At some point, some radical feminists came to the conclusion that being a “good mom” to boy children was not producing non-bad boy children, or non-bad men. Try as they might, good moms, often feminist moms, who often had gestated and given birth to male babies thinking good on the world, because the world needs more good men and I’m going to give the world what it wants, ended up providing exactly what the world doesn’t need, which is more shitty, entitled, misogynistic men.
Indeed, it seems as if boys will be boys, and men will be men, regardless of what any woman says, does or thinks about that. ANY. WOMAN. Including the boys’ own moms, who have been gestating and birthing males forever, and coming up with some good ones, a lot of bad ones, and a lot of somewhere-in-between. At some point, radical women recognized that when it comes to outcomes, meaning the behavior and, well, maleness of their male offspring, the quality of mothering is mostly irrelevant.
Currently, in radical feminist spaces, it mostly goes without saying that females cannot be blamed for male behavior. And that blaming women for what men do is misogynistic and wrong. We recognize that includes both good and bad behavior. Meaning, in the case of moms, thinking you are going to be the one to produce a good male means that every other woman who has produced a bad (or average) one just did it wrong. Thinking you will be the one to get a good one means that you think you are better and smarter than every other woman who has ever lived before, and that if those other, bad or even average moms had been a good mom like you, they would’ve gotten a good outcome too.
As if outcomes, within a capitalist patriarchy, are merit-based. As if. As if.
Even as we concurrently reject the “good boymom” trope, we seem to accept the smart and capable trope. The one where a woman has been thoroughly devastated by whatever the P has deigned to throw her way, today, and where women as a class, and therefore many if not most individual women have little or no resources to deal with whatever because redistribution of wealth is a tool of oppression and we are oppressed and thus, women generally have no or very little resources to smooth over a rough patch, or reconfigure a life. This is a huge problem for us.
To make a newly-devastated woman feel better about whatever, other women go right to the smart and capable trope. You are smart and capable, they say. You will be fine, they say. What they don’t have to say, because it’s implied, is that prostituted women are stupid and incapable. Homeless women are stupid and incapable. But that won’t happen to you because they deserved it, and you don’t. And it won’t happen to me because I don’t deserve it either, and outcomes are deserved, because I say so. Possibly followed by the sign of the cross, or compulsive handwashing or checking social media or some other ritual to further cement this trope in our minds, and cells, and psyches. If I do everything right, nothing bad will happen to me.
What the smart and capable trope is doing, is the same thing the good-boy-mom trope was doing, which was/is to blame women for everything that happens, good and bad. It’s blaming the victim, really. We got rid of the boy-mom bullshit for the most part, although it still crops up from time to time, and is generally tamped down when it does. The smart and capable trope remains, and is just as false as the boy-mom trope is, in a mathematical sense of being fucking false, but God forbid anyone calls attention to the fallacy because if you do, you will break the spell and the newly-devastated woman will fail. Because of what you said. Even though she is smart and capable, she will fail.
So. Are women smart and capable? Or is it just a spell that can be broken? Is it both? Well, I know many women who are indeed smart and capable. If only from a survival standpoint, managing to survive as a female in a more or less global patriarchy takes fucking skill, mad skill. So really, every woman who is currently alive is demonstrably, at least somewhat, smart and capable. So why does prostitution exist? Why does female homelessness exist? If smart and capable is even relevant to our outcomes, why are smart and capable women still prostituted? Why are smart and capable women ever made homeless?
Or, are you going to be the one to tell me that homeless prostitutes are stupid, and they only got what they deserved? Go ahead, if that’s what anyone thinks. Tell me all about how prostituted, homeless women are non-smart, and non-capable in the comments below.