused. They have a wretched reputation and I want to give them the publicity they deserve. The newspaper’s attorney will arrange for your release at the proper time. Are you up for this?
The answer came from a young woman who was destined to race around the world in record time writing about each stopover and causing newspaper subscriptions to soar. However, one of Nellie Bly’s most memorable pieces called“Ten Days in a Mad House” was reprinted across the country and founded a new branch of journalism called investigative reporting .. Here was a woman who clearly made a difference.

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