Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is an editor and writer. Formerly the executive editor of GOOD, she’s now hard at work on a crowd-funded magazine called Tomorrow and is a politics columnist for She curates the work of women journalists at LadyJournos!, makes hand-drawn pie charts for The Hairpin, and dispenses animated advice at the Columbia Journalism Review. In July 2012, CJR named her one of 20 women to watch.

Recent Articles

What's Civility Worth?

It's not that the political conversation is poisoned with violent rhetoric. It's that it's not a conversation at all.

(AP Photo/Sandra Chereb)

For me, going home for the holidays every year is a reminder of the limits of rational political discourse. It's not that I descend into arguments with my family -- which is, on the whole, much more conservative than I am -- it's that we've long since learned to not even bother. We're coming from such different places, armed with totally different sets of facts, that arguing is pointless. They say that the health-care reform bill is too expensive. I point out that Republicans' proposed repeals will actually increase the deficit. They say that's not true. And we're back to square one. Best for all of us if we just tuck into the mashed potatoes and make friendly small talk.

Choice Rankings

We pushed back against Republicans' attempt to create a hierarchy of rape. So why are we OK with a hierarchy of abortion?

Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., introduced a bill that would ban federal funding of abortions. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

In the public conversation about rape, the loudest voices tend to be those describing what it isn't. It's not rape if she was drunk. It's not rape if they were on a date. It's not rape if she was wearing a short skirt. It's not rape if the accused is her husband or someone she previously called a friend. In its latest iteration, it's not rape if she isn't sufficiently bruised from fighting back.

Year of the Same

Women's representation in Congress has actually decreased for the first time in the past three decades.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

I'll admit it: I thought Sarah Palin might be right. When she and other conservative leaders declared 2010 the Year of the Republican Woman -- and media outlets followed suit -- it seemed plausible. Although I disagreed with the politics of the "mama grizzlies," I was happy to see that a record number of Republican women filed to run for office, even if many were defeated in the primaries. Forty-seven GOP women ran for House seats, and five ran for Senate. (It looked like Democratic women might fare even better than their Republican counterparts; 91 were on the final ballot in House races and nine ran for Senate.)

Straight Talk

We shouldn't assure gay teens that their lives will get better without also pledging to make equality a reality.

New Jersey State Sen. Barbara Buono, left, and parent David Zimmer, who holds up a copy of a photograph with the words, "Gay Must Die" that he said his son took at Ridgewood High School (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

After a rash of suicides by gay (or perceived to be gay) teenagers made national news this fall, sex columnist Dan Savage responded with an online video, recorded with his husband, telling gay teens that "It Gets Better." Savage encouraged other gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults to make videos about how they struggled as teens and howtheir lives improved. "Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids?" Savage asked. "We have the ability to talk directly to them right now." Thousands of people turned on their webcams and recorded responses.

The Experience Gap

Obama's base still wants a positive political experience -- not just a set of policy positions.

Supporters cheer in Chicago on election night 2008 after major networks called Iowa for Obama. (Flickr/Brian Beatty)

An IBM executive brief from 2008 asks, "Do individuals feel like your brand is relevant to their lifestyle? ... Or, as they wander from store to store, do your potential customers forget your brand as it blurs in their minds with those of competitors?" The solution? Immersive retail: a "memorable, interactive and emotional" experience

full of "personalized dialogues." It's "more about involving the customer than it is about the merchandise."