The SCUM Manifesto
May 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
This Sunday, the 13th, BETCH is joining us to read The SCUM Manifesto. You can read it here in pdf and there are a few copies of SCUM in Elise’s box at Treasure City Thrift.
The SCUM Manifesto is a feminist tract written in 1968 by Valerie Solanas, who shot Andy Warhol. Some authors have argued that the text is a parody of patriarchy and the Freudian theory of femininity, where the word woman is replaced by man. The text contains all the clichés of Freudian psychoanalytical theory: the biological accident, the incomplete sex and “penis envy” which has become “pussy envy” Solanas also claimed that her writing was a satirical literary device to elicit debate. Alice Echols has argued that the tract is misandric.
Though it has come to be said that “SCUM” stands for “Society for Cutting Up Men” (used in places such as The New York Times), this phrase actually occurs nowhere in the text. The word “SCUM” is used in the text in reference to a certain type of women, not to men. It refers to empowered women, “SCUM — dominant, secure, self-confident, nasty, violent, selfish, independent, proud, thrill-seeking, free-wheeling, arrogant females, who consider themselves fit to rule the universe, who have free-wheeled to the limits of this `society’ and are ready to wheel on to something far beyond what it has to offer”. That “SCUM” was intended as an acronym was a “belated add-on”, which Solanas later rejected