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Dec 30 2009

Happy fucking new year

Speaking of mayhem, it’s about time for the Annual Holiday Trio of Random Passages from the SCUM Manifesto.

“A small handful of SCUM can take over the country within a year by systematically fucking up the system, selectively destroying property, and murder:

SCUM will become members of the unwork force, the fuck-up force; they will get jobs of various kinds and unwork. For example, SCUM salesgirls will not charge for merchandise; SCUM telephone operators will not charge for calls; SCUM office and factory workers, in addition to fucking up their work, will secretly destroy equipment. SCUM will unwork at a job until fired, then get a new job to unwork at.

SCUM will forcibly relieve bus drivers, cab drivers and subway token sellers of their jobs and run buses and cabs and dispense free tokens to the public.

SCUM will destroy all useless and harmful objects – cars, store windows, ‘Great Art,’ etc.

Eventually SCUM will take over the airwaves – radio and TV networks – by forcibly relieving of their jobs all radio and TV employees who would impede SCUM’s entry into the broadcasting studios.

SCUM will couple-bust — barge into mixed (male-female) couples, wherever they are, and bust them up.”

and:

“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.”

and:

“It is most tempting to pick off the female “Great Artists,” liars and phonies, etc, along with the men, but that would be inexpedient, as it would not be clear to most of the public that the female killed was a male. All women have a fink streak in them, to a greater or lesser degree, but it stems from a lifetime of living among men. Eliminate men and women will shape up. Women are improvable; men are not, although their behavior is. When SCUM gets hot on their asses it’ll shape up fast.”

What the hell, how about a Holiday Bonus Passage:

“SCUM, being cool and selfish, will not subject itself to getting rapped on the head with billy clubs; that’s for the nice, “privileged, educated” middle class ladies with a high regard for the touching faith in the essential goodness of Daddy and policemen. If SCUM ever marches it will be over the President’s stupid, sickening face; if SCUM ever strikes, it will be in the dark with a six-inch blade.”

Put that in your snowglobe and shake it.

60 comments

  1. PandanCat

    The bonus passage about the essential goodness of Daddy is dead-on. The reason why Gandhi was able to be nonviolent was that the British saw themselves as Good Daddies. They tried that same nonviolent thing in Sri Lanka some 30-40 years later and the government was delighted that everyone had lined up for the firing squad. I explain this to starry-eyed reformers all the time, but do they listen? No, they’d rather hope that Daddy will come to see the error of his ways. Not likely, kids.

    On a lighter note, couple-busting is a lot of fun. You all should try it some time. Make revolution your New Year’s resolution!

  2. crivers

    I love you. I adore you. I appreciate you. Happy Fucking New Year back at you.

  3. Laughingrat

    That was awesome. I’m so glad I stopped by here before heading off to bed. Now I will dream of revolution!

  4. Boad

    …What? I’ll need to look into that as it is not computing.

    One question: What is so wrong with art? Are we usually talking only about the ‘tasteful beautiful’ nudes, or all art? Because I don’t see how bowls of fruit and loaves of bread are threatening, aside from the dudely-formed people that tended to do most of the painting.

  5. mimi

    Jill,

    Have you read Derrick Jensen?

  6. Medbh

    “I Shot Andy Warhol” was on television recently. Love the scene where they’re rehearsing her play in the little diner, and Candy, as the leading lady, is out looking for the turd she lost. She was having men over for dinner, but the turd was for her, she explained, because everyone knows that men really like women who enjoy eating shit.
    Ain’t it the fucking truth.

  7. Beth1

    Yes, Happy New Year!

    Isn’t the SCUM manifesto just a reversal of male hatred for the feminine? Which makes it enlightening, and quite funny in places, but also thickly imbued with patriarchy.

    The “Battle of the Sexes”, with its two teams (masculine men and feminine women), its level playing field (no conflict zones, racism, occupied countries, wealth or poverty or children here, no sir), and its total victory conditions (you’re a winner or a loser, you can’t stop playing. and whoever wins dies out a generation later anyway) is obviously a never-ending game of rugby. We’re not going to win that, they’ve been practising for centuries and have all the kit.

    Honestly, I think it’s a metaphor that trivialises the oppression of women. It makes serving someone a burnt dinner equal to splitting someone’s lip, getting better maths grades equal to earning more money in the workforce, and practically anything equal to rape. It isn’t a game: children exist, so do people with severe learning disabilities, so do nasty women, nice men, rich people, poor people, and transexuals.

    I like the SCUM manifesto, but I don’t think that using it as a basis for criticising “starry-eyed reformers” is fair or useful. The revolution has to be intellectual and personal, action has to be pragmatic (which isn’t to say it can’t be radical or quick). Actual revolution just leads to rape and pillage.

  8. Flores

    I love the strategy of unwork combined with the goal of a moneyless, automated society. Though central to the SCUM Manifesto, this aspect of Solanas’s social vision has never received much attention.

  9. Sarah

    This is so true: “All women have a fink streak in them, to a greater or lesser degree, but it stems from a lifetime of living among men.” So many times I’ve overheard after-hours Pabst-fueled debates going on between women and men about who actually has the power. Many a womanfolk is guilty of trying to convince (or just agree with) men that it’s really women who have the power, because they’re so damn sexy and enigmatic, and can get men to do stupid things like buy drinks and drive fancy cars with the POWER OF BOOBIES. What a crock.

  10. Jezebella

    Heh. You said “power of boobies”. I am so stealing that.

  11. magriff

    Boad:

    What’s wrong with Art, is Great Artists get to decide what constitutes Truth and Beauty. Being that until very recently nearly all Great Artists were men, Truth and Beauty have been defined in terms of dudes. Maleness is the fundamental underpinning of Art, the de facto Artist is Male. Ergo, Art= Tool of the Patriarchy. It’s not that making beautiful things is bad, it’s just that the way we as a society look at art needs to be dismantled, and the first place I would start would be knocking all those damned cult-of-personality male art-eests off their damned pedestals. Which is what Valerie was doing when she shot Andy Warhol.

    If you like Truth and Beauty and lookin’ at purdy things, nature is good. If you really need to look at stuff people make, then folk art is better than high art.

    (Also, frankly, “art” gives me the willies on account of all the metaphysical and spiritual crap that tends to go along with it.)

  12. Comrade PhysioProf

    Happy Fucking New Year to all of you! w00tlolz!

  13. humanbein

    “Uh, the problem with revolutions, uh is that, you see, they uh never work, and uh, whatever replaces it will be much worse.” – my high school history professor, a grade A Moron and former football jock.

  14. Jodie

    If Great Art were really predicated on some quintessential idea of beauty, and not beauty perceived and practiced by one half of the population, there’d be an amazing quilt hanging next to the Mona Lisa.

  15. Jane Q Public

    Happy fucking new year, blamers!

    Jill, thank you for I Blame The Patriarchy. Just wanted to tuck that in with my wishes for the new year.

  16. Cranky Old Coot

    “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.”

    And what will make it EXTRA cruel for a large percentage of the men there is that the women conducting the sessions will NOT be dressed in super sexy leather teddies carrying whips NOR give a shit whether or not this disappoints any doodz in attendance.

    Happy New Year, Jill, and thanks for this truly brilliant blog. I love Valerie Solanas. She completely NAILS the emotional reality and that’s just as important as any question of factual reality or political possibility.

    I second mimi’s question about reading Derrick Jensen. I’m in his reading group and I’m trying to convince him to let the Blamers critique his movie script (that he might turn into a graphic novel with environmental political cartoonist Stephanie McMillan) on the possible uses of knitting needles in stopping rape.

    I hope you had a Merry Goddamn Xmas (or Yule or Kwanzaa or…(oops,I forgot!))
    Bob

  17. procrastinatrix

    Warning: .pdf link

    http://storytellingworld.com/fabric/MonaBrookeSmWeb.pdf

    Here is a nominee to hang beside the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

    Happy New Year, all!

  18. Asteele

    If I can just be one of the “faggots” that watches the revoultion, that would be great.

    It would be.

  19. Lullabee

    “the female killed was a male”

    I’m too lazy to actually read the SCUM manifesto or to go get something to eat in order to make my reading of same possible, and anyway it /is/ pretty much just parodic WHARRGARBL and I do not actually enjoy the prospect of reading the word “faggot” one more time or more goofy lines like, “In actual fact, the female function is to explore, discover, invent, solve problems crack jokes, make music — all with love. In other words, create a magic world.”

    So could somebody please explain what’s with these references to “male-females” and all that? Is it basically wharrgarblese for “women who have internalized sexism”?

    Also… is it supposed to be so randomly cutesy? And why is it so sex-essentialist? I thought everybody knew that once men aren’t on top, they will eventually become proper human beings. Duh. Even starving college freshmen like yours truly know that.

    I do love the idea of “couple-busting”, though. If you actually think about it, in a patriarchal society, it’s hetero couples who are immoral, and they try to hide by creating a homophobic society.

  20. agasaya

    “…in a patriarchal society, it’s hetero couples who are immoral…”

    Let’s not have a lot of hetero-phobia going on here. It’s bad enough that heterosexual females have such an incredibly narrow field of acceptable males from which to choose to have a relationship without being told if we do, we’re immoral.

    A matriarchal society would be no less so. Equality is required – and that includes equality among women of all sexual preferences. That’s an intolerance learned from patriarchy and not helpful in fighting it.

  21. Squiggy

    Happy fucking new year and decade to all you fucking amazing women!

  22. Pinko Punko

    Cool whip all around! Chew toys for Bert and Fran! I am a turd! Solanas the original shit disturber rocks the boat!

  23. figleaf

    Funny how Valerie Solanas sounds so much like Richard Nixon. I hate all that macho absolutist bullshit people like them used to spew back 1960s. You know, all that inadequacy-driven stuff like using axe handles to stop desegregation, using nuclear bombs to do road construction, and killing all the men.

    All in all I prefer Shulamuth Firestone. Nothing inadequate or compensating about her ideas.

    Hope your new year goes better than whatever you’re going through now, Twisty.

    figleaf

  24. Erzebeth

    Happy fucking New Year to Jill, Bert, Fran, Stingray and all the blamers here – cheers!

  25. Flores

    Figleaf, have you read Firestone’s account of her interactions with Solanas in Airless Spaces? Firestone apparently never had much respect for Solanas as a feminist theorist but came to sympathize with her as a victim of oppression. Like almost every part of the book, it’s a heartrending story.

  26. thebewilderness

    Happy Fucking New Year, Jill.
    Who the Fuck are these people?

    May the light
    always find you
    on a dreary day.
    When you need to be home,
    may you find your way.
    May you always have courage
    to take a chance,
    And never find frogs in your
    underpants.

  27. figleaf

    Hi Flores. I haven’t read Firestone’s account but that sounds about right. What happened to Solanas shouldn’t happen to any human being, but neither should her revenge-motivated ideas of social transformation. What Firestone proposed, on the other hand, should happen to every human being, and could. Without making monsters of anyone.

    figleaf

  28. speedbudget

    The power of boobies is a curious thing.
    Make one man weep, make another man sing.
    Change a hawk to a blue footed booby.
    More than a feeling, that’s the power of boobies.

    Tougher than diamonds, rich like cream.
    Stronger and harder than a bad girl’s dream.
    Make a bad one good, make a wrong one right.
    Power of boobies; that keeps you home at night.

  29. SargassoSea

    Seems I’ve misplaced my 6 inch blade. 2010 is safe.

    Happy Fuckin’ New Year Y’all!

  30. Shopstewardess

    Happy fucking new year to you all.

    This version of Bald Headed Blues started my new year off on a great note, and made me think of you, Jill –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNaW6FyiJRI

  31. Jill

    In case this needs clarifying:

    I don’t look to Valerie Solanas as a great feminist theorist or hero. I’m in the camp that views the SCUM Manifesto as a reasonable, understandable and iconic response — one of many — to patriarchal oppression. I appreciate her lively articulation of, you know, rage.

    She didn’t shoot Andy Warhol out of political idealism, by the way, as part of some feminist mission to rid the world of “Great Artists.” She shot him for a much more pedestrian reason: she was mentally ill, and believed he owed her money.

  32. Carolyn

    @thebewilderedness

    Or bats in your bra.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2266900/Teenager-finds-baby-bat-in-her-bra.html

  33. Tehomet

    Thanks Jill for a hilarious and thought-provoking blog. And happy 2010 to one and all.

  34. AileenWuornos

    “For example, SCUM salesgirls will not charge for merchandise; SCUM telephone operators will not charge for calls; SCUM office and factory workers, in addition to fucking up their work, will secretly destroy equipment. SCUM will unwork at a job until fired, then get a new job to unwork at.”

    One of the best parts of the SCUM Manifesto. It’s like looking at my resume. Hahh.

  35. Felicity

    I second how misogyny is all about the emotional. And sometimes the mentally ill can have the clearest insight. Personally, I wish there were more women like Solonas. She did much less harm than female tools.

  36. Felicity

    Beth1 –

    “Actual revolution just leads to rape and pillage.”

    No, ‘actual revolution’ is what it says on the tin. It’s not a game, but sometimes brutal honesty works more than ‘wimpering feminists in a room’. I’d rather be discussing the future of feminism with one woman like Salonas, than with millions of women who start their feminism with the word, ‘But’. Feminists work with the system and compromise, but as Salonas writes, it’s a system that belongs to and was created by men. Men, born with a disorder of inadequacy will percieve any step forward for women a strike down for their team. We live in a game without the kit whether we like it or not.

    The truth about men is probably not something we want to hear; Salonas describes males as having an inherent disorder, resulting from an ultimate feeling of inadequacy. This feeling of inadequacy is why men will always find any step of equality for women a step too far. For people speaking the truth it’s hard not to get angry.

  37. Caro

    Have to say that I agree with agasaya here. I don’t want a matriarchy thank you very much! I have met some wonderful women and some horrible women…same goes for men.

    I also find this article a little childish. Sure…it comes from the anger we all feel about men. But it’s men that need to change. I do not want them wiped off the face of the earth. I have men in my life I love as much as women. Yes….men need to get the patriarchy out of their souls. But so do we, still.

    Many things…particularly the passage about men really wanting to be women – that’s why they denigrate us – I agree with. But the vitriol just reminds me of the stuff you get on M.R.A. sites. Only it’s reversed. Not my cup of tea.

  38. speedbudget

    Felicity: I would argue that men aren’t born inadequate. Those feelings of inadequacy are born from the inherent paranoia one feels when one creates and lives in a wholly idiotic system of power and control made up from whole-cloth and meaninglessly enforced. They know there is no real reason why they are the ones with the power and control. They try to justify it and make everyone else believe it, but deep down in their turdy guts, they know it was just an accident of a hormone wash during their mother’s pregnancy that put them at the top of the pile. (Ever want to freak a guy out? Answer the question “Why do men have nipples?” honestly. It’s really funny.)

  39. Gayle

    “Have to say that I agree with agasaya here. I don’t want a matriarchy thank you very much!”

    We’re not going to see any real change until we have women in power. Not one or two tokens here and there but a lot of women in positions of real power.

    This idea that women are “just as bad” as men doesn’t wash with me. Golda Meir wasn’t a pacifist. But what would have happened if all the nations surrounding Israel at the time where headed by women instead of war obsessed men? What would happen to corporate culture if half our Boards of Directors were female?

    I’m not sitting around waiting for men to change. They have no reason to change. Giving women real power by putting them in decision making roles is a start in the right direction. I support female politicians and female managers, I go out of my way to buy products from women owned businesses so they will grow. Women need to promote each other and support each other.

    This idea that matriarchy is just patriarchy in reverse is bogus anyway. Most of the matriarchial tribes were actually fairly egalitarian.

  40. kristyn

    ”This idea that matriarchy is just patriarchy in reverse is bogus anyway.”

    Men made the ”women are as bad if not worse than men” myth up to keep women in line. It is a mind game that ensures we will still want some sort of control, but fear that if we get it, terrible things will happen.

    Not to mention that ”having more women than we do now in roles with decisionmaking power”, ”having an equal balance of men and women in roles with decisionmaking power”, or god forbid, ”having more women than men in roles with decisionmaking power” =/= ”matriarchy.” It is ever so much more complex and multilayered than that.

  41. Comrade PhysioProf

    I would argue that men aren’t born inadequate. Those feelings of inadequacy are born from the inherent paranoia one feels when one creates and lives in a wholly idiotic system of power and control made up from whole-cloth and meaninglessly enforced.

    This sounds exactly right.

  42. thebewilderness

    Ah yes, the cake or death question!

  43. Jill

    “This idea that matriarchy is just patriarchy in reverse is bogus anyway.”

    Can I get a hell yeah?

  44. Cathy

    Much of the SCUM Manifesto is confusing. But the part about the Men’s Auxiliary reminds me of the putrid website about Manly Men wanting women to be “on board.” Some of the parallels are amusing. I also like this paragraph:

    “Great Art” proves that men are superior to women, that men are
    women, being labeled “Great Art”, almost all of which, as the anti-
    feminists are fond of reminding us, was created by men. We know that “Great Art” is great because male authorities have told us so, and we can’t claim otherwise, as only those with exquisite sensitivities far superior to ours can perceive and appreciate the greatness, the proof of their superior sensitivity being that they appreciate the slop that they appreciate.

  45. sarahcl

    I prefer the terms ‘matricentric’ or ‘matrifocal’, since ‘matriarchy’ strongly implies (even if that’s not what the speaker actually means) a women-up, men-down reversal of the status quo.

    The meaning of words is controlled the public understanding of them – at least using those less familiar terms might prompt a listener to ask/think about what it actually means, rather than just assuming you hate men, and want to treat them as badly as men under patriarchy treat women.

  46. Jonathan

    @magriff:

    Also, frankly, “art” gives me the willies on account of all the metaphysical and spiritual crap that tends to go along with it.

    What gives me the willies about art is the tons of fossil-porn from the 1700s that counts as art. That, and the that museums label all the paintings with women in them as “portrait of a woman”, even when the curators know the woman’s name! If you do research in the museum on the piece, you can find the woman;s name. You just can’t find the it on the label.

    IBTP.

  47. Jezebella

    Jonathan, I’m a curator with an PhD in art history, and you are wrong. Many, many, many, MANY portraits of women never had a name attached, or the name has been lost to history. It’s not so simple to just look it up, I assure you.

  48. rows

    Firestone and Solanas are so different, but one point of convergence is their belief that art has got to go. Art – does anyone want to vouch for it as compatible with feminist revolution?

  49. Jezebella

    I think art is redeemable. Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro have been rocking feminist art for almost forty years now. Two major retrospectives of feminist art traveled the country a few years ago, and the artists in those shows are only the tip of the iceberg. If poets and songwriters can make valid radical feminist stuff, so can visual artists.

  50. Dana

    Shulamith Firestone advocated creating artificial wombs for the growing of human children.

    If we did that in the current environment of patriarchy and woman-hating, they’d kill off 99 percent of the women after harvesting our eggs. The other 1 percent are the supermodels and porn stars.

  51. Dana

    “Golda Meir wasn’t a pacifist. But what would have happened if all the nations surrounding Israel at the time where headed by women instead of war obsessed men?”

    Where would the world be now if stupid fucking men didn’t decide to steal other people’s land for pseudo-religious reasons? There should never have been an Israel to NEED a Golda Meir. That land was stolen not once, but twice, and you can see the original account of the original theft in the Old Testament. Those poor Canaanites. I don’t understand why it’s insanity when Son of Sam says God’s talking to him, but not insanity when a bunch of barbarians drooling over someone else’s land are willingly led into it to pillage and murder by a stuttering crazy dude who got high off the fumes from a burning bush.

    Seriously. I’m sick of this getting a free pass. And they are no bastion of women’s rights either. Ask the Israeli women who’ve been beaten up for not sitting in the back of the bus. Or the Israeli women who can’t get a divorce ’cause their husbands don’t approve.

  52. nails

    Domination and exploitation are built into the current systems in place. Replacing dudes with women in the system wouldn’t fix anything. These systems (corporate, political, religious) are designed to weed out people who act morally.

    A matriarchy with identical institutions wouldn’t be any better than a patriarchy.

  53. Lewis

    Art as social practice is definitely compatible with feminist revolution.

  54. Eurosabra

    Dana,

    You’d be interested in Shulamith Har-Even’s _Thirst: The Desert Trilogy_, a subversive take on the Exodus period. It is true that two of the stories in the trilogy center on men, but one of them is a dissident Hebrew, one a mainstream Canaanite, and the main character of the third is a Hebrew woman. Hebrew, again, the wanderers from abroad, yet to become Israelites, Judeans, or Jews. The 2nd story is in fact an interesting case study for the reader in how to learn to regard oneself as an invader. You may, of course, wish to argue that there is no Exodus without the conquest of Canaan, as Edward Said did, but when he did so he argued that the meaning of “the Lord brought ME out of Egypt” and “in every generation” is that there is no Hebrew, no Israelite, no Judean and no Jew, no Yid, even, without imperialism. And that implies that the defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto did evil in the eyes of Ba’al.

    On the other hand, it is interesting to meet a real Canaanite, not one of Ratosh’s Hebrew-imperialist-assimilationist Canaanites, but someone who thinks that all Israel was always a mistake.

  55. agasaya

    Dana,

    If you wish to provide revisionist history to the group, don’t use stories from the Bible to do so. Those really have little bearing on the facts behind the creation of Israel and the many occupiers of that land over the millenia – since no one can be said to actually own land anyway. Nor does it speak to the patriarchal structures which created and maintains the inferno that all in that region are consumed by on a daily basis. There are sufficient historical texts available to analyze that properly.

    Most religious fanatics were backed by men who know better and thought they’d gain $$$ and support through indulging males within such factions. It’s not unlike how the religious right became so prominent in the US via the grace of the wealthy Republican party buying up constituents among the poorer classes – and then losing control of them.

    Eurosabra – Women are invaders in patriarchal societies and were considered as such, long before biblical texts were written down and codified. Do you have some place in mind where we ought to go once we declare ourselves to no longer be ‘property’?

    Anti-Semitic rhetoric is not useful in understanding the oppression of women across cultures.

  56. Eurosabra

    I can’t answer that but I hope the answer would be a version of the idealized “One State” option: everyone in place and everyone free. And as with OneState, as a white-appearing Israeli-citizen Jewish d00d, I would be slated to give up virtually everything I have ever known, on Day One.

  57. Felicity

    ‘(Ever want to freak a guy out? Answer the question “Why do men have nipples?” honestly. It’s really funny.)’

    Yeah, anything is funny which successfully deflates a male ego. And then tell them the scientific reason for it: They grow nipples as female embryos before they grow into males. So they start out fine!

  58. Hedgepig

    Speaking of icons/iconoclasts, Mary Daly died a couple of days ago.

  59. Lil

    Oh yes, fight fire with fire, what a grand idea! Oh yes let’s have women torture men, that will definitely make men and women (because there are no other genders obviously) equal. I’m going to stop reading this blog now and wonder if there’s a single feminist blog in existence that doesn’t spout prejudiced shite in one form or another.

  60. Jill

    “I’m going to stop reading this blog now and wonder if there’s a single feminist blog in existence that doesn’t spout prejudiced shite in one form or another.”

    Well, Lil, no there isn’t, because all blogs, even feminist ones, abide in a patriarchy. It is the particular nature of a world order such as patriarchy to preclude the existence of alternative paradigms; we are all of us afflicted. Your melodramatic flounce-off, for example, is an antic straight from the Culture of Oppression Handbook. Congratulations.

    P.S. You appear to have misconstrued our attitude toward Valerie Solanas. We do not so much advocate her political beliefs as acknowledge the epic scope and poetic breadth of her anger.

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