“Overlooked No More: Valerie Solanas, Radical Feminist Who Shot Andy Warhol
She made daring arguments in “SCUM Manifesto,” her case for a world without men. But her legacy as a writer and thinker was overshadowed by one violent act.”
The piece itself notes she argued for the wholesale extermination of men, that other people treated it as satire, but she defended its seriousness. And of course she shot and tried to kill Warhol and came very close to succeeding. The nature of her other contributions is far from clear, although toward the end of her life she was eating from a dumpster bin in Phoenix.
Later, she moderated her views, and the NYT piece ends with this:
…the author, Breanne Fahs, writes about an exchange between Solanas and her friend Jeremiah Newton. Newton asked Solanas if her manifesto was to be taken literally. “I don’t want to kill all men,” she replied. But, using an expletive, she added: “I think males should be neutered or castrated so they can’t mess up any more women’s lives.”
Loyal MR readers will know that this is not a media-bashing site, nor is it a NYT-bashing site. I remain proud to have written there for ten years, and I remain a loyal subscriber, as I have been since I was ten years old.
But…come on. If you work for The Times, I hope you are in some way able to raise your voice against what can only be described as a grotesque embarrassment, not to mention a contradiction of Black [Men’s] Lives Matter. Maybe the headline will be gone or changed by the time you read this, but the saddest part is that this seems to be part of a pattern, not just a one-off mistake. I’ve known many people at the NYT, at various levels, and each and every one has seemed like a good (and talented) person to me. I can only conclude that something has gone very very badly wrong in the editorial control process.
Addendum: Timothy Noah comments.