"Life’ in this ‘Society’ being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of ‘Society’ being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex."
in 1967, New York writer and hustler Valerie Solanis started selling mimeographed copies of her booklet arguing for the violent overthrow of the patriarchy, and the biological elimination of all men.
The manifesto has been mired in controversy ever since; over whether the extremist demands were serious precursor to radical feminism, or part of a literary device satirising the prevailing view of women as ‘the weaker sex.’.
50 years after its publication, Margaret Mayhew will consider if and how the Scum Manifesto can be considered as relevant to and useful for gender politics of the 21st century.
We will examine the role of scandalous critique in informing radical movements, and consider how the Scum Manifesto continues to influence feminism and transgender politics today.