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SCUM Manifesto [Paperback]

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Item Number 301409  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   60
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2001
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  1873176449  
EAN  9781873176443  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

"Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex."--Valerie Solanas

The definitive edition of probably the finest polemic in the world. It contains a new afterword detailing the life and death of Valerie Solanas.

Buy SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781873176443 & 1873176449

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More About Valerie Solanas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Valerie Solanas: Valerie Solanas was a radical feminist playwright and social propagandist best known as the author of the "SCUM Manifesto," which she self-published and sold on the streets of New York. In 1968, she was arrested after an assassination attempt on the life Andy Warhol, and imprisoned for three years. Deemed a paranoid schizophrenic by the state, once out of jail, Solanas stalked Warhol for several more years, before eventually leaving New York. She died alone and in relative obscurity in 1988 in San Francisco, leaving behind a sheaf of typewritten pages that her mother burned after her death. Solanas was immortalized by actress Lili Taylor in the 1996 film "I Shot Andy Warhol."

Valerie Solanas was born in 1936 and died in 1988.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
fun  Oct 8, 2008
this would be the first feminist piece i've read and i have to say... you gotta love that enthusiasm. the first page had me smiling at the energy. as for the content itself... my feelings are somewhat mixed.

i found that i could relate to many of the aspects of society she chose to critique. i'm not very old... i'm not 25 yet, but i'd say i've lived a decent amount of time, enough to be able to make something of a judgement on my society, and it's sexist. maybe not so much as it was 20, 50 years ago.. but it is. it would shock very few people if when they turned on the tv they hear something to the effect of 'go play with your dolls' when a girl wants to play with the boys, or... don't get me started with adult media... but lets say we can readily see the scarcity of a strong, intelligent woman who doesn't need to be validated by her sexuality or by a guy... it's just what our society is right now... sadly. so when reading some of the issues the author picked up on i thought to myself... ya i've noticed that as well, or ya that's nothing new. for example when she comments on how all of the presitigeous positions are mostly held by men (and it's sadly true... in 2008), or how we're so isolated from each other, there's no community anymore. i found myself agreeing with her a lot.

but, at the same time, as i agreed with her, this had to be taken with a grain of salt because the next line down she'd be off on how men are the problem and how we should do away with them. to summarize, the author doesn't like men. and she blames men for a lot of things because of this and makes her societal observations demonstrate how men are the problem. it's no more sexist than nietzsche or pop culture or any of countless other forums of sexist expression (granted in most sexist cases it's women being discriminated against and most people readily accept this), but is sexist all the same, and therefore problematic. she puts women on a pedestal, and they have been on one in the past, to keep them docile 'don't worry your pretty little head', but she puts women on the offensive. and she takes away humanity from men... ya they can be jerks i guess, but then again i can be one too (does this mean i want to be a man :P). it also doesn't take into account the people who don't define their gender through biology, but then she's speaking to a loud stereotype, so is creating a new 'stereotype-like' argument to combat it.

i think it's easier to read this book symbolically. it states problems in society, and proposes a solution, which is to exterminate the cause (which i don't think is possible, but anyway). 'woman' could be the symbolical redeemer of society and 'man' could be the corruption, not specifically assigning anyone to either category, but having the categories to express certain ideas.

i thought she articulated what she wanted to well and got her point across effectively, but i think her discontent with the opposite sex limits her argument from what it could be. interesting though.
totalitarian feminism  Oct 2, 2008

by Valerie Solanas

When I was in college, I personally knew many feminists who idolized Valerie Solanas. To them, Solanas was the original "riot grrrl", a female force to be reckoned with in an insensitive male-dominated culture. To be sure, Solanas had a rough life: she was sexually abused as a child and worked as a prostitute many years throughout her life. In her writing, she lashed out against a world that she felt had it's priorities all wrong. The crux of the theory in her infamous SCUM Manifesto goes something like this: Men are one-dimensional degenerates who secretly strive to become women. Women are the creative power of the world, demonstrated by the fact that only women can have children. Therefore, to maintain power men have had to convince women that they are replaceable and subservient. In order to prove to himself that he doesn't actually want to be female, the heterosexual man is constantly trying to have sex with women. The solution to the problems of the world is that men should obey females before ultimately being outmoded by machines.

"Men who are rational, however,
won't kick or struggle or raise a
distressing fuss, but just sit back,
relax, enjoy the show, and ride
the waves to their demise". (pg.47)

One thing I'd like to add after re-reading the manifesto is that Solanas had a vicious sense of humor, which is more than I can say for my former classmates. Some of the funniest parts of the SCUM Manifesto are where she sets her targets on hippies, philosophers, political "rebels", and professional artists. There is also an inadvertent criticism of "sexual liberation" throughout the booklet - I wonder whether her modern apologists have even read these sections. Solanas also deliberately used hateful language, saying that she would "bust up" any "mixed couples" with violence (pg. 39). Mixed couples was a euphemism for interracial couples at the time of SCUM's publication; Solanas in this case means heterosexual couples. Solanas throughout the booklet says that men are animalistic and subhuman. She uses the segregationist jargon to debase men to the level that some racists had reserved for blacks, even going as far as to discuss the gene pool. A bold and politically incorrect approach for sure. She even uses terrorist threats:

"If SCUM ever marches, it will
be over the President's stupid,
sickening face; if SCUM ever
strikes, it will be in the dark with
a six-inch blade." (pg. 43)

Who was the phallus that Solanas chose to castrate in the cruel male world? She shot and nearly killed Andy Warhol, the man associated with androgyny and sexual indifference more than any other in U.S. cultural history. Solanas claimed that Warhol was trying to control her life and according to most people she was having serious mental problems. But while she was awaiting trial, luminaries of the feminist movement started to praise Solanas as a outspoken acolyte of women's rights! How interesting that her "peers" waited until she was a deluded criminal to speak up for her, and later left her to follow a back alley trajectory for the rest of her life. Making Solanas into some kind of feminist icon is like saying that O.J. Simpson is a role model for black Americans. Sure the SCUM Manifesto reveals Solanas to be a witty individual, but many of her fans also act as apologists for her violent behavior. Solanas did her writing as a threat to the world, but she lived her life out of desperation, not political rebellion.

The AK Press edition also contains a 10-page biographical sketch of Solanas by Freddie Baer which is based on the "Solanas Supplement" to Donny Smith's DWAN zine. It is written from a perspective sympathetic to Solanas.
Misunderstood  Apr 29, 2008
I think most people that read this book undervalue what it has to offer. This is not only a harrowing portrait of the kind of de-huminization that abused women go through but it is also one of the most powerful pieces of writing seen through immense pain and suffering. I don't know how people can read Poe and validate his suffering yet they throw this in the trash. Why? Because Poe was beautiful prose? Because it was politically correct? If anything, the world should regard this book as a deeply personal testament of the sexually disturbing world we live in. Most raped women go through these thoughts so much so that misandry is a symptom of sexual abuse. Do they publish a book about it? No. Most of them remain silent and onlookers joke, laugh, degrade, and dismiss what they go through. If anything, this work should be seen as a vital document into the tortured souls of those silent abused women and girls.
Very good piece of literature  Apr 9, 2008
We have been conditioned in this life to such a degree we no longer understand the capacity of emotion the human being (womyn) is capable of. The hierarchal system established by the patriarchy is so pervasive we accept it as a necessary factor to our lives. It is time we reject it for what it is, a travesty. Valerie Solanas was completely accurate when she wrote, "Since he has no compassion or ability to empathize or identify, proving his manhood is worth an endless amount of mutilation and suffering and an endless number of lives, including his own-his own life being worthless, he would rather go out in a blaze of glory than to plod grimly on for fifty years," There is no reason why a rational human being would end the only life they have in such a mass quantity. You may give reasons such as "freedom" "courage" and "valor", but women understand the frivolity of the whole act. It is simply mass suicide between men, disguised as an act with a noble purpose or cause. Is 6000 years (from what we can derive from recorded history) of mindless existence and suffering not enough? How much longer will womyn tolerate the male? What is it going to take? Once the stigma is removed, women will realize that the amount of platonic and physical pleasure derived from other women far exceeds that derived from males. In Alfred Kinsey's Survey of Sexual Behavior in the Human Female he noted 78% of lesbians had orgasms in 60% to 100% of their sexual encounters over the preceding five years of a relationship, compared with 55% of heterosexual womyn over the previous five years of theirs. A 2005 twin study found that one in three women reported never or seldom achieving orgasm during sexual intercourse with a male, and only one in ten always orgasmed. The study, examining 4000 women, was published in Biology letters, and Royal Society journal. Why do so many womyn engage in an act that risks giving them disease, when the facts tell us the act of sexual intercourse does not even provide them with pleasure?
She Had A Reason For Wanting To Cut Up Men!   Mar 7, 2008
Valerie Solanas was a radical feminist and a Lesbian. She had very specific ideas about society, culture, the gender programming between the sexes and Andy Warhol. She shot Andy after she wrote the Manifesto. But in many ways he was a contributor to her philosophy and that of the Society For Cutting Up Men. (S.C.U.M.)
Valerie shot Andy Warhol in 1968. She died 20 years later of emphysema and pneumonia in the Bristol Hotel in San Francisco California. She was 52 years old.

Troubled as she was she possessed a keen insight into the human condition. Especially responsible for this impression on her personal experience was Men. Humans are essentially selfish, self-absorbed and vicious. Valerie knew that first hand. Had she been tested I have no doubt she would have registered a genius IQ. As it is many see her as having died as a worthless indigent junkie Dyke.While nothing could be further from the real truth.

Valerie was rich in the human experience. She was keen to the tricks of the trade in human politics and social conscience. And she shot Andy Warhol because he deserved it and so as to make them both famous in that immortal meeting between the minds of two spirits that saw this world as something more and far less than the plastic bloated facade that lives to this day thinking itself an example of civil~ization.
Rest in Peace Valerie. And thank you for the wisdom, page after page. (Yes dear reader you have to look deeper to see past the scum.)

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