Enter Valerie Solanas,
the Founding Mother of SCUM
(the Society for Cutting Up Men).
Solanas is portrayed as emerging from
Antheil’s misogynism and Warhol’s mishandling
of Hedy–an Avenging Exorcist
The male is a biological accident:
the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes.
In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage.
He hates his passivity, so he projects it onto women, defines the male as active, then sets out to prove that he is (“Prove he’s a Man”). (3)
Notice The Missing Stem Of The X Chromosome To Give You A Y Chromosome
SCUM MISSION STATEMENT
We are “hateful violent bitches given to slamming those who unduly irritate them in the teeth;
who’d sink a shiv into a man’s chest or ram an ice pick up his asshole as soon as look at him,
if they knew they could get away with it. . .
“. . .in short, those who, by the standards of our ‘culture’ are SCUM….these females are cool and relatively cerebral and skirting asexuality.”
Valerie’s psychological work-up after her arrest:
“a female who, except for her flowing hair, is an extremely aggressive creature, far more masculine than female”
but also: “she makes strenuous efforts to present herself as a hard, tough critical misanthrope, [but] Solanas is actually a very frightened and depressed child…”
Valerie “left her script [of Up Your Ass] with Warhol, and then it disappeared, like so much else into the general Factory clutter. This would have disastrous consequences later, as Valerie, in the grip of increasing paranoia, became convinced that Warhol had stolen her play” (Harron xviii).
It didn’t help that she encountered in Warhol’s Factory what Harron describes as “a chorus of narcissists,” one of whom informed her that she had fallen out of favor with Warhol and thus was effectively “excommunicated.”
Her frustration grew. . .
Valerie [of Warhol]. Talking to him is like talking to a chair. And he still has my script, and he won’t give it back. I think he wants to steal it–make a movie of my script and not give me any credit. I know Warhol has front groups, that he’s an invisible partner in a lot of enterprises… (Harron 119)
Invisible partners…ghost writers…phantasmal texts…
Her growing rage extended to her publisher, who would have suffered Warhol’s fate had he been in his office that terrible day:
[Letter to her editor]
Your secret agent knew where I was, because of the transmitter in my uterus.
Entering the Factory studio in a rage, she shot Warhol, acting out a script of revolting against male oppression she had set forth in her Manifesto.
The bullet made a zigzag pattern through the unfortunate Warhol’s body.
Photo: Richard Avedon
Her rage over a supposed stolen text and a stolen life zigzags through this project as well, finding other potential targets…
As in I Take This Woman (for Granted):
We protest. . .
The “widespread lack of self-confidence brought about by the father system that discourages many talented girls from becoming scientists.”
Or the extra who assaulted Hedy in the darkened showroom:
“SCUM will couple-bust—barge into mixed (male-female) couples, wherever they are, and bust them up.”
“The elimination of any male is . . .a righteous and good act, an act highly beneficial to women as well as an act of mercy.”
…or glandular voyeurs whom she consigns to slow deaths in a gluttonous indulgence in the male gaze:
The few remaining men can exist out their puny days dropped out on drugs or strutting around in drag or passively watching the high-powered female in action, fulfilling themselves as spectators, vicarious livers, or breeding in the cow pasture with the toadies. . .
. . .who can go off to the nearest friendly suicide center where they will be quietly, quickly, and painlessly gassed to death.
More humanely, Solanas even argued for a completely automated society in which males could be rendered harmless and pacified.
It will be electronically possible for him to tune in to any specific female he wants to and follow in detail her every movement.
The females will kindly, obligingly consent to this, as it won’t hurt them in the slightest and it is a marvelously kind and humane way to treat their unfortunate handicapped fellow beings. (46)
Note: “Valerie’s almost naive fifties’ faith in the power of science and technology underpins her Manifesto‘s utopianism”
THE BACK STORY
Abused by her father, turned out on the streets, her bitterness grew.
In “A Young Girl’s Primer, or How to Attain to the Leisure Class,” Valerie discusses her life on the streets with a touch of humor and a larger measure of underlying bitterness:
A way of life appropriate for a young woman of taste, cultivation and sensitivity…I finally hit upon an excellent paying occupation, challenging to the ingenuity, dealing on one’s own terms with people and affording independence, flexible hours, great stability and, most important, a large amount of leisure time, an occupation highly appropriate to female sensibilites. I contemplate my good fortune as I begin work for the day:
“Pardon me, Sir, do you have fifteen cents?”
“Sure, Sweetie, here.”
It’s my wild body–gets them almost every time. (Harron xvi)
Valerie describes a wild adolescence involving shoplifting and other petty crimes and, by the age of thirteen, ‘many sexual experiences'” (Harron xii).
Valerie: “But first a few little acquisitions from the 5 & 10 since it’s right here. I enter, considering what more I, as a woman, can do for my country–shoplift” (Harron xvviii)
To lock an object, select the object and then choose ARRANGE / LOCK
Or when your life is stolen from you?
…or made into a travesty?
…or maybe just as a compulsion?
Girl, Intercepted: Oscar-nominated actress Winona Ryder, 30, was arrested at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills Wednesday after store clerks said they saw her place an estimated $4,760 worth of clothes and accessories into her bag with the security tags ripped off, Reuters reported. ‘It wasn’t like the crime of the century’: Winona Ryder on THAT shoplifting incident and how it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Warhol had seen something of himself in Valerie:
“He was very limited [in social situations]; he was so difficult–she was so offbeat” (Paul Morrissey)
“Warhol and Valerie had much in common: both were Catholic, born into blue-collar families, and spent their childhood in poverty; were intellectually precocious; and had experienced being tormented at school” (Harron xix)
Similar Backgrounds / Similar Fates
As Jeremiah Newton observes:
“Both died the moment she shot him.”
Her hopeless quest: “SCUM doesn’t yet prevail; SCUM’s still in the gutter of society, which, if it’s not deflected from its present course and if the Bomb doesn’t drop on it, will hump itself to death.”