The New York Times has left many scratching their heads over a story about feminist Valerie Solanas’ activism being “overshadowed” by the small fact that she attempted to murder film director 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,” Bonnie Wertheim writes as part of the “overlooked no more” series for the paper, which looks to highlight “remarkable people” whose deaths went unreported by the Times.
While she was a feminist author, Solanas was most famous for shooting and attempting to kill Warhol at his studio on June 3, 1968, a year after she self-published her ‘Manifesto’ on the extermination of men. Solanas also shot art critic Mario Amaya and tried to fire on Warhol’s manager before her gun jammed. She later turned herself into police and served a three year prison sentence. She was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Her attempt to murder multiple people, Wertheim argues, “reduced” Solanas to a “tabloid headline” and despite the crime being the reason she found fame in the first place, it was “hardly her most meaningful contribution to history.”
The paper’s blatant attempt to turn Solanas into a victim whose legacy was destroyed by “one violent act” has left many expressing shock and accusing the Times of reframing history.
“NYT wants to correct the historical record, lamenting that Valerie Solanis’s ‘daring’ arguments for ‘cutting up men’ were overshadowed by that *one* time she tried to murder a man,” ‘Vice News Tonight’ correspondent Michael C Moynihan tweeted in reaction.
“Do my eyes deceive me, or did the nyt just valorize valerie solanas, the woman who shot, debilitated, and nearly killed Andy Warhol?” Bloomberg columnist Adam Minter added.
do my eyes deceive me, or did the nyt just valorize valerie solanas, the woman who shot, debilitated, and nearly killed andy warhol? “hardly her most meaningful contribution to history,” the paper says. i see.
Oh. Wow. https://t.co/Er5xvIa7cC
Writings from Solanas that the Times piece — coming from the same paper that apologized for printing an oped by Republican Senator Tom Cotton — argues makes her worthy of modern feminist praises includes text from ‘Manifesto’ where she refers to “maleness” as an “emotional deficiency” and recommends women “destroy the male sex.”
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