SCUM Manifest front cover

SCUM Manifest front cover

by Valerie Solanas
Published in 1996 by AK Press

Valerie Solanas, mostly remembered for attempting to assisinate Andy Warhol, originally wrote and self-published SCUM Manifesto in 1966 if the epilogue’s publishing history is to be believed (other sources I found cite the date as 1968).  Though Solanas’ diatribe against men and society in general never explicitly mentions what the acronym SCUM stands for, it is popularly recalled as an acronym for Society for Cutting Up Men.

This book isn’t much of a sex book, so you might wonder why I listed it here.  To Solanas, sex is an activity devoid of value to women.  Her claims of asexuality and hope for a future completely devoid of sex are evidence of a sex obsession more pervasive and destructive than sex addiction.

Seemingly produced during fits of mania interspersed with short bits of depressed transitions, it doesn’t take long to realize that SCUM Manifesto is clearly the product of a deranged mind. No wonder I enjoyed it.

Solanas’ use of then-current slang is particularly charming . Solanis often describes women, or at least the ones that share her viewpoint, as “groovy.” On the ohter hand men, in Solanas’ view, are creatures almost wholly incapable of doing anything of any worth.  As she wrote, “The male has a negative Midas touch – everything he touches turns to shit.”  She also is a strong critic of capitalism and the money system; claiming that so long as they are existent women will never be able to reach their full potential.

If there is anything kinky about this book it is the ending where the final few pages read like they were intended as a primer for Femdoms. She writes of men in the SCUM Men’s Auxiliary:

…SCUM will conduct Turd Sessions, at which every male present will give a speech beginning with the sentence: “I am a turd, a lowly, abject turd,” then proceed to list all the ways in which he is. His reward for so doing will be the opportunity to fraternize after the session for a whole, solid hour with the SCUM who will be present…

Coming in at just the right length for what it is, SCUM Manifesto is a fun and entertaining read.