'SCUM Manifesto' is a radical, passionately feminist manifesto by Valerie Solanas, first published in 1967. 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 organisation dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex. Widely regarded as satirical, but based on legitimate philosophical and social concerns, it has been reprinted at least 10 times in English, translated into 13 languages, and often excerpted. The term "S.C.U.M." was said to stand for "Society for Cutting Up Men", but Solanas insisted that it was not an acronym, although the expanded term appeared in a Village Voice ad she had written in 1967. Solanas held a series of recruitment meetings for SCUM at the Chelsea Hotel where she lived, but a decade later insisted that the organisation was "just a literary device" and never really existed. Solanas attempted to kill Andy Warhol in 1968, and this event brought significant public attention to both the Manifesto and Solanas herself. While some feminists, such as Florynce Kennedy and Ti-Grace Atkinson, defended Solanas and considered the Manifesto a valid criticism of patriarchy, others, such as Betty Friedan, considered Solanas's views to be too radical and polarising.
Valerie Jean Solanas (1936–1988) was an American radical feminist and author best known for writing the SCUM Manifesto and attempting to murder artist Andy Warhol in 1968. She shot at Warhol three times, the first two shots missing and the final one wounding the artist. She also shot art critic Mario Amaya, and attempted to shoot Warhol's manager, Fred Hughes, point blank, but the gun jammed. Solanas then turned herself in to the police and was charged with attempted murder, assault, and illegal possession of a gun. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and pleaded guilty to "reckless assault with intent to harm", serving a three-year prison sentence, including treatment in a psychiatric hospital. After her release, she continued to promote the SCUM Manifesto. She died in 1988 of pneumonia in San Francisco.
Our copy shows moderate external wear consistent with its age, but inside, the binding is firm and all pages clean (apart from an ink-written exclamation mark in the margin of P.24), though heavily tanned throughout. The rear cover is a little torn at the lower end of the angle with the spine (see photo).