Feminism, The Cause of Andy Warhol’s Death?

Redefining art in the 1960’s, well-known artist Andy Warhol created pieces to reflect on American capitalism and the things we consume. With the multiple locations to create his artwork, Warhol became one of the greatest artists in New York City. One of these well-known locations was known as “The Factory”, in which the artist was able to create pieces with the help of his assistants. Gaining more popularity throughout the years, Warhol would eventually catch the eye of the female writer and feminist, Valerie Solana. Not only was Valerie following the artist, but she also wanted him to produce her play “SCUM Manifesto”, in which it explained for the removal of men and the environment of a perfect female society. However, conflicting with what Warhol believed in and created in his artwork, Valerie never received a response back.

Valerie Solana was brought up in New Jersey, living a life most people could not imagine. Before the age of 14 years old, she was traumatically raped by her own father, as well as abused physically by her grandfather. Once she hit the age of 15 years old, she had become pregnant, giving her children up for adoption. This choice led her to go back to school, where she ended up finding her love for writing, as well as for women. Finding her passion for women and wanting to get rid of the male sex, Valerie began to write the “SCUM Manifesto”. With many people believing it as a joke, Valerie began to struggle with her mental health, feeling like the odd man out. As her paranoia worsened, so did her anger, causing her to search for Andy Warhol after his lack of response.

Showing up at “The Factory” on June 3, 1968, Valerie was on her mission on finding the artist herself, to discuss something very important on her mind. Believing Warhol had too much control over her life, Valerie waited hours for the arrival of the artist. With the arrival of Andy Warhol and everyone else in his office building, Valerie began to shoot, aiming specifically for the artist. Striking Warhol, the artist had fallen to the ground, giving Valerie the aim she had been wanting the whole time. Pressing up against his side, Valerie shoots, damaging all of Warhol’s major organs inside of his body. She was eventually arrested, however Andy Warhol survived with long term damages affecting his future. Having to wear a corset for the rest of his life, Warhol also lived with many infections, the fear of hospitals, had gallbladder surgery, and eventually died.

Some believed his death was coincidental, however, many blame Andy Warhol’s death on the writer and feminist Valerie Solana. Being involved with feminism, what differentiates an event from becoming a “cause of death” from a “feminist movement”? With her publication of “SCUM Manifesto” still up to this day, many can go over her beliefs, comparing hers to what Warhol believed in.

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Sage I

2 thoughts on “Feminism, The Cause of Andy Warhol’s Death?

  1. to say that feminism killed Andy Warhol is like saying being alive causes asthma. sure, asthma patients are breathing, the same way that Andy Warhol was killed by a feminist. but saying feminism is to blame here is truly laughable when we connect it to our being alive analogy. theres plenty people breathing who do not have a lung disease. there is this saying i really like regarding criminal behavior: genetics load the gun, personality and psychology aims it, and your experiences pull the trigger. feminism affects a person’s experiences and their psycholgy at most, and to conclude this multi-factor cause and effect in binary terms would not be correct.

  2. The feminist social movement should not be responsible for Andy Warhol’s death, the feminist Valerie Solana is the one responsible. We can see social movements as separate from the people that join them. The movement of feminism which seeks equal rights for the genders will attract all kinds of people including extremists irrespective of what the movement itself stands for. Look at the civil rights movement and the differing contributions of MLK jr and the black panthers. Some act in violence and others in demonstration. Can the civil rights movement be responsible for the actions of black panthers just because it motivated their formation in the first place? I believe not because those individuals who had the capacity for and intended to do harm were present in the first place. The exploration of these ideas is necessary and even though they can have very unfortunate accidents such as violent groups and individuals, we live in an imperfect and accident prone world. It is one where an individual such as Valerie Solana may commit a horrible crime because she attributes much of her personal suffering to an innocent artist who had nothing to do with it. Valerie Solana deserved adequate and, in my opinion, very severe punishment but do not let that reflect on the feminist movement itself. Even in her own thoughts, many are counter to much of the movement’s values. The movement stood for equality, Valerie Solana stood for the discrimination and genocide of all men. The movement stood against violence, Valerie Solana attempted to murder an innocent man for her own selfish reasons. Let’s not mix the two.

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