DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - SECOND - THIRD DE­GREE

‘ 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 Amer­i­cana 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 civic­minded, 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.

SCUM, by work­ing to de­stroy the money sys­tem, government, law and or­der — the whole male- erected sys­tem of so­ci­ety — will pave the way for a world where male vi­o­lence would be unimag­in­able.

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 that truly de­serves a lip­stick up its you- knowwhat. Nei­ther would Mother Na­ture, I’m guess­ing.

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