It isn’t difficult for me to imagine Ralph making the same choice. Advancing gender equality is our moral obligation, but it is not our only obligation. We are also obligated to enable a full employment economy, restore fair democratic procedures, avoid catastrophic climate change as well as nuclear war. On these most vital issues, Bernie as the first elected Green president would be much more successful than Hillary, even if the wrong signal is sent to the American public on the right of women to follow their ambitions. Jill knows that the long-term survival of our civilization is more important than crafting a perfect feminist-friendly narrative for historical change.
Yet there is no reason to assume that gender equality wouldn’t have its own victories in such a scenario: even without Congressional support, this administration would push for an end to wage discrimination by gender, a living wage, expanded funding for Planned Parenthood, universal high-quality childcare and pre-K, paid family leave, nutrition assistance, universal healthcare, and expanded social security. Hillary would be pressured by her Wall Street friends and financiers to dole out only half-measures on these issues, whereas they would have significantly less influence on Bernie. If you want to fight patriarchy, your enemies aren’t progressive male leaders, it’s Wall Street and the rest of the global elite who actively maintain it. In other words, Hillary’s most avid supporters.