• Meredith Cummings

Gov. Ivey has betrayed all women of Alabama

Updated: Apr 9, 2018

This article was originally posted on November 20, 2017 on al.com.


A lot has been written nationally and locally about Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's reaction to the Roy Moore allegations when she said she would vote for Moore despite multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment or sexual assault.


In Alabama, most of these opinions have been articulated by men. And thank God for these men, standing up for what is right and calling Ivey out. Yet women of our state have been painfully silent. 


There is a special kind of betrayal - a cleaver-sized knife in the back - for the women of Alabama who thought maybe, finally, with a female governor we would get somewhere. That maybe we could stop the shenanigans that resulted in three of our last six governors being found guilty of crimes.


Women who are trailblazers in their field are always held to higher ethical standards, right or wrong. So when Ivey became governor (notice I didn't say she was elected) I protected her. Here she was, a rarity, a woman as governor in Alabama! She could have walked a Miss America-style runway with roses and I would have been right there, crying and waving and yelling, "You go Kay! Show them how great Alabama can be!"


Now I feel the way one of my staunch Democrat friends does. "I was impressed with her," she said, then paused, obviously contemplating recent events. "Until now."

Same, girl.


Ivey reminds me of my grandmother, who I miss every day and loved dearly. I'm sure if Ivey and I could sit down and have a long talk over tea, we would have more in common than we do not. My grandmother was one of the kindest people I've ever known. She would help, clothe and feed anyone in need. 


And then, on occasion she would drop the n word. It was like an explosion of pain in my heart.


That's what Gov. Ivey's ethically bankrupt words felt like. They hurt. Now my heart and mind are ground zero for the litany of Alabama supporters who fire insults at women who have accused Moore of sexual assault and harassment. All backed by our state's top official, the governor.


It's easy to ignore this part when everything swirls around in the 24-hour news cycle. It's easy to focus on Moore. Yet let's not forget what only our second woman governor chose to do when times got tough. She chose a man accused of multiple sexual harassment and assault charges. Then she told the state she would vote for him. Young girls and teens were watching.


As some people have speculated, if this is only for political gain, that only makes it more treacherous.


In the gospel of John Jesus said, "Let those of you without sin cast the first stone" to men who were about to stone a woman to death.


I am an imperfect Christian sinner. Not only am I casting stones, I'm hurling a metaphorical brick through Gov. Kay Ivey's window just to get her attention. She has hurt the women of this wonderful state.


Women of Alabama need to be the watchdogs here. It's up to us (not the state or nation's top opinion writers or politicians) to call out Ivey. 


I'm left to explain to my politically active 15-year-old, who cannot wait to vote, why our governor, our state's top official and leader, apparently thinks sexual assault is OK.


I can't do it. Gov. Ivey, can you?

© 2019 by Meredith Cummings.

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