Equality means equality for everyone.
I was walking along Whyte Avenue, and was frustrated to see so many casual advertisements for the SCUM Manifesto. Valerie Solanas wrote the S.C.U.M. Manifesto in 1967, and it’s basically a monologue that is often presented via theatre. The S.C.U.M. Manifesto was advertised as a theatre event during the recent Fringe Festival.
The SCUM Manifesto poster for the Edmonton Fringe Festival advertises the event as “feminist”. If you read the content of the S.C.U.M. manifesto, it argues that men have ruined the world, and that it is up to women to fix it. To achieve this goal, it suggests the formation of SCUM, an organization dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex. The Manifesto suggests the extermination of men, and that women are superior. The Manifesto is widely regarded as satirical, and feminists claim it is based on legitimate philosophical and social concerns. Solanas herself conceded in an issue of Village Voice ad that S.C.U.M. stands for Society of Cutting Up Men.
I think it is significant to note that Solanas was seriously abused by her father, and this obviously colored her view of the other gender. I would like to see people like this get proper mental health help to recover from their abuse.
Some of us with concerns about men’s issues have wondered how the Manifesto can be considered satirical, since Solanas literally shot two men in 1968, and almost killed one of them. It was an attempted murder. Warhol was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived: surgeons opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again. He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life, including being required to wear a surgical corset. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art. Also, Solanas told reporters that that SCUM was just a literary device, but she held a series of recruitment meetings for SCUM at the Chelsea Hotel where she lived.
Solanas was arrested the day after the shooting. When asked for an explanation, she said that Warhol “had too much control over my life.” Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from Warhol’s Factory, after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script had apparently been misplaced.
The rhetorical question is: If this monologue and manifesto was titled S.C.U.W (Society for Cutting Up Women) would it celebrated on Whyte Avenue as part of the Fringe Festival? If the author was a man who shot and almost killed a woman, would we be showcasing his manifesto?