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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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bodycrimes
6 years ago

What a disgrace. I’ll give Ms Bloomfield the benefit of the doubt and suggest she started with good intentions – she wrote a quite decent essay once on how her son’s normal wriggly behaviour was pathologised in school. Maybe she could once have been a real advocate for the issues men and boys face, but not now. She’s caught in the internet death spiral, where she started writing screeds in order to turn herself into the next Ann Coulter, and found herself escalating to keep the attention. She has finished by peddling the most vicious rants imaginable.

I rarely read her, but the times I have, she’s boasted of her PhD studies and how amazing her skills are. She can kiss a decent job goodbye now that she’s got all these crackpot paedophile apologies under her image. I hope having an internet and occasional media presence as the loony lady who calls all her enemies whores brings her lots of satisfaction. Fortunately, the thing it won’t bring her is credibility. She blew that sky high the day she defended necrophiliac and rapist Jimmy Saville.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

I’m sorry you have to deal with this sort of bullshit, David. If projection was an Olympic sport, MRA’s would take home the gold every year.

I really hope Bloomfield gets sued for libel sooner or later. Then maybe she’ll call of her heavily manipulated attack dogs and stop using men to do her dirty work.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

She HAS to be trying to provoke a libel lawsuit. I just can’t fathom any reasonable person acting like this otherwise.

Probably thinking that a libel lawsuit will be big news.

Robert Ramirez
Robert Ramirez
6 years ago

David, you and Jessica Valenti need to find a lawyer. JB is going too far and needs too find out she can’t get away with libel and slander. She has crossed a legal line and she needs to be held accountable.

Jarred H
6 years ago

Redonkulas: To call what David does an “attack” is ludicrous. Also, David doesn’t make up shit for his criticisms and mockery. JB and company do.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

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

Which goes to show you who is really objectively pro-pedo. Tom Martin is an arse, and so is anyone who believes a word he says. I wouldn’t trust him to give me an accurate weather report, never mind a whole book report. Reading comprehension is something he never bothered to acquire, before age 10 or after.

[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.

Bullshit. Does this girl look like a “groupie” trying to hang with a “big star”?

Nobody wanted to hang with Jimmy Savile…he wasn’t a real star himself, just a professional hanger-on who leveraged a so-so hosting job to his advantage. I doubt very much that Sylvia got anything out of the encounter, other than a grabby hand on her bum.

sadie6
6 years ago

These are the people who claim to hate false allegations so much…

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I just trashed a troll loser’s comment.

Niters, all.

bodycrimes
6 years ago

I went and had a look at her post – which I couldn’t read, so I skipped to the comments.

And what’s there but a discussion of when girls should be considered underage. Very telling, the people she associates with.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

These are the people who claim to hate false allegations so much…

They sure can dish ’em out…

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

They think that false allegations are so prevalent because they have no ethical objection to making them, themselves. They assume everyone else is as morally bankrupt as they are.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

I’m sorry they’re subjecting you to this, David. It appears as though the success of Confused Cats Against Feminism has enraged them. The international media rushed to cover it with glowing reviews while the MRA hatefest in St. Claire received bad press for the most part. Poor, butthurt MRAs are throwing a tantrum but they’re further destroying their own credibility in the process.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Ugh, David, I’m sorry they’re targeting you with this. They know that feminists often take accusations like pedophilia more seriously than the general public, and they’re probably hoping to make the feminist community turn on you because that’s their idea of irony.

And MRAs, just for the record: I’m not standing with David on this out of sheer loyalty. I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say we take accusations like this seriously (even coming from lying assholes like JB), and would turn on David in a hot minute if we thought he was actually a pedo apologist. Just in case you idiots were thinking of calling us sycophants or pedo apologist apologists or whatever reality-denying foolishness you lot are probably dreaming up.

sugarvonmurderertits
6 years ago

Confused cats seems to have really got them riled up alright.

I feel like taking a long shower after reading some of those tweets.

saphy
saphy
6 years ago

Ugh, and I thought I was having a crappy day at work. You win this time, David.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

Ah, I was wondering about where JB and company got the “David Futrelle is a paedophile apologist” crap from. Like all MRA “facts”, it came from an asshole. Thanks for clarifying, David. And for what it’s worth, I think you’re awesome for doing what you do.

Just like political conservatives, these people are all too happy to use children as rhetorical weapons against their opponents while completely ignoring, or even actively harming, the well-being of children the rest of the time. Despicable.

Redcap
Redcap
6 years ago

There is no worse smear campaign than what the MRAs do to themselves.

And wooooweeeee, they’re just rolling in that bullshit now. Normally they’re knee-deep, but Bloomfield seems to delight in smearing herself in filth. As if anyone but the slavering MRAs would believe this.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

JudgyBitch is the worst. I know she’ll take that as a compliment, but there’s a woman who should sit down and have a deep think about her life choices.

What’s her PhD work in, advanced bullshit and lies?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

I briefly read the pedo accusation article JB wrote… It read like a thread in r/conspiracy. One of those things that separates each sentence from its context, “asks” absurdly leading questions, makes leaps of logic that would impress a kangaroo Aristotle, all in a childish “tee hee, oh my, look what I’m doing” tone.

I’ve seen articles exposing people of terrible beliefs. When the belief is there, you don’t need to be coy. It’s pretty obvious. JB is just making more shit up about people she doesn’t like because… Poe’s Law? Who the fuck knows. She knows she has nothing to lose.

BelleChatonne
BelleChatonne
6 years ago

David, can you use some of your contacts at places like HuffPo to expose this? Honestly, the MRAs and JB deserve to be exposed to a larger audience for being lying, manipulative, hateful people. Even if you and Jessica can’t sue for libel, you could at least use this as an opportunity to show the world what these people who claim to care about boys and men really do with their time.

Or, failing that, have the HuffPo and other outlets write articles about how you are a pedophile apologist and Jessica is a rampant man-hater, at which point you will have both solidified your cases for libel!

moscow nights
moscow nights
6 years ago

A good strong capable response to the smear campaign, David. You have wide exposure, so when AVFM goes after you, their tactics are laid out for all to see and condemn. I also am very sorry you have to go through this, but I’m happy on behalf of all the smeared college students and young women journalists who didn’t have your audience and abilities, as this attempt to smear you mirrors what AVFM did to them and why.

cloudiah
6 years ago

David, I’m sorry that they’re going after you and Jessica. I think this response is just about perfect.

brooked
6 years ago

Seeing Esmay and others grill you about Salo like their conducting a criminal investigation is just surreal. I haven’t the stomach to see it myself, but I know all about it and I’ve seen other Pasolini films at museum and University film retrospectives as well as on video. Salo is a really famous and important art film. It only has 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 26 reviews, but in the big 2012 Sight & Sound poll critics named it the 202nd greatest film of all time and directors had it as 75th greatest.

http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/film/4ce2b6b4ead96

Elam lives in Texas, IIRC. If he lives near The Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston, he missed his chance to see Salo on the big screen during their Pasolini retrospective which ran last fall.

http://www.mfah.org/films/series/38/

I’d argue that this is their worst gotcha except they’re all pretty equally baseless.

khamzin
6 years ago

I read through ur review of the abusexcuse (insane name, btw 😉 ) and ofc I don´t think ur review defends abusers even though that book seems to be flawed in many ways after ur description of it u say u found the book empty of analyze and from the little I could read out of it it also lacks reality check or at least roots in actual facts. I need to say this: abuse does not come from stress or poverty of the abuser and that is fact; nor does it come from childhood abuse. This thing Needs 2 be thoroughly adressed it is insane that our underdeveloped psychology has made a trope out of Repetition compulsion when it is just as or more likley that abused children when they grow up become even less abusive then the generic person. To live with this trope as a victim of abuse is horrible and little is done to change the academia, public and scientific view of this even though it is both false and stigmatizes victims of abuse even more: “psychology tells me that cause someone raped me as a child I will myself rape children.” (or meet a partner that will) – imagine how that feels? dunno this is ofc not ur problem but I wish ur young article woulda pointed out here at that point already known fact that escpecially stress and poverty has nothing to do with abuse, but also the fucking rolling stone trope. It needs to go away.

samantha
6 years ago

You know, I sort of hope that they continue to escalate their lies and vitriol. It would be wonderful to see them tear their own house down when even their own cannot swallow the whoppers.

I know, I know – I am probably simply dreaming out loud. But it would be fun to watch! (Eyes unfocus, as visions of MRAs with pitchforks and torches descending on the houses of Elam and Bloomfield dance before aforesaid optical orbs…) Sigh…

insanitybytes22
6 years ago

I’m sorry you’re going through this, David. I may be an anti-fem, but I do speak kindly of you whenever I can because you fight the good fight and do it with some integrity.

One of the really creepy things about a few elements in the manosphere, is pro-pedophilia. I suppose pedophilia is horrific wherever you find it, it’s just a bit surprising to see such vulgar and blatant support for it in some quarters. Those people also fight dirty, blaming children for their own victimization, accusing others of being pedophiles, threatening people. It’s pretty ugly. If the world tilted and all those people fell off, I wouldn’t feel bad about it at all.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Mras think that ‘lies’ to them is information that they don’t like but they lie about something that sounds good to them.

I’m so sorry about what you and Jessica are going through and just anyone who has to deal with them.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I feel the need to point out that the age of consent in Victorian England was 14. Not that it changes anything in context, nor do I think they knew that, but yeah, some of those working girls really were still girls. But as I said on the other thread, it was clearly about working girls, not girl girls — a turn of phrase, euphemism, what have you. Do I like the term, well no, but it is a term nonetheless. And yeah, Victorians could be absolutely horrible in how they treated sex workers, which was the actual point.

brooked
6 years ago

It takes gumption to pretend to be ignorant of the term “working girls” and the fact that teenager is a word that postdates Victorian England, but they clearly have no problem with making themselves look stupid.

David, can you use some of your contacts at places like HuffPo to expose this? Honestly, the MRAs and JB deserve to be exposed to a larger audience for being lying, manipulative, hateful people.

They don’t actually deserve a larger audience, I hope their online harassment can be combated and their lies factually corrected without giving individual MRAs any of the personal fame they clearly crave.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I suppose since the MRAs are so concerned about movies featuring pedophilia they’ll be denouncing the adaptations of Lolita anytime now.

Oh wait, no. Manospherians love to hold up Lolita as evidence that it’s totally natural and acceptable for adult men to have relationships with underage girls. Not that that’s the point of the book or anything but we all know misogynists tend to not interpret literature, film, art or anything else well.

Sally Strange (@SallyStrange)

From the way they’re carrying on, you’d almost think that THEY have solid ethical objections to pedophilia.

white knight
white knight
6 years ago

The movie ‘Salò’ is widely considered a “classic film” based on the works of Marquis de Sade and is a critique of fascism. It was considered controversial in the 1970s and does contain deliberately disturbing scenes depicting the torture of teenagers. But it was considered to have artistic merit by most major film critics at the time and today the film is considered mainstream and is widely available. It’s on youtube, Netflix and Amazon. Bloomfield and co are behaving like it’s some illegal underage porn film.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

What ugly, despicable people. There is indeed no bottom to their depravity.

I’m sorry, David, that you are the object of their scurrilous attacks. Given the important work you do, it is inevitable, sadly.

Stay strong. And thank you, sincerely, for doing what you do, with such conviction and calm aplomb.

vikkiandhanne
6 years ago

Twitter is an excellent medium for throwing baseless accusations, less so for disproving them. I mean, I like twitter, but it is a format that is far too easily abused.
I’m really sorry that you have to deal with this. At least you know you must be getting to them?

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

WTF is wrong with these people?

Seriously.

A Wolverine
A Wolverine
6 years ago

If MRA reading comprehension was any worse they’d be injuring themselves regularly.

A bottle of dish soap becomes a condiment because it says “great for greasy food” on it

Ellie
Ellie
6 years ago

Is Janet Bloomfield her real name?

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

Just a heads up here, but Vox Day is writing about this now. He’s taking his material from a site called “the antifeminist.”

http://www.donotlink.com/b1vf

For context, the references to SFWA are the efforts by the Voice of God Beale to connect that organization to pedophilia and the cover-ups of same by Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband as well as Ed Kramer and the favorable comments on NAMBLA allegedly made by Samuel Delany.

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

I’ve seen Salò, and anyone interpreting it as an apologia for pedophilia is, to quote David, peddling complete fucking bullshit.

It’s an attack on Fascism, something of which Pier Paolo Pasolini had direct personal experience, as he spent the first 21 years of his life under the Mussolini regime and spent much of the rest of it attacking Fascist sympathisers and other right-wingers through assorted media (he was an outspoken columnist as well as a novelist, poet and filmmaker).

I doubt the AVFM crowd’s take on it is especially nuanced (I doubt many of them have seen it – have any?), but there’s a certain irony in the way that they’re trying to minimise or erase the film’s anti-Fascist credentials in favour of trying to turn it (ludicrously) into some kind of pro-pedophilia statement. Not least because Pasolini’s critics during his lifetime used very similar tactics.

And on the subject of Tom Martin, it’s worth noting:

(a) that he’s based in the UK;
(b) his libels were effectively published in the UK;
(b) British libel laws are much more draconian than those in the US, with the burden of proof falling squarely on the defendant peddling the alleged libel.

I wouldn’t actually advise this course of action for a whole host of reasons – not least the fact that libel actions are expensive and uncertain, because juries often adopt a “plague on both your houses” stance and will reach verdicts like “guilty but with derisory damages” – but you’d have thought that someone like Martin who’s already fallen foul of the UK legal system might think twice about these tactics.

On the other hand, I doubt he has much to lose either financially or in terms of his reputation.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

AVFM’s new logo: a pair of burning pants waving in the breeze.

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

Is Vox mad becasue the fascists in the film are portrayed as the bad guys?

Possibly. He posted a video this morning that *cough* protests against the (quote) “experiment of mass immigration and multiculturalism.” Here it is if you want to see it (trigger warning for jingoism):

http://youtu.be/VR-lAGj_dlQ?list=FLuRrNPWUZ4F7J0w3lh6sy1w

cloudiah
6 years ago

Congratulations, emilygoddess!

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

If only AVfM actually gave a damn about the sexual abuse and exploitation if children. Maybe they could do a little housecleaning and throw out the trash in their movement who equate the presence of breasts with the ability to meaningfully consent to sex with adults. Maybe they could address the anti-feminist dung beetles who wax poetic about the crucial difference between pedophilia (wrong, bad) and ephebophilia (totally natural, 110% okay). But this isn’t about the children and teenagers who are abused. This is about making Dave look bad. Sometimes I just want to throw up all over all of these people.

vaiyt
6 years ago

I don’t even need to see the video. The thumbnail already tells me enough. White guy with gnome ears and “I’m a perpetually raging troglodyte trying to pretend I’m civilized” face saying “Europe belongs to us”. He might as well be saying “I have no sense of historical perspective whatsoever”.

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

Ironically, if Salò had been made with much younger victims, the film’s point about the absolute moral corruption of Fascism would arguably have been strengthened.

But it would also have made it absolutely unwatchable (it’s already pretty heavy going) and probably illegal into the bargain.

vaiyt
6 years ago

Maybe they could do a little housecleaning and throw out the trash in their movement who equate the presence of breasts with the ability to meaningfully consent to sex with adults.

But if they do that, will they have anything left?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

But if they do that, will they have anything left?

Exactly.

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