By Valerie Solanas
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"It's hypothetical. No, Hypothetical is the wrong word. It's just a literary device. There's no organization called SCUM...It's not even me...I mean, I thought of it as a state of mind.In other words. women who a certain way are SCUM. Men who think a certain way are in the men's auxiliary of SCUM.
If the SCUM Manifesto has a lasting philosophy: it is that sometimes things are so unbearable that we can not just "drop out" or ignore. It need to be confronted. Solanas states in the manifesto, "Dropping out is not the answer. Fucking up is." The SCUM Manifesto was Solanas' way of fucking up. I suspect the work was a cathartic move for Solanas. But it was not a healing one. Solanas spent most of her time afterward in mental hospitals, dying destitute in a welfare hotel. It's unfortunate we have little else to go on to assess her talent. Her brief improvisatory bit in Warhol's film, I, a Man shows that she had a sharp if rough-edged wit. Those who have read or seen her play, Up Your Ass describe it as obscene but impressive. But the SCUM Manifesto remains her most lasting work and an important document of Radical Feminism and over-the-top social observation.
Note: I was given a review copy of The SCUM Manifesto that is published by AK Press who, being an anarchist publishing company, may or may not agree with my assessment. The edition also contains an insightful introduction by Michelle Tea and a concise biography of Valerie Solanas in the afterword.
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