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Controversy over selling the SCUM Manifesto


Belinda worked at the from 1981 until it closed in 1985.
“There was a controversy over whether to sell copies of '' by Samois, published in 1983. It was produced by the Californian coalition of . At the same time there was a controversy over whether we were going to sell the book by , the woman who shot , the (Society for Cutting Up Men) (published in 1968). In the end, it was decided that we would sell the because it was specifically political, not to sell the Samois book 'Coming to Power', because it could be misunderstood as titillation and we could get men coming in there and buying it for all the wrong reasons, but to keep it under the counter if people actually wanted it which people did. I remember having a huge argument about this and I accepted the compromise. We had another prominent Birmingham lesbian working there as well and she came up with it. We also sold a lot of obscure lesbian classics, (not the , which was felt to be a bit self-oppressive!)”

Contributed by: Belinda, 60

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