Valerie Solanas

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Valerie Jean Solanas (April 9, 1936 – April 25, 1988) was an American radical feminist writer, best known for her attempted murder of Andy Warhol in 1968. She wrote the SCUM Manifesto which encouraged male gendercide and the creation of an all-female society.


Early life

Solanas was born in Ventnor City, New Jersey to Louis Solanas and Dorothy Biondi. She claimed that she regularly suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Her parents divorced when she was 11, and her mother remarried shortly afterwards. Solanas disliked her stepfather and began rebelling against her mother and became a truant. Because of her rebellious behavior, her mother sent her to be raised by her grandfather in 1949. Solanas claimed that her grandfather was a violent alcoholic who often beat her. When she was 15, her grandfather kicked her out, rendering her homeless. In spite of this, she graduated from high school with her class and earned a degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

She did nearly a year of graduate work in psychology at University of Minnesota. In 1953, she gave birth to a son, David. Other details of her life until 1966 are unclear, but it is believed she traveled the country as an itinerant, supporting herself by begging and prostitution.

New York City and The Factory

Solanas arrived in Greenwich Village in 1966, where she wrote a play titled Up Your Ass about a man-hating prostitute and a panhandler. In 1967, she encountered Andy Warhol outside his studio, The Factory, and asked him to produce her play. Intrigued by the title, he accepted the script for review. According to Factory lore, Warhol, whose films were often shut down by the police for obscenity, thought the script was so pornographic that it must be a police trap. He never returned it to Solanas. The script was then lost, not to be found until after Warhol's death, in the bottom of one of his lighting trunks.

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