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Lies, Damn Lies, and Janet Bloomfield: The world's least convincing liar is now trying to smear me

So much bullshit.
So much bullshit.

Janet Bloomfield’s antifeminist smear campaign continues apace. Yesterday I wrote about her disgraceful attack on feminist writer Jessica Valenti, in which Bloomfield made up offensive statements and attributed them to Valenti in a malicious attempt to malign her reputation. Bloomfield, the “social media director” for A Voice for Men, then went on to boast about this on her blog.

Now she has decided to libel me as well, declaring on Twitter

https://twitter.com/JudgyBitch1/status/496088519941816321

She followed this up with a post on her blog full of outright lies and weird insinuations.  Her allies at A Voice for Men jumped on board the defamation train, with Paul Elam devoting at least part of one of his “radio” shows to the topic “Is David Futrelle a Perv Apologist?”

This morning, the AVFM Twitter crew was out in force peddling this bullshit, with “operations manager” Dean Esmay leading the charge in his typically addled way.

Ironically, the AVFM crowd is cribbing their attacks on me from a REAL pedophile apologist who blogs under the name theantifeminist. Indeed, Elam, Bloomfield and AVFM ally Angry Harry all linked to theantifeminist on Twitter this morning to back up their assorted smears.

The supposed case against me is based on two articles I wrote nearly twenty years ago for the magazine In These Times.

The attack on me is absurd on its face, but I think it’s worth addressing if only to show the depths of their dishonesty, and just how desperate they are to smear me.

The first article, which I wrote with my sister in August of 1994, was a brief and mostly descriptive report on a censorship controversy in Cincinnati involving Pier Paolo Pasolini’s controversial but celebrated film Salo.

My sister and I noted that the film, “a loose, allegorical adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s novel 120 Days of Sodom,” contained “explicit scenes of sexual torture and mutilation.” We also pointed out that it was regarded by many critics as a great work of art, and noted that many First Amendment experts thought that this would make the case difficult for prosecutors to win.

As it turns out, they were right about this: the prosecutors lost. Today, the film is available in a Criterion Collection edition; you can rent it from Netflix, if you so desire.

My sister and I focused only on the controversy in our piece, offering no opinion on the film itself; indeed, I’ve never even seen it.

And that was it.

Apparently, in the eyes of Elam and his pal theantifeminist, the fact that I even wrote about the controversy renders me, as Elam insinuates, a “perv apologist” if not some sort of “perv” myself.

Which is, not to put too fine a point on it, complete fucking bullshit, as Elam, at least, well knows. Elam once talked about his fondness for the film Air Force One, which involves the hijacking of, well, Air Force One, and the killing of at least one hostage that I can remember. President Harrison Ford also gets shot at a lotm and punched, and nearly thrown out of the plane. Should we conclude that Elam is an apologist for airline hijackings, attempted presidential assassinations, and murder?

The second “argument” against me is based on a tendentious misrepresentation of a review essay I wrote in 1995 dealing with two books on Victorian sexuality, which theantifeminist has tried to portray as a defense of child prostitution, even though I made absolutely no mention of that topic in the review. Not one word.

The supposed proof of this bizarre accusation? The fact that the word “girl” appears twice in my review.

The first instance comes in a quote from a Victorian anti-prostitution campaigner who was upset that “one of the girls” she had attempted to rescue from a life of prostitution told her that she planned to return to that life.

But it’s clear that this “girl” is an adult woman, not a child; as I made clear earlier in that very paragraph, the “purity” campaigns I was talking about were aimed at “working-class women” who had turned to prostitution.

The second use of the word “girl” comes in a sentence in which I refer to the tendency of reformers to fall “back on coercive strategies to control the sexual behavior of young girls.”

Why anyone would interpret this as a reference to child prostitution, much less an apologia for it, I can’t say. In fact, I was making reference to the desire of reformers to control the sexuality of so-called “incorrigible” working-class girls, presumably mostly teenagers.

If for some reason you don’t believe this, I suggest you turn to page 115 of the hardback edition of Banishing the Beast, by Lucy Bland, the book I was reviewing. Bland makes a clear distinction between these “incorrigible” girls and prostitutes, quoting fellow historian Judith Walkowitz, who noted that the reformers approached “incorrigible” girls with the same patronizing mindset they had brought into their work with “unrepentant prostitutes,” and that in the case of the “incorrigible” girls the reformers were often less interested in protecting them than in “control[ling] their voluntary sexual impulses.”

You could say the same of the proponents of abstinence-only sex ed today.

To Bloomfield and Elam, I say, if you want to go after a real apologist for child prostitution, go after Tom Martin, who is probably the most famous MRA in the UK, and who also happens to be the guy who’s been peddling the antifeminist’s shit around on Twitter.

I know you’ve seen his Tweets, because that’s where you got all this bullshit from.

Here are some recent highlights from his Twitter stream. I’m pretty sure Bloomfield has seen these Tweets, as she’s referenced in every single one of them. But if you haven’t, this should be a treat for you all.

https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters/status/496453269246312448

https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters/status/496450511692771329

https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters/status/496157197282598914

https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters/status/496137197989666816

https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters/status/496606823253041152

Bloomfield and Elam should be renouncing, and denouncing, this guy. Instead, they’re using him as their source.

Of course, Bloomfield and Martin have a good deal more in common than she would perhaps like to admit: In the midst of the Jimmy Savile pedophilia scandal in the UK last year, she wrote a blog post blaming … the underage girls who’d been molested by Savile and others.

[B]asically, the girls were groupies. They wanted all the benefits of hanging out with a big star and they understood it came with a price and they paid it, perhaps reluctantly, but with full knowledge that the trips to London and the fags and the sweet weren’t free.

Why should they be? …

And now they are claiming the MEN abused THEM? Looks to me like it was the other way around.

Sounds a lot like Tom Martin, doesn’t it? Janet Bloomfield, eat your own words.

 

 

 

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marinerachel
6 years ago

We’re sorry about that.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ Darlenebertholet

I wonder if Martin knew your story and that’s why he decided to target you. It would be entirely in character for him to do so. Even by MRA standards he’s pretty awful, and he has a personality like a rabid wolverine – he and JB should be best friends.

The Truffle
The Truffle
6 years ago

Canada seems to be a hotbed for these MRA creeps. WTF is up with that?

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: The Truffle

Canada seems to be a hotbed for these MRA creeps. WTF is up with that?

I imagine it’s one of those things that once a few mushrooms pop up, they spread like a plague of fungus. (Only these doofuses aren’t really comparable; they are SO not fun guys. *rimshot*)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Also maybe that Canada just isn’t overtly woman-hating enough in general to make misogynists feel comfy and at home.

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

JB’s problem is that everything she says from now to the end of time will be considered a lie.

When I was in the PR business, I ran “crisis communications” seminars. And the number one rule in a crisis is “Don’t Lie”. Lies will be found out and then your credibility on every other issue is permanently shot.

Her “effectiveness” as a PR person has been permanently damaged to anyone not inside her little insular circle of jerks.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Please, Kevin K. Like JB was ever that effective as a PR person.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

Gah, more JB carry-on. David, I’m so sorry that you’re being targeted in such disgusting way. I’m always impressed by how you manage to fend these jerks off with such aplomb.

@Darlenebertholet – I’m so sorry that happened to you, and I’m sorry people like Tom Martin are asshats and trigger you like that. I hope it was at least a little satisfying to block his miserable self.

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

@LBT: For those who have skin in the game already, I’m sure that’s true. But her role as a PR person is to promote the vision of her organization to others who might not be immediately invested in those issues. Including policy makers and media who might not be following her little cabal with even a mild passing interest.

She hasn’t just shot herself in the foot with those external, future audiences. She’s detonated a suicide vest while giving them a giant finger and the “raspberries”. It’s not even the First Rule of Holes. It’s the First Rule of Don’t Be An Asshole.

I can’t imagine how much she’s being paid — but anyone with even the tiniest bit of a brain and a desire to actually have a legislative position advanced in the future would demand a refund, a resignation, and complete and total separation from their organization.

An active saboteur could not have done more damage to their organization’s goals.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Or rather, a PR professional would have a bit of a dilemma, but I daresay a bumbling amateur like her will just brush it aside in the usual expectation that her supporters have the attention span of goldfish.

Well, she’s not wrong (except in the way Argenti explained). They’ve probably already forgotten where it came from (or simply neglected to mention in when spreading the meme).

David: JB lives in canada
Marinerachel: we’re sorry about that

If I were writing a comedic riff on the “polite Canadians” meme, I couldn’t have done better than that. Well played!

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Oh, heads up everybody, my writeathon has FUCKING EXPLODED. (In a good way.) So I’m going to be opening another writeathon next month, and I’m throwing a poll to decide on bonuses and other fun stuff! Even if you don’t have an LJ, please, leave an anon comment and let your voice be heard!

(Seriously, y’all are awesome. I’m overwhelmed with awesomeness. Bury me in rainbows and unicorn sparkles.)

contrapangloss
6 years ago

We’re sorry about that.

*Undignified snort-laugh*

May I offer my sincerest gratitude for Canada retaining her instead of sending her here?

Woody
Woody
6 years ago

It’s always richly ironic when feminists complainin about harassment and smear campaigns.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

^ does not know the meaning of irony.

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

Shut up, Woody!

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Shut up, Woody. You’re defending someone who bragged about commiting libel.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Woody = another Alanis Morissette fan.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Your FACE is richly ironic, Woody.

breadandrosesblogger
6 years ago

Dear Woody,

iro·ny

: the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really think especially in order to be funny

: a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected

Sincerely,

Merriam-Webster

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

So, woody appears to be agreeing to the proposition that LB is engaged in a smear campaign. Interesting. You should be aware that in some legal circles, that is what is known as a “confession”.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

*laughs* I think you mean JB, Kevin K. LB usually means me/us!

katz
6 years ago

I can’t imagine how much she’s being paid

Fortunately, given that her organization is a grift for Paul Elam covered with the thinnest pretense of being an actual nonprofit, I’m pretty sure the answer is “nothing.”

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

JB will probably be paid in AVfM commemorative coins, so yeah, nothing is about right.

brooked
6 years ago

@Kevin K

But her role as a PR person is to promote the vision of her organization to others who might not be immediately invested in those issues.

Theoretically. I sincerely doubt that JudgyB attempted to do the real work of a PR person or even knows what that entails. Her anti-PR flame torch was briefly fun during the AVfM conference, but now she’s just another dreary reactionary on Twitter with nothing substantial or even entertaining to say. Her twitter feed is the equivalent to Free Republic thread at this point, a god awful mixture of broken reactionary pseudo-ideology and mean spirited hectoring with a strong aversion to the truth.

I fear she is going to keep actively harassing David on Twitter because if she didn’t he’d go back to ignoring her. She’s by far the least interesting FeMRA, which is quite an achievement since none of them are particularly interesting.

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

I can’t imagine how much she’s being paid — but anyone with even the tiniest bit of a brain and a desire to actually have a legislative position advanced in the future would demand a refund, a resignation, and complete and total separation from their organization.

I strongly suspect she’s being paid nothing. Or, at most, expenses only. She can’t possibly be charging a full professional rate – or if she is, and Elam’s paying it, more fool him.

In many ways, I’m delighted that AVFM is being publicly represented by what has to be one of the most laughably inept PR reps in the profession’s entire history, as it makes pointing and laughing at them infinitely easier. PRs are supposed to defuse potential problems, but Bloomfield has adopted the intriguing alternative technique of handing out vast quantities of ammunition to her critics at every possible opportunity, whether it’s calling people “whores” on an official Twitter feed or not merely libelling people but helpfully confessing to doing so.

By contrast, if Elam hired someone halfway competent at making his case sound reasonable, AVFM would be a lot more dangerous – but any PR exec worth zir salt would most likely charge sky-high rates (and quite rightly: good PRs really are worth the money).

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

JB did say a one point that she punched Pauly in the face until he forked over half the proceeds of the MRA conference. Maybe she wasn’t joking?

thermonictriode
6 years ago

Made the mistake of reading that gawdawful blog entry, and the even bigger mistake of looking at the comments. Depressed but unsurprised to find that the bulk of the discussion seems to have been given over to apologia for child sex abuse (MRAs, for the use of). My irony meter asplode.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

It’s always richly ironic when feminists complainin about harassment and smear campaigns.

Funny, that’s how I feel about MRAs defending (and committing) false accusations.

Melissia
6 years ago

Keep up the good work, Mr. Futrelle. It’s work that needs to be done… and you’re one of the best.