Kurt Cobain on the “incredible ideas” of Valerie Solanas

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain is frequently portrayed as a scruffy grunge hero in ripped trousers, but the Nirvana vocalist was far more than what Primark T-shirts suggest. Not only was Cobain undoubtedly one of the most accomplished songwriters of the 1990s, but he was also a genuinely cerebral individual. He had a strong interest in art and literature.

Cobain’s creative lyrics and strained vocals, which were once praised as genius, are still as popular today as they were when he was recording with Nirvana. In addition to his extensive knowledge and passion for punk and alternative rock history, the lyricist was immersed in classic literature from an early age.

The Nirvana leader was known for his admiration of counterculture authors and the Beat Generation, with William S. Burroughs being a particularly influential figure. Cobain’s more obscure and unconventional favorite was radical feminist Valerie Solanas. Her major work, SCUM Manifesto, is acknowledged as a key influence on Kurt.

Solanas is best known for her attempted murder of pop artist Andy Warhol. However, this incident overshadows her pioneering work as a radical feminist and open lesbian in the 1950s. Following a horrific childhood marked by sexual abuse at the hands of her father and grandfather, the New Jersey-born psychotherapist composed the SCUM Manifesto after coming to Berkeley.

Cobain describes Solanas as “a militant feminist with some incredible ideas.” Everyone deemed her nuts since her thoughts were rather violent. [The book] argues women should run the world, and I agree with that.”

Much of the frontman’s life has been affected by important women and female artists. It’s not surprising that he admires Solanas’ radical feminism, which is frequently judged too extreme by more liberal feminist groups.

What is the SCUM Manifesto?

Solanas’ book, SCUM Manifesto, is frequently referred to as an acronym for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men‘. Published in 1967, a year before Warhol’s shooting, the book contends that men have wrecked the world. It argues that direct action from women is required to repair this by eventually eliminating the male species.

SCUM, a severe self-published critique of patriarchy, was often deemed too harsh by prominent feminists like Betty Friedan. In recent years, it has been criticized, along with the radical feminist movement as a whole, for excluding the trans community.

Solanas‘ work was groundbreaking and unequaled at the time of publication. However, it gained little notice until she attempted to murder Warhol. The trial resulted in a diagnosis of delusional schizophrenia. SCUM has now become a lauded and significant work. Solanas, who served as a type of bible for the progressive feminist organization Cell 16, had a significant impact on many artists and performers. This influence extended to the Riot Grrrl movement and, of course, Kurt Cobain.

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