‘Every man, deep down, knows he’s a worthless piece of shit.’
—Valerie Solanas, The SCUM Manifesto
If you were in Delhi this past week, there was no way you could have escaped being affected by the public protests over the (I’m not going to bother saying ‘alleged’) gang rape of a 23-year-old in a moving bus last Sunday.
The rage in the air was so thick you could have cut it with a shaving blade. But it was frustrating to see the business-as-usual, TRP-driven spectacle of assorted talking heads and politicians and cops and news anchors engaged in competitive verbal flatulence.
Not one TV channel or newspaper was asking the really important question: Are men necessary? Let’s begin from where we want to be: A world where men won’t rape women. What then is the most logical solution? A world without men.
This is not my idea, nor is it an original one. Such a solution has been imagined, and proposed, many times before. The most celebrated of such proposals is the American radical feminist, Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto, published in 1967. In case you were wondering, SCUM stands for Society for Cutting Up Men.
“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 destroy the male sex.” Thus begins Solanas’ scintillating ode to the utter redundancy of the human male.
Solanas calls for the elimination of men as the only way to secure a life of meaning and dignity for women, and also for men. And if there’s one place in the world where her argument would be irrefutable, it has to be Delhi, the rape capital of the world.
Solanas wastes no time trying to buttress her case with sophisticated philosophical arguments. In any case, “the male,” she points out, “is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion… to be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited… Women don’t have penis envy; men have pussy envy.” Hence the male compulsion to keep women under subjugation, both physically and psychically, with the most direct embodiment of this being rape.
In literature, the most deadly, most beautiful (her role was played by the late Aaliyah in a botched Hollywood adaptation) and personally, my most favourite, advocate of genocide against men is the vampire queen, Akasha. The eponymous villain of Anne Rice’s best-seller Queen Of The Damned (Book III of The Vampire Chronicles, and the sequel to the sequel to Interview With The Vampire) is the only woman in the history of the world, real or imagined, to have carried out a systematic pogrom against men with the objective of nudging mortals like you and me toward a world without rape, war or random acts of male violence.
Akasha is an ancient, powerful vampire from pre-Biblical Egypt, which had a matriarchal society. When she is awakened in the 20th century, she is so appalled by the wars, rapes, assorted atrocities, and general mismanagement unleashed by men in positions of power that she concludes that the best way to bring peace among humans is to have one male for every 99 females. The males would be kept purely for breeding and recreation purposes, nothing more. “Can you conceive of bands of roving women intent only on destruction? Or rape? Such a thing is preposterous …. The possibility of peace on earth has always existed, and there have always been people who could realize it, and preserve it, and those people are women. If one takes away the men.” That is Akasha for you.
For once I was rooting for the ‘bad guy’ to win. But alas, the gorgeous Akasha, being a vampire, could not be allowed to triumph over humans — it would go against the norms of the vampire genre. Rice would go only thus far, and no further. But I, like Solanas, would have no objection to an ethnic cleansing of the ‘dented’, ‘tainted’ race. Neither would Mother Nature, I’m guessing.
The writer is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org