S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas

S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas


In 1968, Andy Warhol was shot and wounded by Valerie Solonas, who had once been a member of his crowd, and had even appeared in his films. Neither jealous lover, nor disgruntled employee, Solonas was a front-line warrior for SCUM, the Society for Cutting Up Men.

One year before, Solonas had authored and published The SCUM Manifesto, which delineated her plans to instigate nothing less than a worldwide male holocaust. Until Solonas’ attempt on Warhol’s life, it would have been easy to see The SCUM Manifesto as a joke; it would make a good parody of racist and anti-Semitic hate literature, and also of outdated views on the capabilities of females. In fact, it effectively uses lines of argument, usually associated with patriarchal males, against them.

But The SCUM Manifesto, though funny, was not a joke. Solonas’ mission had been to kill Warhol, only the first egoistic useless male that SCUM would dispose of.

Though Solonas failed miserably in her mission to fell the patriarchy, in terms of political fashion she was ahead of her time. In 1967, man-haters were still in the closet, so to speak. But just a few years after Solonas’ effort to fell the famous male artist, man-hating was all the rage and continues to be, in some circles.

via puttingthesexybackinfeminazi at riseup dot net.

scum-online.pdf434.93 KB
scum-imposed.pdf429.35 KB

Actually, it was a joke

Actually, it was a joke, at least mostly a joke with a smattering of seriousness. I met a former member of the New York anti-art situationist anarchist group UP AGAINST THE WALL MOTHERFUCKER which was active in the 60's and 70's.

He lived with Valerie for some time and was friends with her for years. This was before, during, and after the Warhol debacle and the SCUM manifesto. On Warhol's attempted killing he said he agreed with her and briefly said that Warhol exploited people.

That aside, the point is, someone who seriously wanted a worldwide male holocaust would not have male friends, nor would they live with them and fight alongside them. The SCUM manifesto was meant to be exaggerated and over-the-top to make a point and potentially strike fear in the hearts of defenders of patriarchy who already were scared that "feminism" in general was taking away their "rights." However, it was not to be taken seriously, as is acknowledged by anyone who vaguely looks into the matter.

The SCUM manifesto went on to have a life of its own outside of Valerie and is read today mostly by people just getting into feminist ideas. I've never met a single person that actually thought the SCUM manifesto was serious or that regardless had sympathy with the stated goals themselves, and only enjoyed the pamphlet for its vitriolic, entertaining, and hyperbolic nature.

Allegedly, according to the description above, there are some people (Or at least one person) who actually believe the SCUM manifesto is meant to be serious against their better judgment. I theorize that this person needs this to be true for their own illusion that literal "man-hating" is a more pervasive phenomenon than it actually is and that their own hatred toward men has legitimacy because someone else put similar ideas to paper. Let me pop your bubble: Valerie was no man-hater, she was against patriarchy. The fetishization of the SCUM manifesto as some vision of a male holocaust is absurd and misunderstands its real and more simple intention of inciting people to take feminism more seriously. Also, in this fetishization, the ideas that possibly were meant to be serious by Valerie which suck, are brushed over and not critiqued, because to critique it would be to ruin its image for this silly tiny group of people of being some kind of real work of literature. I'm talking here mainly of its authoritarian dimensions (Outside of the man killing talk) and its desire for a fully automated society run by machines, which in the post-90's world of today is a chilling reality that could come to fruition.

Aside from all this, it's also generally a badly written piece of work, but I do think that it culturally holds a significant place in the history of American feminism, but I mostly wish people would read better shit and stop fetishizing things purely because they contain a lot of violent language. This alone does make a good piece of writing and does not say much.