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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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marionetteafils
marionetteafils
6 years ago
Reply to  strivingally

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.

Travis
Travis
6 years ago

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.

Travis
Travis
6 years ago

No one understands feminism less than feminists.

Nancy
Nancy
6 years ago
Reply to  Travis

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!

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

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!

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

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.

cloudiah
6 years ago

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

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

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.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

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.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

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.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

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.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

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.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

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

vaiyt
6 years ago

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.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

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.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

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.

Thomas Allen
6 years ago

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.

wewereemergencies
wewereemergencies
6 years ago

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

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

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

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

That’s nice, Tommy *pats head*

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