For the most part, people like to vilify Valerie Solanas for shooting Andy Warhol and nearly cutting the iconic artist’s life short. They write her off as a “dyke,” a “feminist,” a “crazy bitch.” But does anyone ever bother to think about all the actions of certain “men” that led her to that breaking point in 1968? That point where she was like, “Yeah, I need to buy a fucking gun and shoot this fey motherfucker–the representation of everything that’s ruined me.”
After Warhol agreed to produce her play, Up Your Ass, and then didn’t, Solanas was naturally a bit hurt, as most people with functioning emotions would be when a promise is made and then not kept. Then, spurred on by the paranoid schizophrenia that most “men” have an innate talent for inflicting upon every woman they fuck over, she began to think that he was stealing her work–not just Up Your Ass, but also the crowning achievement in her oeuvre, S.C.U.M. Manifesto (S.C.U.M. being an acronym for Society for Cutting Up Men). When Maurice Girodias, the owner of Olympia Press, offered to publish the manifesto, she interpreted the deal to mean that he would thereby have complete control over the rights to the work–which really isn’t that far-fetched of a postulation. She became convinced that Girodias and Warhol were in league together. Armed with a chip on her shoulder and a desire to shoot up every “man” who disappointed her and threatened her artistic license, Solanas stormed the Factory and took aim at Warhol, Mario Amaya (an art critic/museum director) and Fred Hughes (Warhol’s manager). Those shots were all she needed for the sweet release of getting a “man” to wake the fuck up about how much he pissed her off.