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First circulated on the streets of Greenwich Village in 1967, the SCUM Manifesto is a searing indictment of patriarchal culture in all its forms. Shifting fluidly between the worlds of satire and straightforward critique, this no-holds-barred classic is a call to actiona radical feminist vision for a different world. This is an update of the essential AK Press edition, with a new foreword.

Valerie Solanas was a radical feminist playwright and social propagandist who was arrested in 1968 after her attempted assassination of Andy Warhol. Deemed a paranoid schizophrenic by the state, Solanas was immortalized in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.

Published: AK Press on Sep 16, 2013
ISBN: 9781849351812
List price: $6.99
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SCUM is short for “Society for Cutting Up Men”, and the manifesto is Valerie Solanas’ infamous text about why the destruction of the male sex is necessary, and her visions about a society free of men. A Stockholm theatre has done a staged version of the manifesto, more or less just presenting the text as it is, causing huge controversy. Public anti-feminist voices have been overbidding each other in condemning the performance, and the actress (but not the male director, go figure) has received numerous death threats, forcing her to play several shows under police protection. A few weeks ago I went to see the performance, and it was really good. This prompted me to pick up the text itself, which I got for Christmas last year from my brother, and has been lingering on my shelf for a year.There’s no doubt Solanas text is very strong medicine indeed. The male is presented as a genetic defect, incapable of any feelings and genuine relations to other, which has created a highly destructive society only to mask this fact. It’s very much a shame that Solanas actually shot Andy Warhol – this act makes it hard to overlook the possibility to read her agenda literally. Otherwise this whole work can just as easily read as a sharp metaphor. But really, you need to have an extremely low degree of self-distance in order to be as offended by this as many white hetero men have been. Instead, if you dare to actually look past the verbal slugging and extreme positioning of Solanas, deranged at times, there are some genuine points made. There is stuff here for a western man to actually ponder. And then, reading this text actually becomes a rather liberating experience. Also, Solanas is funny as hell at times.Absolutely not for everyone, but if you can stand getting slapped around a bit (or well, maybe more than a bit), this is a manifesto well worth reading.read more
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Why are manifestos so often written by crazies? This 50-page anti-male screed by the woman most famous for shooting Andy Warhol is, well, kind of hard to read. I can ignore the man hatred - that's a matter of opinion - but many of her suggestions for improving the world are simply batty. First, that her notion of communism would work. It's inconceivable that all the people of the world would work together towards Solanas's idea of the common good. Second, "automation" does not mean zero work. Machines must be created and maintained. (Of course, I suppose Solanas would expect men to take care of this.) Third, old age is not a disease, and scientists do not hold the secret to immortality. That's patently absurd. If they did, don't you think these supposedly selfish and insecure men would have made themselves immortal by now? So in short, while this was a reasonably entertaining read in parts purely for the novelty factor, it's not something I would recommend. They're not dangerous ideas, merely nonsensical ones.read more
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This book is very good because it explains feminism. It provides biological, historical and sociological observations on the nature of men which is very good. It explains that men must be killed and women reproduce by cloning and details the methods to achieve that end which is useful information. I like this book because it provides a good explanation on feminism.Also it is like a double-edged troll because with this book you can troll both feminists and non-feminists which is convenient because you do not need to use two different trolls.Also it can be found for free on the Google.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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SCUM is short for “Society for Cutting Up Men”, and the manifesto is Valerie Solanas’ infamous text about why the destruction of the male sex is necessary, and her visions about a society free of men. A Stockholm theatre has done a staged version of the manifesto, more or less just presenting the text as it is, causing huge controversy. Public anti-feminist voices have been overbidding each other in condemning the performance, and the actress (but not the male director, go figure) has received numerous death threats, forcing her to play several shows under police protection. A few weeks ago I went to see the performance, and it was really good. This prompted me to pick up the text itself, which I got for Christmas last year from my brother, and has been lingering on my shelf for a year.There’s no doubt Solanas text is very strong medicine indeed. The male is presented as a genetic defect, incapable of any feelings and genuine relations to other, which has created a highly destructive society only to mask this fact. It’s very much a shame that Solanas actually shot Andy Warhol – this act makes it hard to overlook the possibility to read her agenda literally. Otherwise this whole work can just as easily read as a sharp metaphor. But really, you need to have an extremely low degree of self-distance in order to be as offended by this as many white hetero men have been. Instead, if you dare to actually look past the verbal slugging and extreme positioning of Solanas, deranged at times, there are some genuine points made. There is stuff here for a western man to actually ponder. And then, reading this text actually becomes a rather liberating experience. Also, Solanas is funny as hell at times.Absolutely not for everyone, but if you can stand getting slapped around a bit (or well, maybe more than a bit), this is a manifesto well worth reading.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Why are manifestos so often written by crazies? This 50-page anti-male screed by the woman most famous for shooting Andy Warhol is, well, kind of hard to read. I can ignore the man hatred - that's a matter of opinion - but many of her suggestions for improving the world are simply batty. First, that her notion of communism would work. It's inconceivable that all the people of the world would work together towards Solanas's idea of the common good. Second, "automation" does not mean zero work. Machines must be created and maintained. (Of course, I suppose Solanas would expect men to take care of this.) Third, old age is not a disease, and scientists do not hold the secret to immortality. That's patently absurd. If they did, don't you think these supposedly selfish and insecure men would have made themselves immortal by now? So in short, while this was a reasonably entertaining read in parts purely for the novelty factor, it's not something I would recommend. They're not dangerous ideas, merely nonsensical ones.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is very good because it explains feminism. It provides biological, historical and sociological observations on the nature of men which is very good. It explains that men must be killed and women reproduce by cloning and details the methods to achieve that end which is useful information. I like this book because it provides a good explanation on feminism.Also it is like a double-edged troll because with this book you can troll both feminists and non-feminists which is convenient because you do not need to use two different trolls.Also it can be found for free on the Google.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Een vreselijk werk dat gemeend oproept tot de vernietiging van de man, interessant voor wie wil lezen hoe kwaad sommige vrouwen zijn geworden van onderdrukking - A terrible work that demands the destruction of the male sex, interesting to read how angry some women have become because of suppression
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The S.C.U.M. Manifesto is brief, sensationalist, witty, and extreme, and is about the desirability of the destruction of the entire male gender. It's easy to see why many people would find it offensive or insane, because that's basically what it seems to have been meant to be. But once I read not merely the Manifesto itself, but learned a little about Valerie Solanis herself, a different picture emerged. The brief bio of her in the back of this edition is sufficient to help understand her motivations. For those who accuse Solanas of being nothing more than a man-hater, consider that she was molested by her father, beaten by her grandfather, and panhandled and worked as a prostitute to support herself. She had good reason to hate men, but at the same time there's a distinct ambiguity to her anti-male rage, it seems odd to hear her taunt male sexuality by declaring it "incapable of zestfully, lustfully tearing off a piece", and at times she tries to rationalize complete disinterest in sex; "Sex is not part of a relationship; on the contrary, it is a solitary experience, non-creative, a gross waste of time". She even contradicts her own premise; "A woman not only takes her identity and individuality for granted, but knows instinctively that the only wrong is to hurt others, and that the meaning of life is love" (an odd sentiment in a Manifesto about the destruction of the male gender), but also seems consciously aware of it. The purpose of the Manifesto is, after all, to rant. To entertain. And since every sentence explodes from the page with the sort of intensity usually reserved for the most extreme of religious fundamentalists, but with profanity and irreverence that the religious could never condone, it succeeds wonderfully. And furthermore it successfully conveys a message, albeit an over-the-top, exaggerated one, of dissatisfaction with both gender relations and society in general. Was Valerie Solanas insane? It certainly seems that she spent portions of her life that way. But it also seems that at times she was not merely lucid, but quite talented. If anything, the mental illness she suffered from should be viewed in the context of the traumas she endured in life. Given the nature of those traumas, her anger at men and mental instability seem entirely predictable. And the fact that she penned such an extraordinary work, one that has lasted nearly 20 years now beyond her own lifespan in spite of the troubles she had to endure, serves as evidence of a talent which couldn't be completely extinguished even by the harshest adversities. A highly recommended read for anyone who wants something that fearlessly challenges the norms of society as we know it.
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I always view society as ever in a state of tension between mainstream views and more radical ones. That tension eventually resolves over time via the assimilation (and/or co-opting) of the less upsetting-to-the-mainstream ideas into society as a whole. Extreme views from all sides are necessary to shake up and wake up society.This manifesto is as extreme as extreme can get in terms of what it suggests for the future of both capitalism men, but it's provocative and highly tongue-in-cheek. One line in it made me stop cold: "you've got to go through a lot of sex to get to anti-sex," a sentiment ever more relevant given the rise of pseudo-empowerment via raunch culture for women. Worth reading as a shake-up piece if not as a realistic basis for a worldview.
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