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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:

https://twitter.com/JessicaValenti/status/495559012449267713

https://twitter.com/JessicaValenti/status/495559068841680896

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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cloudiah
6 years ago

Well that moved fast. So, our troll dropped exactly one link to one study which, interestingly, admitted that one other study showed that in some circumstances women are more risk-taking/competitive than men.

Since she didn’t provide a full citation, here ’tis:

Journal of theoretical biology (2012) volume: 310 page: 43 -54

cloudiah
6 years ago

@kirbywarp, Now I want to hear your argument for financial abortions. I need to test my irony meter — it didn’t explode yet, so I’m worried the calibration might be off.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Hey, who was that troll who always signed off with a smiley?

I can’t remember his name but there was a particularly tedious evo psych troll in one of the Eliot Rodger threads who kept talking about ape behavior supposedly proving that men are more aggressive. It was clear that he hadn’t done research and was just making assumptions because he was equating chimps with every other primate among other crimes against science.

I don’t remember if he was the one who signed off with smileys though.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@Cloudiah:

Well, you see

*rumble*

… huh. Anyways, society already forces men to become parents do to the conniving wiles of women. In fact, men are forced into parenthood so often that

*RUMBLE*

*ahem* So often, that it has become necessary to include a way for a father to “opt out” of parenthood, because women can totally do the same thing. Which brings me to my next point about how black people are so terrible because they keep running away from parenthood and

*KABLOOM*

DANG IT! I paid good money for those things. Money which I worked hard for but my wife shouldn’t because she’s a woman that needs to take care of the kids that nobody recognizes my ability to parent for but I don’t want because women use kids to steal my money that I don’t believe they should be able to earn

*thermo-irono-nuclear explosion*

… You know, I think I’ll just… sit quietly over here.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Jules was the annoying evo psych troll. I just looked it up. He had a different writing style than “Linda” though.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

JB must hate herself…a lot. I mean, how else to explain why someone would consent to playing the court jester on behalf of a hate group.

I love when trolls go on and on about how men are bigger and have more muscles and that’s why most CEOs are dudes and congress is mostly male. Slavers used to make similar arguements but in the other direction.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

That’s what a modern CEO really needs, huge muscles.

cloudiah
6 years ago

@kirbywarp, I had to fiddle with the dials a bit, but my meter did finally explode. (Luckily I was behind the blast shields by that point.) Sorry about the whole chain reaction thing on your end. I hope at least you’ve acquired some new superpowers due to your radiation exposure!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Most of these people are pretty fucking racist so I’m sure they agree with those arguments about teh blax.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

You need a lot of muscle mass to excel in a STEM field. That’s why the STEM fields are dominated by men. Sexual dimorphism.

kit33! That’s who I was thinking of! Never acknowledged anyone’s counter arguments. Jules was annoying but a lot more persistent.

But all these trolls spout the same bs. They all start to blend together after a while.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

What exactly was JB’s plan here?

Step 1: dislike shirt
Step 2: make up quotes and attribute them to shirt wearer
Step 3: wait for response saying “you made that quote up”
Step 4: …
Step 5: Victory!

How is Valenti stupid (“not smart”) for responding to libel by pointing out it is false? It’s like a kid pretending to punch someone and then laughing at them for flinching.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

And now JB is going on and on about David being a pedophile on twitter. What a grown up!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

OH NO, SHE HAS TO OWN HER SHIT NOW!

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Wow. Shameless.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@cloudiah:

Irony meters run off of Ironium, a very potent but unstable energy source. Exploding irony meters give off massive doses of I-rays. I’ve set off so many that my DNA has changed fundamentally, reconstructing itself into an unknown matrix. Now I get terrible headaches around hypocrisy. Contradictions set my stomach churning. And, at times, when the bullshit gets too strong, I get…

Ironic.

You won’t like me when I’m ironic.

The rush of outrage sets my blood boiling, my skin turns lavender, and I become Irony Man! I channel irony to take down my foes, pointing out how you can’t simultaneously argue that women must be clothed carefully for fear that men succumb to their lust and that feminists are evil for reducing males to slavering beasts. I smash through ignorance and people who cite scientific papers that say the exact opposite of what they’re arguing. I go until my mind runs blank, and I wake up naked and confused, a trail of destruction and foolishness in my wake.

And if you tell me that nothing I’ve mentioned has anything to do with irony, know this. You’ve fallen into my trap. Behold my power and tremble.

drst
drst
6 years ago

In Britain, there is (or was, not sure) a thing where men weren’t going to the doctor much, because they’d been socialized to view going to the doctor as weakness. That isn’t a thing as far as I’m aware in the US.

Oh it’s a thing here too. There was a public health campaign where I lived that ran billboards with statistics saying “This year X number of men will die of stubbornness.” (I don’t recall the exact number.) It explained that men were less likely to seek medical help and then urged men to get regular health check ups and go to the doctor. They may or may not have been using some football players? The guys in the images were big, beefy-looking dudes, presumably to emphasize that macho masculine men can go to the doctor without harming their reputations.

takshak
takshak
6 years ago

Homo sapiens’ lower testosterone levels relative to other hominids were apparently an important factor in the development of civilization.

I’m damned if I can find a link for it, but a few years ago I read a paper discussing the role of testosterone in human evolution… and yes, it links to the fact that humans have less sexual dimorphism than their closest relatives. Anyhow, it had to do with higher testosterone levels being linked to female sexual behaviour, and therefor higher testosterone in males was a by-product of female behaviour. Also, high testosterone also makes one more susceptible to infection, which really kicks in when we stopped wandering around in small groups. The author described it as “a race between testosterone and disease.” I’m rambling, but there was, for much of history and protohistory a “hard ceiling” on human testosterone levels. Thanks, Y pestis!

The relative lack of sexual dimorphism in humjans (and relatively large penis size) means *less* intra male competition and a tendency towards monogamy, somewhere in our evolutionary (physical and cultural) background.

Things MRAs don’t like about science… actual science.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@drst:

Interesting. I haven’t seen anything like that in the areas I’ve lived.

takshak
takshak
6 years ago

“This year X number of men will die of stubbornness.”

that’s one of the points of the Movember thing, a group that really is promoting good things for men.

and irony meters should be hooked up in series to prevent overload.

cloudiah
6 years ago

The misters on reddit hated that “men will die of stubbornness” campaign because they said #notallmen are stubborn.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

Linda is boring and annoying. Bootsy is much more charming!

http://lovemeow.com/2014/06/bootsy-the-cat-with-anime-eyes/

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Too stubborn to admit that other men are stubborn even if doing so will save some men’s lives. The MRM, ladies and gentlemen!

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

And if you tell me that nothing I’ve mentioned has anything to do with irony, know this. You’ve fallen into my trap. Behold my power and tremble.

He said ironically.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. 😀

Anyway, one last assfax on the whole “men are aggressive and competitive”: I am a cis man. In my social dealings, I am all cooperation, no competition. You could say that I find aggressive and competitive behaviour – outside of rare events and situations specifically designed for such behavior – extremely childish and immature. Which is part of the reason why I’m an anarchist, but that’s beside the point. The point is, being a cis man does not make me naturally more competitive. Gee, it’s almost as if a troll’s incomplete understanding of biology doesn’t dictate my behavior.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

JB must hate herself…a lot. I mean, how else to explain why someone would consent to playing the court jester on behalf of a hate group.

JB better hope she never needs to go looking for a job, who would hire her? A simple Google search would put paid to any candidacy.

I think “Linda” is Pell.

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

I thought they taught “First Rule of Holes” in PR college.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Bootsy is so fucking presh I think I’m going to barf.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

She is adorable. Astronomically adorable. I love Siamese cats. I used to have one as a kid. She was the sweetest, talkative little kitty, ever!

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
6 years ago

In clown college, the first rule of holes is get as many clowns in as you can. By that measure, the MRM is highly successful.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Isn’t the first rule of holes to never put one inside a bag of holding?

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Just for funzies, I entered “Linda Wong” into the Great Googler. First link that came up was a porn star born in 1951, died 1987. I’m guessing that whoever picked this nick is an Asian porn fetishist. In which case all the babbling about “sexual dimorphism” takes on a grossly racist undertone…

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Seriously, I think I have to kill myself since seeing Bootsy. She’s so cute I need to die.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

Please don’t die! Lol. I don’t know you, but you have so much to live for. Like…finding a cat just like Bootsy.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

What, is Bootsy from SCP or something?

*clicks link*

O_O

*devolves into gibbering*

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I feel like everything would be good if Bootsy lived with me.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I’m out. Going to find Bootsy.

Harlan
Harlan
6 years ago

Wow.

I have now read David’s book reviews and JB’s deconstruction of them, the latter purporting to “offer a defense of child prostitution and paedophilia”…

And I’m dumbstruck and bewildered.

Did I miss something somewhere? Have I accidentally or willfully misunderstood the purpose of literary review and/or the English language? Please let me know. My grasp on reality on Mondays in tenuous anyway.

Harlan
Harlan
6 years ago

*is*

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

It’s just because you neglected to slip your Monday acid tab into your coffee this morning, Harlan. That’s a very important part of the making sense of JB program.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

I hope you find Bootsy. I want Bootsy. I want 1200 Bootsies.

katz
6 years ago

Flounce score 1/10. Literally nothing to recommend it.

cosmicrays
cosmicrays
6 years ago

Yeah, I thought that was terrible judgment on JudgyBitch’s side.

Valenti’s T-Shirt alone told the story of her misandry.

I am curious David, when will you tell the rest of the story of DarkHorseSwore / SworeByThePrecious and how she stalked, doxed, and made a false rape accusation against some random redditor she didn’t know who made a bad joke about himself being a rapist on reddit? Swore doxed him on her site, doxed him to all sorts of online communities, doxed him at your favorite subreddit againstmensrights, and reported this false rape claim to the police.

That was pretty poor judgment on Swore’s part, and on your part going back a month since even then it was clear to many people Swore was a nutjob and fanatic.

Lots of poor judgment goes around in the gender wars.

Glad to see you document only one side of it.

YoullNeverGuess
YoullNeverGuess
6 years ago

Related to the evolutionary biology on Bon bons, women also engaged in intra-sex competition. A lot of biologists who should know better overlook that. Getting the best mates, producing the greatest number of children that go on to produce great numbers of healthy children themselves is the goal of every species member. You don’t have just one member of a two-sex species struggling while the other lies back and chooses to opt out of evolution.

Needless to say, this also leaves out the effects of culture, which we simply can’t quantify. Unless you’re one of those people who isn’t an MRA, and just happens to be familiar with JB, AVfM, the JEZEBEL ARTICLE!!!!!, Paul Elam’s awesome grasp of satire. Just one of those ordinary people out there who come onto WHTM to spout out MRA 101 bs.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Hey, I, (fake female name) am an impartial observer with no stake in this debate who just happens to hate feminism with every fiber of my being. Did you see the female name? You can’t disagree with me, because female name. So, anyway, as I mentioned, I hate feminists and MRAs equally and have no dog in this fight. Now please read my 50 point list of the reasons why feminism is terrible.

Unimaginative
6 years ago

I especially liked the way Linda dropped a ton of fact claims without a single link or citation, and then demanded that Nathan provide links for his stuff. (Linda added links to later comments.)

Didn’t we have a troll who signed every comment with PEACE AND FREEDOM?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

So, umm… yeah. I’m ok now.

Bootsy is my gravatar.

It just seemed right.

Praise her.

saphy
saphy
6 years ago

Oh man, glad I was playing video games and missed the tediously raving troll. Let’s get back to talking about cats. Like Bootsy OHMYGOD BOOTSY I NEED IT.

seraph4377
6 years ago

You know, it is possible to libel a public figure. It’s just much harder to prove, especially if couched in terms of an opinion piece.

But posting quotes on a social media platform that allows you to track quotes to their source, then gloating later about how much your victim is being harassed because of what you posted? JB pretty much made the plaintiff’s case for them. This is like a cheesy movie where the villain gives a full confession, complete with motive and method, over a live microphone.

If Valenti doesn’t sue JB clean out of her shoes, it’s because the twit isn’t worth the trouble.

Harlan
Harlan
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty – Last time I engaged in that manner of sensory modification (early in the last decade of the last century) I had to bail on a card game because the hearts and clubs and spades and diamonds and numbers were all falling off the cards into a little pile in the middle of the table.

And trying to play that last hand *still* made more sense than the inference drawn at the end of JB’s post.

Wurdz. Haz. Meening.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

The problem is that this is pretty much the clearest-cut example of attention-mongering. JB would love for Valenti to sue her, apparently, since she was so delighted just to get a response. There’s nobody to convince; all of JBs fans are completely set on being fans, and her enemies aren’t going to be persuaded by childish games. Therefore, there are no stakes here. JB is trolling.

It’s not like her trolling is going to make the MRM look any less reputable.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Well, I mean, Valenti was having fun on vacation, how dare she?