because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Emily Hahn

By the time Emily Hahn (nicknamed "Mickey" as a child) was twenty-five years old, she had been awarded a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, driven 2,400 miles around the United States with a woman friend (both dressed as men), worked for the Red Cross in the Belgian Congo, lived with a pygmy tribe for two years, trekked across central Africa on foot alone, and published a satirical book entitled Seductio ad Absurdum: The Principles and Practices of Seduction -- A Beginner's Handbook!

Subsequently, spending six years in China (where she attended high society dinner parties accompanied by a gibbon dressed in a dinner jacket), she became addicted to opium, had a baby out of wedlock, and once, while being held and interrogated by the Japanese in 1942, slapped the Japanese Chief of Intelligence across the face. We know so much about her adventurous life because Hahn somehow found the time to write about her escapades and was still going into her office at The New Yorker until shortly before her death at the age of 92.

Asked repeatedly during her lifetime why she gallivanted around so much, Hahn replied shortly, "Nobody said not to go." Not that in-your-face women listen to what other people say anyway.

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