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


MAKING FLEX-TIME RESPECTABLE ... by portraying it as "macho"? A radical idea! If all employees make use of flexible hours and paid family leave, then women are less likely to be penalized for doing so. The Wall Street Journal (subscription req'd) reports today that some companies, including the accounting firm Ernst & Young, are attempting to do just that by "redefining the issue as a quality-of-life concern for everyone." While flex-time and other family-friendly policies have long been touted as a way for women to get ahead in the corporate world, they often carry the "mommy track" stigma, making many women reluctant to take advantage of these options. In a survey of 2,443 women college graduates released by her center and the Harvard Business Review, 35% of respondents thought they would be penalized for taking advantage of their employer's work-life policies. ... about two-thirds of professional women who stop working would stay if they had a "recognized and respectable" way...


AN END TO ABSTINENCE FUNDING? Backers of abstinence-only education are starting to worry that their funding will be cut off when Democrats assume control of Congress. A Christian news service reports that a "Republican source" says "the staff of liberal Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is in the process of rewriting the set of definitions of what is considered an abstinence program." Sweet! Could this mean they'll push to start funding comprehensive sex education , which discusses abstinence but also teaches students about contraception ? At the very least, they could impose greater restrictions on programs that receive abstinence-only money, ensuring that the curricula are free of medically inaccurate information, religious themes and gender stereotypes. Since 1996, abstinence-only has been the official sex-ed policy of the U.S. government. But with Waxman in a better position to act on the content of his widely read report on the subject, I'm hopeful about reform. --Ann Friedman


FETAL PAIN IN THE ASS. As expected, the House rejected the ridiculous fetal pain bill , which would have required abortion providers to inform women that fetuses are capable of feeling pain, and offer the option of fetal anesthesia. The legislation would have applied to any woman carrying a fetus "20 weeks or more after fertilization." As Broadsheet pointed out, defining the age of a fetus by the weeks past fertilization , rather than by the woman's last menstrual period (as every ob/gyn in the country does) was a back-door attack on hormonal contraceptives, many of which don't prevent fertilization, only implantation. To boot, research shows fetuses can probably only feel pain beginning at 28 weeks, at which point abortion is illegal, anyway. While most pro-choice groups opposed the fetal pain bill, NARAL took a "neutral" stance, saying it was in favor of women having "all the information" about fetal anesthesia options. Apparently they're a-OK with the fact that, in this case, the...


HITCHENS ISN'T FUNNY . I'm disappointed in myself for allowing Christopher Hitchens' idiotic "provocation" to, um, provoke me. If you don't want to bother reading the whole convoluted essay, I'll summarize his key point: Women are nothing but baby-makers. For this reason, they are serious about everything and have deeply impaired senses of humor. I guess this is to be expected from a straight white dude who is all in favor of using racist, sexist and heterosexist slurs . And I'm used to reading this sort of shit on Men's News Daily, World Net Daily and other crazy, largely ignored websites. But this "provocation" appeared Vanity Fair . An established and respected publication. Ugh. Echidne has a nice takedown . Also, when I first looked at this article I thought it was Christopher Hitchens who was pictured, not some "humorless woman." Turns out, I wasn't that far off. Check it out: --Ann Friedman


THE FIRST FEMINISTS . You think modern feminists have to put up with the "hairy-legged man-hater" stereotype too often? Just imagine what it must have been like for these ladies . New research says neanderthals died out because their womenfolk didn't want to stay home and take care of the babies -- they wanted to join in the hunt. That's right. Their quest for equality is being blamed for the downfall of the entire species. In other words, the neanderfeminists are STILL facing the backlash , a hundred thousand years later. Doesn't bode well for the rest of us, does it? --Ann Friedman