Is Alabama Running Off Its Smart Women?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. Right now my only evidence is anecdotal, but I help people who are going through divorce, and they tend to be painfully honest with me, so my anecdotal observations tend to be trustworthy. Within the last three weeks I have talked to five intelligent, articulate women who are leaving Alabama.

If you’re curious about where they’re going, one is moving to Indiana, one to Japan, one to Colorado, one to California, and the last to Vancouver. These are the kind of women you want as neighbors, who speak in complete sentences, who are able to understand and critically examine both sides of an argument, and who read for pleasure (and not just People Magazine). I know people leave all the time. But for the record, during this same time I haven’t talked to a single dumb ugly white man who’s leaving.

Why are these smart women giving up on Alabama? After I talked to the first two, I started asking. Here are their answers, in no particular order:

  • It’s too hot and humid here (not much we can do about this one)
  • Too many guns
  • Too many republicans
  • Too many homophobes (to my knowledge all five women are heterosexual)
  • Too little support for public schools and the teachers who work in them
  • Too little opportunity for people like them.
  • What does this mean for our state? I’ll leave that to others to figure out. It doesn’t seem good, though.