SCUM Manifesto : Swiftean Satire or Political Program?

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.

>> Dr Margaret Mayhew is a Melbourne based artist, academic and activist. She is interested in how the politics of gender and sexuality are enacted through everyday cultural practices particularly in visual culture, fashion, craftivism, sex entertainment and life drawing. She has taught at La Trobe University, Melbourne University, University of Sydney, University of Technology, Sydney.

Time:       6.30pm-8.00pm

Location: The Alderman (upstairs)

                134 Lygon St, East Brunswick

Format:   45 minute conversation,

               45 minute open discussion