- SCUM Manifesto
name = SCUM Manifesto
image_caption = Cover of the SCUM Manifesto
publisher = Phoenix Press
release_date = New Educational edition (Jan 1988)
pages = 31 pages
isbn = ISBN 978-0948984037
"SCUM Manifesto" (Society For Cutting Up Men) is a tract written in
1968by Valerie Solanasthat calls for a violent revolutionto create an all-female society by killing all men. However, Valerie Solanas later claimed that her writing was a literary device[ [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040614/dederer Cutting Remarks ] ] to elicit debate [ [http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/bin/litcrit.out.pl?ti=scu-1177 IPL Online Literary Criticism Collection ] ] .
Sisterhood is Powerful" (a feminist writings collection edited by Robin Morgan) included excerpts of the "SCUM Manifesto".
Quotations from the SCUM manifesto
Solanas advocating the elimination of males::"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."
Assertion that males are inherently inferior to females, and her account of genetic differences between males and females::"Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the y(male) chromosome is an incomplete x(female) chromosome, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples."
On the role of the individual in society::"A true community consists of individuals - not mere species members, not couples - respecting each other's individuality and privacy, at the same time interacting with each other mentally and emotionally - free spirits in free relation to each other and co-operating with each other to achieve common ends. Traditionalists say the basic unit of "society" is the family; "hippies" say the tribe; no-one says the individual."
Describing her vision of a coming revolution::"SCUM will keep on destroying, looting, fucking-up and killing until the money-work system no longer exists and automation is completely instituted or until enough women co-operate with SCUM to make violence unnecessary to achieve these goals."
:"The sick, irrational men, those who attempt to defend themselves against their disgustingness, when they see SCUM barreling down on them, will cling in terror to Big Mama with her Big Bouncy Boobies, but Boobies won't protect them against SCUM; Big Mama will be clinging to Big Daddy, who will be in the corner shitting in his forceful, dynamic pants. Men who are rational, however, won't kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise."
On sexuality::"Sex is not part of a relationship: on the contrary, it is a solitary experience, non-creative, a gross waste of time. The female can easily -- far more easily than she may think -- condition away her sex drive, leaving her completely cool and cerebral and free to pursue truly worthy relationships and activities; but the male, who seems to dig women sexually and who seeks out constantly to arouse them, stimulates the highly sexed female to frenzies of lust, throwing her into a sex bag from which few women ever escape. The lecherous male excited the lustful female; he has to -- when the female transcends her body, rises above animalism, the male, whose ego consists of his penis, will disappear."
Describing her understanding of medicine and mortality::"All diseases are curable, and the aging process and death are due to disease; it is possible, therefore, never to age and to live forever. In fact the problems of aging and death could be solved within a few years, if an all-out, massive scientific assault were made upon the problem. This, however, will not occur with the male establishment"
Asserting that all 'un-creative' labor in society could become easily automated, despite the then non-existence of sophisticated computers::"A completely automated society can be accomplished very simply and quickly once there is a public demand for it. The blueprints for it are already in existence, and its construction will take only a few weeks with millions of people working on it. Even though off the money system, everyone will be most happy to pitch in and get the automated society built; it will mark the beginning of a fantastic new era, and there will be a celebration atmosphere accompanying the construction."
Her predictions regarding the economic basis of male-power, potential simplicity of scientific education, and the ultimate decline in heterosexuality::"After the elimination of money there will be no further need to kill men; they will be stripped of the only power they have over psychologically independent females. They will be able to impose themselves only on the doormats, who like to be imposed on. The rest of the women will be busy solving the few remaining unsolved problems before planning their agenda for eternity and Utopia -- completely revamping educational programs so that millions of women can be trained within a few months for high level intellectual work that now requires years of training (this can be done very easily once our educational goal is to educate and not perpetuate an academic and intellectual elite); solving the problems of disease and old age and death and completely redesigning our cities and living quarters. Many women will for a while continue to think they dig men, but as they become accustomed to female society and as they become absorbed in their projects, they will eventually come to see the utter uselessness and banality of the male."
(Some quotes are from the 1983 reprint, published by the
Matriarchy Study Group.)
The manifesto in film
"Scum Manifesto" is also a 1976 movie written by Valerie Solanas and directed by
Carole Roussopoulosand Delphine Seyrig. Warhol later satirized the whole event in a subsequent movie, " Women in Revolt", calling a group similar to Solanas' S.C.U.M. , "P.I.G." (Politically Involved Girlies).
Solanas' creative work and relationship with Andy Warhol is depicted in the 1996 film, "
I Shot Andy Warhol", a significant portion of which relates to the "SCUM Manifesto", and Solanas' disputes on notions of authorship with Warhol and second-wave feminists.
The manifesto in literature
The title story of the
Michael Blumlein short story collection, " The Brains of Rats", employs the "Manifesto" to illustrate the male protagonist's hatred of himself and his gender.
Later in life, and after serving a prison sentence for reckless assault with intent to cause bodily harm, Solanas tried to distance herself from the manifesto. In a
July 25 1977interview with the " Village Voice" she claimed it was "Just a literary device . . . women who think a certain way are in SCUM. Men who think a certain way are in the men's auxiliary of SCUM."
The Manifesto in music
London no-wavers S.C.U.M have obviously made reference to the manifesto in their name, and quote extracts from it on their website.
Solanas is quoted on the sleeve notes of the
Manic Street Preachersdebut album " Generation Terrorists". Their song " Of Walking Abortion" on the album " The Holy Bible" is named after a quote from the manifesto.
The Liverpool punk band
Big in Japancomposed the song "Society for Cutting Up Men" directly inspired by the manifesto. San Francisco IDMgroup Matmossampled the S.C.U.M. manifesto heavily in the satirical track "Tract for Valerie Solanas" on the album The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast
Sisterhood is Powerful"
* Solanas, Valerie "SCUM Manifesto" AK Press, 1996. ISBN 1-873176-44-9
* [http://gos.sbc.edu/s/solanas.html The SCUM Manifesto] at sbc.edu
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