Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is a columnist for New York magazine's website and for the Columbia Journalism Review. She also makes pie charts for The Hairpin and Los Angeles magazine. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Esquire, Newsweek, The Observer, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. She lives in Los Angeles, but travels so often the best place to find her is online at

Recent Articles


ANTI-SEX LOGIC . As someone who endured many abstinence assemblies during my 13 years in Catholic school, I wasn't terribly shocked by yesterday's news that Montgomery County junior high kids are being forced to share chewing gum to demonstrate why sex is icky. Another well-known abstinence-only "game" is to have the kids suck on a lollipop , then try to put it back in the wrapper and see if any other kids would like to suck on it now. In my high school there was a more sanitary demonstration using pizza as the metaphor. The message: If you shared a slice of your pizza with everyone , you'd be left with an empty box. It always seemed confusing... didn't they want me to start out with and maintain an "empty box," so to speak, rather than end up there? Meanwhile at the college level, the abstinence logic is equally confusing. In response to some campus groups who pass out condoms and Hershey's kisses on Valentine's Day, a few anti-contraception groups gave away free chocolate bars...


LIBBY, PLAME, AND THE NIE . The defense rested in the Scooter Libby trial yesterday, after offering a very brief case and without, of course, calling either Libby himself or Vice President Cheney . Was this a sign of the defense's confidence? Or a sign it believed Libby's odds on appeal were better than at trial, and that therefore it was better to avoid the political damage that may have been caused by Libby and Cheney's cross-examinations? Byron York makes the argument from strength today , suggesting that the defense is hoping that the jury will take away a negative impression of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald after listening to eight hours of tapes of him questioning Libby before the grand jury back in March 2004. In the course of illustrating this claim, York makes an important error:


QUEER EYE FOR THE SPORTS GUYS . As a straight guy, I can tell you how easy it is for straight guys to make fun of gay men who are demonstrably effeminate. (I�d be lying if I said I have never made gay jokes; in certain settings straight men often make gay remarks, often about and to each other.) So, for example, Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makes a convenient target because he fits the even more convenient stereotype: a thin, neat, self-described sissy who proudly knows his way around Sephora . That�s probably why former NBA star Tim Hardaway freaked out upon learning that a 6�10�, 270-pounder like John Amaechi , with whom he used to share a locker room, is gay . Ditto for the news last year that former Minnesota Vikings lineman Esera Tuaolo is a homosexual -- with a hubby and two adopted kids now, to boot. Kressley is a guy you could -- pardon the pun -- lick in a fight; Amaechi and Tuaolo, not so much. The bothersome part is not that they might be looking at...

V for Vendetta

Free Cupid! The plea was repeated today on fliers spread around the campuses of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Arizona State, and a handful of other colleges across the country. The image? A cherub shackled to a ball and chain, head hung low, weeping. The culprit? The Vagina Monologues. "The V-Day movement is about taking away Valentine's Day, the one day a year used to celebrate every form of love, in the name of stopping domestic violence," Amber Hanneken, president of the University of Missouri campus Republican group, told the student newspaper. As if ! To Hanneken, talking about violence against women on Valentine's Day is a total buzz kill. Today is a day that's supposed to be about Hallmark, diamonds, and the Whitman's Sampler. How can true romance flourish if you're raising awareness of domestic and dating violence while bluntly discussing your ladyparts? Hanneken is part of a counter-campaign, run by the conservative group the Independent Women's Forum, to " Take Back...


ALL'S NOT FAIR IN LOVE OF WAR . This took courage. If only there were more Americans like Eric Fair . I hope his nightmares from Iraq, and ours, end soon. -- Tom Schaller