The scum* who shot Andy Warhol!
*Please let it be noted that Valerie Solanas enjoyed being the scum of society, as her future intentions were to end it anyway. Also, don’t forget to follow the link I provided below to read the SCUM ManifestoValerie Solanas is the woman who infamously shot Andy Warhol. Warhol and Solanas did have a friendship before the shooting. She desired to have her play “Up Your Ass” produced by him, and he found her way of life and thinking fascinating. There was a certain mutual respect, but when it became evident that Warhol was no longer interested in her, he failed to return her only copy of her play. Warhol had control over Solanas’ life. She shot him for it. What is more interesting is that after Solanas shot Warhol people were quick to call her and her work, the SCUM Manifesto, maniacal. There was a wide acceptance that Solanas had not written her manifesto as a cry for the rise of women but instead it was an insane call to arms against men.
Of course, the manifesto’s apparent rantings only serve to promote these assumptions. Perhaps she did not mean it at all or perhaps she meant every word. The problem I have is that since she nearly murdered a popular artist, most people were more interested in pointing out her flaws and can not truly see the messages she was sending. I feel obligated to play devil’s advocate and state that she did make some astute observations about problems within our (American/ Western) society which appear on a superficial level as the rantings of an angry feminist. Solanas is indeed a scholar and a thinker, and she only wanted to unite women against an unfair system of oppression. This is a defense that was attempted to be made in the Mary Harron 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.
A clip from the film I Shot Andy Warhol, each time Valerie Solanas is in black and white she is reading from the SCUM Manifesto
By no means am I saying that I believe that Solanas was in her right mind. I agree with the notion that she was mentally ill. Yet her observations on the ways the work force, economy, government, religion and many other aspects of society are detailed and difficult to argue. Her demands are simple, make women join together against the unfair systems men have put in place and replace the useless work men have invented to wasted time with automated machines. Just take away the mass murder of men, and the close-minded hatred and discrimination she feels towards the male sex (in all of its presentations) in the manifesto and you might find something worth your while!