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Lying as PR: AVFM’s Janet Bloomfield libels Jessica Valenti — then brags about it

Janet Bloomfield, self-acknowledged liar

Janet Bloomfield, self-acknowledged liar

A Voice for Men’s “social media director” Janet Bloomfield is proving to be quite the innovator in the world of public relations. You may recall her cheeky approach to publicizing the recent AVFM conference, which involved awarding herself “whore points” for calling critics of AVFM “whores.”

Now she’s moved on to straight-up libel, making up fake quotes in order to make feminist writer Jessica Valenti look bad, and then bragging about it on her blog.

This whole sordid episode began several days ago when Valenti, on vacation, decided to send a message to “all the misogynist whiners in my feed today” in the form of a photo of her on a beach wearing a t-shirt saying “I bathe in male tears.”

The AVFM social media attack squad seized on this at once, with Bloomfield telling her followers, wrongly, that the picture had been posted in response to a question about male suicide. When Valenti corrected her on this point, Bloomfield offered a half-assed apology (“My bad”).

Then Bloomfield, demonstrating just how insincere her apology had been, decided to up the ante, concocting four “quotes” from thin air and attributing them to Valenti.

[EDIT: JB's Twitter account was suspended, so here's a screenshot of the tweets; I'll keep the original links up in case she's ever unsuspended, though that seems unlikely.]jbfakequotesTwitter

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/495366752168329216

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/495367262187302913

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/495367996337295360

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/495374177013346304

Naturally, as you’ll see if you follow any of these Tweets back to their original context on Twitter, many of Bloomfield’s fans assumed that these quotes were real.

Needless to say, some responded to Bloomfield’s dirty tricks with all-too predictable harassment of her target:

After brazenly libeling Valenti, Bloomfield went on to boast about it on her blog. In a post with the smug title “Jessica Valenti is not having a good day,” she wrote:

So when Jess posted that picture, I needed to goad her into replying to me directly so I wouldn’t violate Twitter’s spamming rules. I used Poe’s Law to attribute a few false but utterly plausible quotes to her, and sure enough, she replied.     Jess is not terribly smart.     Now Twitter is a little outraged at Jess’ callous indifference to the suffering of men and boys and she is catching a bit of hell. Predictably, she is having a big victim party and sulking.  It was just a joke, after all.

Now, these fake quotes may have been “utterly plausible” only to those who are ignorant of Valenti’s work, but in the hothouse world of the Men’s Rights movement there are people who would probably believe that Valenti eats babies. As I noted, JB’s followers had no trouble believing them.

Later in the post Bloomfield added, with more than a hint of maliciousness:

Jess is not having a good day, and it looks like it will be getting worse before it gets better.     Much worse.     Awwww. Too bad, Jess. Sucks to be a grown-up and have to own your shit, doesn’t it?

It’s not clear how having made-up quotes attributed to you counts as “owning your shit,” but I guess I just don’t understand Bloomfield’s higher morality.

Needless to say, in the real world, deliberately publishing false information about someone in order to harm their reputation is libel.

When confronted with this on Twitter, Bloomfield offered some inventive excuses:

Later on she attempted to prove that her libelous fake Valenti quotes didn’t matter … by making up things about me:

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/495684048237633536

As I noted,

Of course, I’m no lawyer. I can only hope that some people who are lawyers are taking a good hard look at Bloomfield’s lies.

I would encourage you all to screenshot or otherwise archive Bloomfield’s self-incriminatory blog post, as well as her tweets, just in case she decides to talk to a lawyer and take them all down.

At this point, I think it’s probably safe to assume that anything and everything anyone from AVFM says should be taken not with a grain but with an entire shaker of salt.

 

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Posted on August 4, 2014, in a new woman to hate, a voice for men, antifeminism, antifeminist women, FemRAs, gloating, gullibility, harassment, hypocrisy, judgybitch, lying liars, misogyny, MRA, nonpology, sexual harassment, the c-word, twitter, whores and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 471 Comments.

  1. Auntie Alias:

    I will be posting something soon. Including an apology.

  2. Well, Don was certainly gross wasn’t he. Glad he ran himself out but fast.

  3. Dammit. Much as I’m glad not have my green blotch anymore, the weird formatting shit that happens with my icon is kinda irritating; I keep NOT seeing pages of comments, and the “next page” at the bottom is completely missing! This is so weird and irritating!

    RE: TheDjinni

    The fact that you’re upset over JBs actions but not JVs actions is, I suppose, part of the dogmatic hypocrisy that all feminists cling to.

    Um. Have you SEEN this shit JB says? Or did you just come here over this one thing and decide she was totally right because feminists have dogma?

    RE: emilygoddess

    Even less related: Sunday was my sobriety date. I haven’t had a drink in seven years (and two days)!

    Yay! *firecrackers and sparkles*

  4. cassandrakitty

    I’m sure I was probably one of the ones having none of Nathan’s “they’re just being cynical” arguments before. Glad to see that he’s realized how messed up that argument was – wouldn’t it be nice if every guy who runs into a wall of “nope, and here’s why you’re wrong about this” could stop and have a rethink?

  5. kittehserf MOD

    As to my shirt… not sure how many here know who Miri Mogilevksy is? She blogs at FTB under the Brute Reason banner? She took that pic back at WiSIII this past May. We dubbed it Ceiling Cat.

    I’ve read a few of her posts, so the name’s familiar.

    Ceiling Cat is my deity of choice! (And Basement Cat, of course. Let’s be fair about this.)

  6. I stopped engaging with them when one denied that women had been mostly treated as property in Western Europe over the last 2K years… Documented historical fact, I thought…
    The MRA guy flatly denied it.

    Strangely enough, there’s good evidence that the woman as property transactional marriage wasn’t really common. It certainly wasn’t universal. It was the usual practice for warlords and aristocrats for political purposes and for upper classes/ gentry generally. For the land owning, land rights holding yeoman and peasant classes, there were issues of whether a prospective partner was or wasn’t a good match for the purposes of farming the property.

    But for most people most of the time, people formed their own marriages and lived in nuclear families, because they couldn’t afford to feed any more mouths than that. The large extended family living in a single dwelling is only possible for people with reasonably large landholdings or similar resources allowing all of them to be fed.

    Of course, that wouldn’t suit the misters. They’d really not be interested in a history of marriage as mature women voluntarily marrying men of their own choice – married for love. Even if it was from a limited range of available suitors. And then both of them staying in a marriage/ nuclear family till death parted them. Sometimes very soon. Death in childbirth meant that there were far more short marriages in the past.

  7. kittehserf MOD

    One thing that made married women non-people if not property on marriage was coverture. Whether its severity was down to Blackstone’s interpretation or not is moot, but it was a revolting system.

  8. Most people didn’t have to worry about coverture very much.

    When your only property is the clothes you stand up in and a darning mushroom to repair your one and only pair of stockings it’s not really relevant.

  9. Holy cats, did I pick a time to go visit family and spend a while AFK. JB antics and a trollsplosion, yuck.

    Redpoppy and Nathan (and any other new folks I might have missed), welcome!

    emilygoddess – Seven years?! Hurray! :D

    I wish I had something relevant to say about the OP, but everyone else has covered it beautifully.

  10. As you can see, this tactic is spreading. Observe the comment section of TheYoungTurks when they try to talk about sexual harassment at Comic Con. The purpose is obvious. Slander, distract, derail.

    https://plus.google.com/b/110061526449203491920/109836180835422522314/posts/JFrYKjm32Ba

  11. Let me just add a few observations about this whole disinformation campaign:

    1. Janet Bloomfield appears to have, from her writings, a substance abuse problem.

    2. Because it has affected her judgment she does not fully understand what she is doing to herself and her family with her apparent libels, malicious defamtion, and so on.

    3. I have the impression that Elam is ready to disavow her.

    Let me just say, I don’t plan to let Elam disavow her. She’s speaking what he wants said.

  12. Where do you get off diagnosing someone with a substance abuse problem over the internet? Look, she’s a grade-A twit running amok, but we do not know her life.

  13. I do get off, hellkell. I’ve looked at her vids and read her material. She’s barely got a voice left and her judgment and paranoia levels are classic. As David sats, there’s a meth kind of vibe here.

  14. Srsly, unless her writings say “I have a substance abuse problem,” we have no way of knowing that.

  15. Woah, woah, “meth kind of vibe”? I half remember someone mentioning that she discussed her drinking to some degree on her blog, but I don’t remember any of the specifics because I don’t care and TMI. I thought that’s what you were referring to, not a baseless “husky voice and scattered thinking equals meth head” theory. Uncool.

  16. I just checked this entire comment thread and didn’t find a single reference to meth, from Dave or from anyone else. The word “method” shows up a lot though.

  17. moscow nights: “Meth vibe?” No one here has ever said that. You’ve put me in a position of defending a person I think is reprehensible. Fuck off.

  18. OK. I have a memory of David saying something like “meth-fueled” and I agree with that, but, but if I’m wrong please let me know. I don’t want to make any misstatement..

  19. There’s sooooo much to criticize JB about without having to Internet diagnose a substance abuse problem.

    And, yes, she is responsible for her actions.

  20. moscow nights: why don’t you use this thing called Google?

  21. I made a joke about her seeming like she was on meth when she was on the today show because she was so over the top and her voice was fried. She had a cold and I suspect the rest was fanaticism and lack of sleep.

  22. Also, every shitty libelous that she’s saying is also being said by Elam, Esmay, and a whole little army of AVFM drones, so the idea that Elam’s going to disavow her for saying these things is silly.

  23. @strivingally @Nathan

    It’s all good – it was more that I felt weird and here is one of the places that I feel comfortable enough to say when I feel weird. :)

    (Delay in replying was due to work things :P)

    @Emilygoddess

    Congratulations :)

  24. kittehserf MOD

    Yannow, I wouldn’t give a shit if JB has a substance abuse problem or not, because it isn’t an excuse for her behaviour.

  25. I’m putting Scorpio on moderation for claiming to be both male and female in different comments. I won’t let him and/or her post until I get some sort of plausible explanation for that which doesn’t sound like complete bullshit and (in an email) some sort of proof that he and’or she are a real person in the real world.

  26. Good. Scorpio wasn’t anything particularly harmful but the boner updates and thread necroing were pretty tedious.

  27. Who cares? There are Mammoths who’ve admitted to having substance abuse problems, and last I checked, they aren’t being jackasses on the Internet. Come on now.

  28. Regarding the issue of libel, IANAL, but having listened to people who are lawyers talk about:

    For a defamation suit to succeed, either the statements in question have to be libel per se or the plaintiff has to prove that they lead to damages. Bloomfield’s statements don’t seem to be libel per se (though, again, IANAL) so Valenti would have to prove damages. So, she’d have to demonstrate that there were some people who didn’t used to have a negative opinion of her, but did after reading Bloomfield’s statements.

    As for Valenti being harassed because of what Bloomfield said, I don’t think that’s covered by defamation laws.

  29. “Most people didn’t have to worry about coverture very much.

    When your only property is the clothes you stand up in and a darning mushroom to repair your one and only pair of stockings it’s not really relevant.”

    um, i’m low income, i have very little property to my name. and yet it would still be quite relevant to my life if i was legally a non-person subject to my husband’s whims and control… i must say i’m rather flummoxed at the idea that just as long as i don’t have a house i might want after divorce, subservience would be “irrelevant” to me.

  30. This woman is awful. I made the mistake of including her in a twitter reply, suggesting that, yes, there is a place for a critique of feminism and that honest, informed debate helps the movement to grow. I mentioned to her that misrepresenting and lying does not help the cause of honest critique.

    She responded to me with an “I bathe in feminist tears” photo, then bullied me: ” Okay sanctimonious nobody. Keep believing in yourself.” Apparently, being the “social media director” of a website censored here as a hate site is the work of a “somebody”. Or maybe the abuse, harassment and lies make her feel like a somebody?

    I think there’s a place for male voices in their experience of oppression. Some of the ideas of this movement are valid. Nearly every time I try to engage with an MRM online with the sincerest intentions of dialogue, thinking, “”you know, maybe feminists and men’s right’s activists need to speak open-mindedly with one another” – I run into harassment and abuse from MRAs.

    I like to think that I can engage with people not through the lens of ideology or my world view, but as a human being whose life has been made better by feminism (amongst other things). Almost every time I try to share that with one of these people, it’s like walking into a schoolyard of bullies. Stand up for feminism and you’ll be called all sorts of names.

    This woman, Janet Bloomfield, is hopeless. Her only claim to twitter fame is that she’s an bitch to people. AVFM and most of the people on board play the same game – because they have few things of worth to say, they use harassment and abuse surely as part of their strategy towards mainstream popularity. I hope the remain nothing more than the present internet phenomenon they are. They are like a pack of adolescents that haven’t grown up.

  31. Nancy: you can’t meet people halfway who are determined to scorch the earth and salt it afterwards.

    Whenever I’ve engaged someone of the MRA/redpill mindset to attempt to find common ground, they escalate to venomous hositlity so quickly I don’t have a chance to say “hey, we agree on a lot of these problems, but we disagree on causes!”.

    Merely the fact I’m in favour of feminism – a philosophy many of the MRAs don’t even understand, but that doesn’t stop them from hating it – is enough for me to be considered an enemy to be attacked, rather than a person to talk to.

  32. marionetteafils

    You’re right.

    The irony is that their main argument against feminism is that it’s a “hateful ideology”. It just seems like AVFM itself revolves around hate and attacks on feminism in a way that can be abusive. It’s likely how they get their supporters.

  33. Bloomfield was wrong to make up quotes. However, if a feminist had made up quotes about someone, most other feminists would just celebrate it as a hilarious “joke” and write articles about what a brilliant tactic lying is. That’s what they’re doing with “ironic misandry” such as the “I bathe in male tears” shirt Valenti wore in her pic, the “Male Tears” mugs, matching twitter campaign, etc. The fact that Valenti didn’t EXPLICITLY SAY she meant to make fun of male suicide is a little beside the point. We ARE facing an epidemic of male suicide and Valenti and her ilk most definitely ARE making fun of suicidal men with their tasteless mockery of male emotional pain (whether they mean to or not). It’s not irony, it’s sociopathy.
    Quite frankly, what Bloomfield did isn’t as bad. She made up quotes that sound like things Valenti really has said in the past but she didn’t mock any entire group just for having emotions that feminism didn’t sanction.

    What’s really ironic is that feminist’s claim “the patriarchy” has hurt men by telling us we can’t display emotions, and then feminists turn around and mock us with zeal….for displaying emotion. What a vapid movement, without any moral center whatsoever.

  34. No one understands feminism less than feminists.

  35. Feminist gets blamed – usually by MRAs – as hating men all the time. This cliché is so prevalent that feminists have taken to mocking it amongst themselves with “I bathe in male tears”.

    No, saying Jessica Valenti *could* have said these things is not an excuse for libel. Such a ridiculous attitude. And, no, a feminist would not be applauded for serially making up quotes and intentionally lying.

    MRAs have built their movement on the misrepresentation of feminists. Just a quick read of AVFM proves that.

    Don’t bother defending Bloomfield – she’s the worst example of the movement’s hypocrisy – a movement that now calls itself a human rights movement – but it’s social media director habitually verbally abuses women online who disagree with her. This is how Bloomfield argues. I read her twitter feed last night and in the course of an evening she had already bullied two women who disagree with her. She did this to me for simply suggesting the MRM loses any integrity it may have by outright lying.

    Just the fact that MRAs are making fun of Valenti for suggesting that tampons should be subsidized is evidence of the extremes they will take. Every women menstruates (unless the woman has gone through menopause or has a health issue). Menstruation is then a condition that yes, is the health issue of one sex. Tampons are expensive for some families, especially in developing nations. This is a human rights issue in many cases – but the MRAs, led by Bloomfield, are reducing Valenti’s valid question to “feminists looking for special treatment” or “feminists looking for free stuff”. That’s a load of propagandist BS and you know it.

    As critics of MRAs have always said, work for human rights if that’s your cause. The rise in male suicide is a valid cause for questioning how men might not feel comfortable in discussing their feelings amongst other things. Valenti has – as would many feminists – responded that Bloomfield’s claim that she is referring to make suicide a disgusting misrepresentation and that she would never say such a thing. Many feminists encourage men to express their feelings – but emotional intelligence requires you not to direct your anger at your oppression towards a movement that has not caused your oppression. Valenti was referring to “misogynist whiners” and she said that specifically when she posted that photo – NOWHERE did she mention suicide victims or the men affected by their deaths. Mysoginist whiners are likely her abusive harassers online, you know, the assholes who responded to her tampon query with things like “for your big gaping vagina” amongst other virile sexist things?

    Before calling feminism pathological – take a look at your own movement!

  36. No one understands feminism less than feminists.

    I find that hilarious coming from someone who believes he’s part of a movement that cares to do something about male suicide.

    Since Travis clearly doesn’t read comments, it’s probably pointless to explain that he’s deliberately misunderstanding “the ironic misandrist” arising as a response to misogynists deliberately misunderstanding feminism.

    There’s irony here somewhere, I just know it!

  37. emilygoddess - MOD

    No one understands feminism less than feminists.

    What a stupid and illogical thing to say.

    most other feminists would just celebrate it as a hilarious “joke” and write articles about what a brilliant tactic lying is. That’s what they’re doing with “ironic misandry” such as the “I bathe in male tears” shirt Valenti wore in her pic, the “Male Tears” mugs, matching twitter campaign, etc.

    Again with the stupid. How is “ironic misandry” related to lying and libel? Do you even read what you write?

    The fact that Valenti didn’t EXPLICITLY SAY she meant to make fun of male suicide is a little beside the point. We ARE facing an epidemic of male suicide and Valenti and her ilk most definitely ARE making fun of suicidal men with their tasteless mockery of male emotional pain (whether they mean to or not).

    I sure hope you stretched before making that leap.

  38. Is JudgyBitch sending her flying monkeys out to necro old comment threads again? How sad.

  39. No one understands feminism less than feminists.

    Here’s Travis to explain it to us.

    No one understands physics less than physicists.

    No one understands cars less than mechanics.

  40. Travis,
    You know that pretending to know what a large and varied group of people would have done if… isn’t rational, right?
    No, Travis, you do not understand feminism better than feminist. Walk you’re mansplaining behind back out the way you came. You’re just another whiny, misogynist, manbaby who thinks he knows alot more than he actually does. The internet is full up on those here. We don’t need another. Go be boring and stupid with your MRAsshole buddies.

  41. This tampon outrage is such bullshit.
    When is a health issue not important or care for it essential? When it happens to women and trans men.

  42. emilygoddess - MOD

    I like how Travis thinks he understands feminism better than literally millions of women. If ever there was a better explanation of mansplaining and the attitude behind it, I haven’t seen it.

  43. TIL that wearing a t-shirt that parodies the misconception that feminists hate men is worse than the crime of libel.

    And that Travis knows feminism better than feminists, the people who actually study, develop and practice it.

  44. No one understands trolling less than Travis. Try harder next time, buddy.

  45. However, if a feminist had made up quotes about someone, most other feminists would just celebrate it as a hilarious “joke” and write articles about what a brilliant tactic lying is.

    Says you. Do you have any evidence that indicates this?

    I don’t need to use hypotheticals to demonstrate that MRAs are lying sacks of shit.

  46. Bloomfield was wrong to make up quotes.

    How generous of you to concede that! *eyeroll*

    However, if a feminist had made up quotes about someone, most other feminists would just celebrate it as a hilarious “joke” and write articles about what a brilliant tactic lying is.

    Citation needed. When has this happened in the past? Why are sure it would happen?

    That’s what they’re doing with “ironic misandry” such as the “I bathe in male tears” shirt Valenti wore in her pic, the “Male Tears” mugs, matching twitter campaign, etc. The fact that Valenti didn’t EXPLICITLY SAY she meant to make fun of male suicide is a little beside the point.

    The meaning of the male tears meme has already been explained in the previous comments. Maybe you should have read them before commenting. Or is that EXPLICIT MISANDRY!?

    We ARE facing an epidemic of male suicide and Valenti and her ilk most definitely ARE making fun of suicidal men with their tasteless mockery of male emotional pain (whether they mean to or not). It’s not irony, it’s sociopathy.

    Again, nobody is doing it. In fact there has been a lot of talk about Robin Williams the past couple days and none of it was mocking. If you knew anything about us, you’d know we don’t make fun of people for suffering from mental illness.

    Quite frankly, what Bloomfield did isn’t as bad. She made up quotes that sound like things Valenti really has said in the past but she didn’t mock any entire group just for having emotions that feminism didn’t sanction.

    Again, you need citations.

    What’s really ironic is that feminist’s claim “the patriarchy” has hurt men by telling us we can’t display emotions, and then feminists turn around and mock us with zeal….for displaying emotion. What a vapid movement, without any moral center whatsoever.

    Whining about losing your male privilege and having to treat women as human beings isn’t really a display of emotion. It’s a display of misogyny.

    You also misplaced ellipses. That is a display of being a stupid troll.

    You are mocked for being a misogynist troll. Probably everywhere you go online besides the manosphere. That does not mean that men as a whole are mocked for having emotions. Stop universalizing your own experiences.

  47. Hey everyone, shut-up, Travis is talking and he’s a man — he’s gonna tell us what’s what.

    No seriously, Travis, all of your arguements are dishonest. Unless you think we’re all made out of straw.

  48. None of these are made up quotes the only one lying is Jessica Valenti and the author of this article. The @ symbol means that it was a quote from Janet and her interpretation, it doesn’t mean she claimed Valenti said that.

  49. wewereemergencies

    I think you are confused about what words mean, Thomas. Please go home and find a dictionary.

  50. Thomas,
    JB herself admitted to making up the quotes. Seems you have some reading comprehension problems.

  51. emilygoddess - MOD

    That’s nice, Tommy *pats head*

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