The Premier Parodist of Dude-Centric Media Trend Pieces

Ann Friedman battles male-oriented media coverage through mockery

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Women's Wear Daily caught the internet's attention this morning with their indulgent trend piece on "dude-itors," those three magazine editors who use salutations such as "Hey, man." Check out the WWD piece by John Koblin if you want--Bon Appétit's Adam Rapoport, New York Times Magazine's Hugo Lindgren and Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Tyrangiel make for entertaining caricatures of dapper yet neurotic media men--but you might just want to read the round-ups, pull-quotes and take-downs. Or skip straight ahead to Ann Friedman's feminized parody. "Might need to write a quick parody today…" Friedman tweeted today at lunchtime. About 15 minutes later, she'd posted her 800-word "Lady, Where's My Magazine."

This is the second such parody by Friedman, the executive editor of Good Magazine. Her first one, "Washington's Lady Journos Have Been Here All Along," mocks a March New York Times trend piece about a hungry young gang of male bloggers making moves in DC by highlighting a hungry young gang women bloggers making moves in DC. Friedman clearly doesn't like these male-centric trend pieces, and she's doing something about it.

"Rather than being hand-wringing like this sucks and rather than being constantly haranguing people about why they aren't adding women to their panels, why not about women who are doing good work," Friedman told The Atlantic Wire. "I think it's much stronger, in journalistic terms, to show don't tell."

And yes, editors, Friedman is looking at you. "You could've written this piece about a bunch of young women editors in New York or young women journalists in DC, but instead chose to impose the narrative of a male-dominated media," she said.

Friedman's written at length about giving women journalists better exposure and runs a Tumblr, LadyJournos!, that does just that. In a different way, today's parody does the job quite well. Here's a paragraph from the WWD piece:

They are guys who preach a certain carefree editorial attitude — or, as Rapoport put it, “You can work hard and play hard.” These are all guys who don’t exactly reflect the tightly wound, hyper-neurotic editor of yesteryear. These guys aren’t New York editor Adam Moss with his wire-framed glasses and metro-wonk affect, or New Yorker editor David Remnick, who may like the sports pages as well as the next dude but spends his nights with Philip Roth and foreign dispatches, or, say, even Daniel Zalewski, the charmingly driven New Yorker features editor who was offered the New York Times Magazine job and turned it down before Lindgren got the job. 

And here's Friedman's version:

They are gals who preach a certain carefree editorial attitude — or, as Friedman put it, “You can work hard and play hard, but if you're a woman, mostly work hard.” These are all ladies who don’t exactly reflect the tightly wound, hyper-neurotic editor of yesteryear. They aren’t Newsweek editor Tina Brown with her stiff coif and British affect, or ... well, honestly there aren't that many lady-editors of yesteryear, but had they been around, they would have most certainly been uptight feminist killjoys.

When asked whether she plans on doing more parodies, Friedman told us, "I guess you should ask other editors if they're planning on promoting this dude-centric narrative of journalism in the future."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.