In his memoir, “Gaily, Gaily", Ben Hecht describes his years as a cub reporter at The Chicago Daily Journal starting in 1910. The first thing Hecht did was get his girlfriend, who was “in harlot servitude” when they met, hired as the “first girl reporter” at the paper for $12 a week by pretending she was a Van Arsdale who was a niece of Edith Wharton.
When she got caught selling her services in the newsroom, Hecht’s cynical Irish editor advised him that reforming women was a time-waster.
“The female, from birth onward, is a mist of lies,” the editor intoned. “And her white belly is a shrine for swindle and delusion.”