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Category Archives: sexual harassment

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.

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:

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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Misogyny Theater 4: Everybody Wants to Shag the MRAs

Misogyny Theater is back with Episode 4!

If you paid any attention to A Voice for Men’s recent conference in – well, near – Detroit, you probably heard about the guy who was ejected from the conference after reportedly “petting” a reporter and a number of other men. (You can read about him here.)

In this episode of Misogyny Theater, we return to the Man Going His Own Way who calls himself Sandman to hear his highly speculative theories about this gentleman and his activities.

Sandman also warns Men’s Rightsers and MGTOWers that if they get together in large groups, they will inevitably attract opportunistic sex-seekers eager to take advantage of the man surplus for their own perverse ends. Apparently, angry dudes who hate women are like catnip to gay men and straight ladies alike.

The audio for this little cartoon of mine comes from Sandman’s video “Men’s Rights Molester.” I have indicated edits in the audio with little scratchy sounds. And I’ve bleeped out the name of the alleged molester. Otherwise it’s all straight Sandman.

My previous Misogyny Theater episode featuring Sandman can be found here.

Crowd chatter and buzzer sounds from FreeSFX.

 

One Last Damn AVFM Conference Update: Man With a Camera Edition

It wasn't this guy.

It wasn’t this guy.

One last AVFM Conference update, with links to two more stories about that historic event.

The first, a gently skeptical Washington Post story by Monica Hesse titled, with a certain irony, “Men’s rights activists, gathering to discuss all the ways society has done them wrong.”

The whole thing is worth reading. My favorite bit:

One presenter, a military veteran speaking on the treatment of veterans returning from war, put up a PowerPoint slide alleging that 70 percent of men returning from war get divorced, and 90 percent do so within five years. When asked about the source of this statistic, he said, “That particular statistic is from my personal observations. I’m just speaking here as a dude.”

Ah, the prestigious Journal of Statistical Dudeness!

The second, well, it’s a bit more disturbing. DarkHorseSwore – a regular in the AgainstMensRights subreddit who raised money to go to Detroit to cover the convention only to be turned away at the door – managed to finally get an audience with some of the conference attendees and organizers – after the convention, as they celebrated at a bar and then in a hotel lobby. She got this access because none of them knew who she was. (Eventually Dean Esmay showed up and had her escorted off the premises.)

Now DarkHorseSwore has set up a website – DarkHorseSwore.com – and has started posting about the strange 5 ½ hours she spent amongst the AVFMers. She tells the tale of a strange encounter with one of the Honey Badgers and then an even stranger tale of an even stranger encounter with an old man and his camera. You’ll have to go read it. Be warned: It’s creepy as hell.

Oh, and she picked up some amazing conference swag as well. And by “amazing” I mean “possibly the worst conference swag I’ve ever seen, I mean, what the hell, and also why are they all beige?”

A wooden necklace thing, symbolizing who the hell knows what!

A wooden necklace thingy, symbolizing who the hell knows what!

A "What Would Honey Badgers Do?" button!

A “What Would Honey Badgers Do?” button!

And last but not least, a Shrink for Men chapstick! It's minty!

And last but not least, a Shrink 4 Men chapstick! It’s minty!

AVFM Conference Open Thread: One journalist says he was molested; another was called “whore” by AVFM PR rep

The capacity crowd at the conference; from Metrotimes.

The capacity crowd at the press conference at the AVFM conference; from Metrotimes.

If anyone feels compelled to discuss the AVFM conference, do it here.

I’ll post links to any articles and blog posts and interesting tweets and pretty much anything of note I see about it; if you run across any, feel free to post them in the comments and I can add them to the post.

Here’s the live audio stream for the conference, which is off the air. And the video stream, which isn’t working at the moment. Apparently they’ve packed up for the day. (Friday, that is.)

There was no protest, as the organizers of the earlier protest called for a boycott

The official twitter hashtag is #icmi14. For some wonderful Janet Bloomfield PR professionalism, see @JudgyBitch1 and @icmi14.

Highlights so far:

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Erin Pizzey and the Canadian Elevator of Misandry

Men in Canadian elevators are sometimes also used as chairs.

Men in Canadian elevators are sometimes also used as chairs.

Does anyone here understand string theory and dark matter and all that physics crap? Because I am seriously beginning to wonder if Men’s Rights Activists literally live in an alternate universe that only partially intersects with our own.

In the universe I live in, Canada is a lovely and somewhat uncannily polite country to the north, the home of Rush and Kate Beaton and, I’m pretty sure, a lot of bears. To MRAs it is a land under the bootheel of a radical feminist gynarchy in which men cower in elevators because they are deathly afraid of being accused of sexual harassment.

No, really.

I was skimming through an old interview with good old Erin Pizzey, A Voice for Men’s pet domestic violence expert, probably because she’s the only one who thinks jokes about eating “battered women” — you know, like batter fried chicken — are hilarious.

In the interview, she was telling Dean “Long Tie” Esmay about a speaking tour she’d made in Canada — a place she describes as “one of the worst countries in the world.”  No, really. Here’s what she had to say about her harrowing ordeal:

I did a six week tour, with Senator Anne Cools, all across Canada. And there were some wonderful … uh, men’s groups, just struggling to keep going. And as we traveled and talked to men’s groups, we realized how terribly dangerous it is because it’s almost as though the entire government and the judiciary–the same people–had been infiltrated by very radical feminists out to get men. And I talked to people all the way across Canada. You know my mother was Canadian, and I’m half Canadian, and it hurt actually. See I was a child in Toronto, and my feeling as we went through is real fear. I remember I was working with Anne in the Senate and I walked in to the lift, and this man who was in the lift with me was cowering over in the corner. And I came out and I said to Anne, “What on earth was that about?” And she said, “Men are frightened. They just don’t know when they’re going to be told they’re sexually harassing somebody.”

I’ve highlighted several of the passages which I think may have entered our universe from the Bizarro Men’s Rights multidimensional wormhole of misandry.

But, seriously, what planet does this woman live on? Does she actually think something like this really happened? Was there really a man in an elevator with her who was literally cowering in the corner because he thought she would accuse him of  some sort of sex crime? Was there a man there at all? Was there even an elevator? Is Canada a real country? THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

The Top 5 Worst Comments by DavidByron2 in the Men’s Rights Subreddit … This Week!

Unlike women, men have REAL issues to deal with. Like giant otters!

Unlike women, men have REAL issues to deal with. Like giant otters.

Anyone who reads the Men’s Rights subreddit on a regular basis knows that when you see the username DavidByron2 you are in for a treat. Well, a “treat” in the sense that discovering a flaming bag of dog poop on your doorstop is a “treat.” Like many Men’s Rightsers, he’s both smug and ignorant, a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

But somehow he manages to be more than just another insufferable mansplaining rage-baby who spends all of his spare time ranting about a subject — feminism — he knows less than nothing about. No, there’s a kind of daft genius to his comments; I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

And so I thought I’d wind up this week with a small collection of the best –that is, worst — comments he left in the Men’s Rights subreddit this week. In choosing the top 5, I have confined myself mostly to those that got more upvotes than downvotes, because, seriously, the thought that there are actual human beings out there upvoting this crap is almost as amazing as the fact that there’s an actual human being posting it. And thinking himself quite clever and righteous for doing so.

Let’s work our way to the top starting with …

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[Not All] Redditors agree: “In 99% of societal contexts such as going to office, going to the supermarket … etc, it is men who have to be continually afraid of women.”

They're very sneaky, these gals.

They’re very sneaky, these gals.

Oh, Reddit! Need another reminder that on Reddit, whiny lady-hating man-babies can be found outside the Men’s Rights and Red Pill subreddits? Take a look at this lovely comment from occasional Red Pill commenter purple4th  in Change My Views, which (the last I checked) had garnered nearly 150 net upvotes from the crowd there. Here’s the money quote:

[S]ocietal laws are so filled with misandry that in 99% of societal contexts such as going to office, going to the supermarket, going to the movies, etc;, it is men who have to be continually afraid of women.

That’s right, fellas. Women who worry about men harming them are all a bunch of big sillies. It’s MEN who should be worried Oh, sure those gals may look innocent, but don’t let your guard down for a minute lest one of them misander you with a false accusation of being too much of a dude! con

Purple4th continues:

As my investment banks’ Sexual Harassment presentation says, “It is harassment if she says so”. Period.

Really? I decided to look online to see if I could find any Sexual Harassment literature making that argument. A search for “It is harassment if she says so” in quotes returns only one hit on Google: Purple4th’s comment on Reddit.

In fact, the legal standard for sexual harassment — in the US at least —  is not “whatever the hell a random woman wants to call harassment.” It’s whether or not a “reasonable person” would see the behavior as harassment.

But that’s how it works in the real world. MRAs and the MRA-adjacent don’t live in the real world.

Thanks, AMRthroaway on Reddit for pointing me to this lovely quote.

 

 

Warren Farrell on Date Rape: Defending the Indefensible

George Orwell, meet Warren Farrell

George Orwell, meet Warren Farrell

Men’s Rights Activists tend to be fairly blunt; when they express a noxious opinion – and oh so many of their opinions are noxious – they do it in the most obnoxious possible way. It isn’t enough for Paul Elam of A Voice for Men to blame victims of rape; he also has to call them “STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH[es]” wearing the equivalent of PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign[s] glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.”

Warren Farrell is different. He takes a softer approach. He would never call a woman a bitch or a whore or a cunt. When he speaks, he manages to sound gentle and caring. He talks about the importance of listening to others. He sometimes even manages to give the impression that he cares as much about women as he does about men.

And yet his ideas are as noxious as Elam’s. He is as much of a victim blamer as any slur-spouting MGTOWer complaining about “stuck-up cunts” on an internet message board.

It’s just that he does his victim blaming with such carefully evasive language that he’s able to hide the noxiousness of his ideas – and to avoid taking responsibility for them when he’s challenged on them.

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Women who get catcalled are the real sexual harassers, explains Men’s Rights Redditor

Woman sexually harassing a group of men with her slutty attire.

Woman sexually harassing a group of men with her slutty attire.

A month or so ago, after an antiques dealer responded to her comment about a piece of furniture by asking her if she and her female friend “ever made out with each other,” Leah Green of The Guardian decided it was time to try a little gender-reversal experiment: she would use hidden cameras to film her to treat unsuspecting men to the same sort of inappropriate sexual remarks that women get treated to every day, using real life examples collected by the @everydaysexism project.

You can see their reactions in the short video she posted on the Guardian’s website; she discusses her motivations more here.

Many of the men, unaccustomed to this sort of harassment, weren’t exactly sure how to react to her comments. When she asked a bartender for a drink and a lap dance, she had to repeat herself several times before he got her point. When she tried the “have you guys ever made out with each other” line on two older men, they couldn’t quite even process the question at first.

Others got angry. When she yelled “oi, get your asses out” at some construction workers – a gender-swapped version of the classic “show us your tits” — one of the affronted men responded with “you can’t talk to us like that.” And that was essentially the point of the video: no one should be talking to anyone like that.

That point seems to have escaped one angry commenter on the Men’s Rights subreddit going by the name of frankie_q, who spewed forth a well-received virtual manifesto arguing that it’s complaints about cat-calling, not the cat-calling itself, that is the bigger problem. And that the biggest problem of all is that women wear clothes that men consider sexy.

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Do You Even Lift, B*tches? Men’s Rightsers fight the injustice of hypothetical women-only weight room hours

I got this.

I got this.

The latest outrageous assault on Men’s Rights? Well, according to more than a thousand upvoters* on Reddit, it’s this: some gym somewhere might be considering women only hours in its weight room to accommodate women who feel uncomfortable lifting amongst men.

A female MRA who goes by the name of stuck_at_starbucks came to the Men’s Rights subreddit with this tale of anti-male injustice from her local gym:

I was on the treadmill and saw two women start walking towards the weight room, then stop at the entrance and one if them said, “oh nooooo, we can’t go in there, there’s men!” They started complaining that it “wasn’t fair” that they “couldn’t use the weight room ” and took it to the front desk. The manager came out and told them that they were considering having girls only hours for the weight room.

Naturally, the Men’s Rightsers responded to this with the calm, reasoned comments for which they have become so famous. Ah, who am I kidding: they posted nearly 300 comments that ran the gamut from screechy outrage to, well, slightly-less screechy outrage.

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