Sarah Wildman

Sarah Wildman is a Prospect senior correspondent and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. She was a Spring 2006 Milena Jesenska Journalism Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, in Vienna, Austria, the first North American to receive this grant, and has been based in Europe since October 2005. Previously, Wildman was a contributing writer for the Advocate magazine and a Pew Fellow in International Journalism at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. Before accepting the Pew fellowship, Wildman was on staff at The New Republic. Her work has also appeared in Elle, The Christian Science Monitor, Travel & Leisure, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, Rolling Stone, Salon, The Jerusalem Report, and O (the Oprah magazine).

Recent Articles

How the Other Half Votes

"Welcome to the lunch of the most powerful people in the Democratic Party," boomed Ellen Malcolm from the podium at the Emily's List luncheon on Tuesday of convention week. The crowd cheered. Packed with 2,000 paying Emily's List supporters paying $250 a plate, the room pulled in an easy half-million. A grinning Malcolm continued, announcing that George W. Bush and the leadership of the current Republican administration “aren't just conservatives. They are radicals. It is time for us unleash the power of women!” Indeed, women were a popular commodity in Boston. It seemed everyone was intent on wooing the 22 million single women who didn't vote in 2000, brushing up on the statistics of the gender gap, cheerily encouraging women with buttons and slogans (“When Women Vote, Democrats Win!” and my favorite, “It's a man's world, unless women vote!”), and acknowledging women from the podium -- as did vice-presidential nominee John Edwards, positioning the Democratic Party as a friend to the...

Think Different

On a steamy Washington night in early June, a moneyed crowd of gay men and lesbians gathered in the vaulted hall at the National Museum of Women in the Arts for a John Kerry fund raiser. The big draw that night was not actress Sharon Gless ( Queer As Folk, Cagney and Lacey ) but the arguably more entertaining, and certainly more outspoken, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of the candidate. The audience embraced Heinz Kerry, who compared her bewilderment and alienation as an immigrant in the 1960s to the ongoing alienation of the gay community in America today. She even spoke of relying at the time on her own family of friends, a concept that's long been bandied about in the gay community. But despite the warm reception, few outsiders heard about the event. That's because the press wasn't allowed. “I can understand why the campaign shelters her,” says a fund-raiser who was there. Apparently Heinz Kerry, as she's wont to do, meandered a bit, offering her opinion that women over 65 (she's 66)...

Radical Gay Movement

Pride Weekend in Washington always has the feeling of a small-town parade. It's not so much bare breasts as it is dogs and bicycles. “Radical” isn't a word that usually comes to mind. In fact, the most risqué people there -- and they're hardly that -- are usually the hard-bodied men painted with glitter, wearing tiny shorts and dancing on a float hawking “Results: the Gym,” or the occasional queen with exquisitely sculpted breasts clad only in twirling pasties. This year was no different: The largest presence was that of local politicians handing out Mardi Gras beads to the cheering crowd. You didn't even have to do anything to get a strand. But a few blocks away from the parade route, all weekend long, a conference was taking place that billed itself as “a radical gay event.” It was just the kind of redefinition of “radical” that makes conservatives squirm. Here, radical was translated as mainstream. It wasn't an S&M play party; it was the first annual meeting of the National Gay...

John on the Spot

They say that John Kerry has the entire Democratic establishment, and even some outliers, in his corner. "I personally have never seen the Democratic Party more united," says one party strategist. "As in ever." Swearing that the intraparty squabbling of the last decade is over, allegiance to the candidate has come from all corners. But "party unity" doesn't equal "defined candidate." And at the beginning of April, as this issue went to press, Kerry's message had yet to be firmly articulated. "It's up to the campaign to make choices -- clear choices -- so that the campaign is not a themeless pudding," says another top Democratic strategist. "No one wants to rerun the Gore campaign." Kerry has his work cut out for him. His party is most deeply divided on the very questions that will dominate the 2004 elections: foreign and economic policy. He'll need to try to satisfy both wings enough to keep them engaged in his campaign while at the same time coming up with a unified message that...

Abort Mission

The television legacy of the Reagan administration has finally aired, on Showtime rather than CBS, bringing its screechy tales of 1980s conservatism only to a small, paying audience of devotees to kitsch. The miniseries was blasted by conservatives for, among other things, supposedly exaggerating Ronald Reagan's blithe obliviousness to the AIDS crisis. But, in fact, it's hard to overstate the impact of the president's policy on the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is burning a hole in the developing world today. Reagan's global family-planning policy—called the "global gag rule" by its opponents—has been revived by the current Bush administration. It represents a disturbing example of a conservative moral export that has become ever more problematic, contributing to both HIV infections and deteriorating women's health. It's been nearly 20 years since Reagan instated the so-called Mexico City policy, named for the site where Reagan announced—at a United Nations population conference in 1984—that...

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