Who Was the Naked Protestor at Cannes Film Festival?

A Reminder That Not Every Feminist is an Alley!

Who Was the Naked Protestor at Cannes Film Festival?

This week, on May 20th, 2022, a naked protestor stripped off on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival to reveal her body painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag with the words “Stop Raping Us” in a solo protest.

The protest was over Russian soldiers’ rapes and widespread sexual violence happening to Ukrainian women during the ongoing war. 

Credit: Daniel Cole/AP
Who Was the Naked Protestor at Cannes Film Festival?
Credit: Daniel Cole/AP

Who was the Naked Protestor?

The protestor had “SCUM” written on her back, which affiliated her with the French feminist group. SCUM is self-described “radical feminist activists and universalist blasphemers” group.

On Instagram, the group stated that one of its members went to the festival to “denounce the sexual torture suffered by Ukrainian women in the war.”

While the cause of the protest is something we all stand for, the group SCUM needs to be talked about just a little bit. 

Before we start, we want to confirm that at El-Shai, we, as an entity and individuals, are feminists to the core, and we believe this shows in the content we provide. Feminism isn’t about “hating men” but more about equality between all genders. Unfortunately, through the years, extreme feminism, especially in Europe, has ruined the cause. 

Now let us go back to explaining who “SCUM” are.

The French activist group SCUM bases its ideology on the SCUM Manifesto, a radical feminist manifesto by Valerie Solanas, published in 1967. 

The manifesto argues that men have ruined the world and that it is up to women to fix it. Achieving this goal suggests the formation of SCUM, an organization dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex. 

Oh yes, they want to end all men.

The manifesto went unnoticed when it was first published, but its writer’s action made it more known a year later.

Who is Valerie Solanas?

If you think the name Valerie Solanas sounds familiar, it’s because she attempted to murder the artist Andy Warhol. 

Why?

Because Warhol lost a play script she sent to him to produce, and to compensate her, he hired her to perform in another play of his. 

Yes, she attempted to shoot him because he lost her script and was nice enough to compensate her for it by offering another role. 

According to biography.com:

In 1965, Solanas completed her first major work: A play called Up Your Ass (Full title: Up Your Ass or From the Cradle to the Boat or The Big Suck or Up from the Slime), about a street-smart lesbian prostitute and her off-color associates. She tried finding a producer for the play, even sending it to the city’s resident celebrity artist, Andy Warhol (who she hadn’t formally met yet), but no one wanted to touch the overtly lewd material. Warhol declined to produce Solanas’ play.

Two years later, the writer completed her calling card, The SCUM Manifesto. Laying out the mission of her Society for Cutting Up Men, the treatise called for the elimination of the male sex and the establishment of a utopian society of women. To some, it was a radical feminist call to arms; to others, an obvious, attention-seeking attempt at satire.

Who Was the Naked Protestor at Cannes Film Festival?
Who Was the Naked Protestor at Cannes Film Festival?

About the shooting of Warhol, it was said that she believed Warhol had too much control over her life, because he refused to produce her work, so she decided to kill him.

That year Solanas also finally gained an audience of Warhol at the Factory, his legendary Midtown loft known for its art shows, dazzling parties, and counterculture icons. She badgered him to produce Up Your Ass. He responded by giving her a scene in one of his films, I, a Man, for $25.

On June 3, 1968, Solanas waited for Warhol outside his new Factory and rode the elevator up with him. After a few minutes, she shot both Warhol and London art critic Mario Amaya with a .32 Beretta. Amaya wasn’t seriously hurt, but Warhol was rushed to the hospital with a ruptured stomach, liver, spleen, and lungs. His grueling recovery required him to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, Solanas casually wandered around before confessing to a Times Square policeman a few hours after the shooting, reportedly informing him that Warhol “had too much control over my life.” She was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and institutionalized until deemed fit to stand trial the following June, at which point she was sentenced to two more years in prison.

After she was released from psychiatric care for the attempted murder of Warhol, Solanas continued threatening other publishing figures who refused to work with her, which landed her back in psychiatric care. Solanas, and subsequently SCUM, think of murder as a “moral issue,” and that’s an issue!

Why it’s important not to support radical feminist groups, especially in Egypt?

Again, it’s important to say that some of the causes of their protests are important to support – like the rape of Ukrainian women; of course, that’s something we should protest. But we need to be aware of who’s behind this and what’s their motive.

It’s also important to note that the regular, good o’l fashioned feminism is constantly under attack in Egypt. in Egypt, feminism stands for basic human rights. 

We don’t want to get rapped or undergo FGM. We don’t want to be murdered for “honor.” 

Feminism in Egypt is essential; it’s not out of hating men, nor is it about demolishing the existence of men. 

The SCUM ideology states that men are no longer necessary, even biologically. After publishing the manifesto, its founder resolved to violence and attempted murder on the first man she disagreed with. 

Yes, through jokes, many women would say “the world would be better without men,” but it’s not a joke or even a belief in this situation. It’s an act of violence that lessens the chances of all women to have fair rights through feminism. 

What do you think?

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Written by Raghda El-Sayed

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of El-Shai.com and the crazy cat lady your mother warned you not to become!

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