Mary was a teenager
“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus."
-Alabama state auditor Jim Zeigler in defense of Roy Moore
In November 2017, Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore was accused by nine women of sexual misconduct in the late 1970s. Three of these allegations included outright sexual assault; in one incident, Moore was 31 and the accuser was 16, and in another, Moore was 32 and the accuser 14. Despite these serious accusations, Moore was endorsed by both the Republican national committee and President Trump himself. Ultimately, however, it was opponent Doug Jones who narrowly prevailed. By a margin of 20,715 votes, his election marks the first Democratic win in an Alabama US senate election since 1986.
Being a young woman in Alabama can be tricky business; having grown up here, I know this firsthand. Living in a deep red, devoutly Christian state often comes with expectations about what a woman should say, do, and be. Moreover, the rest of the world also clings to an increasingly obsolete idea about what a Southerner is, especially in an atmosphere of political extremes. The reality is much is much more nuanced, however, and the rules are changing rapidly in the face of a shifting political landscape and Trump's America. While visiting for the holidays, I talked to young female millennials about the recent senate election and their feelings as both Alabamians and women.