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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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insanitybytes22
6 years ago

“Is Vox mad because the fascists in the film are portrayed as the bad guys?”

He has deep seated fascism envy. Also a kind knee jerk emotionalism that reminds me of a rabid Chihuahua. You’re just not sure whether to hug the poor thing or have it put down.

He has the ability and the opportunity to do so much good, but he just insists on blowing his integrity and misfiring randomly all over the place. It’s a shame. I hate to see wasted potential.

His current attack on David is unjustified, unfair, illogical, and a bit sloppy. Check your sources Vox, you got toilet paper on your shoe.

Lady Mondegreen
6 years ago

David, thanks for doing what you do. It’s important, and it’s appreciated. And you do it with humor, which is the part that really amazes me.

I read this blog every day. And CCAF rocks. (Wonderful the way CCAF has made antifeminist heads explode.)

Bloomfield and Elam are morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest; they’re hateful little losers trying desperately to feel better about themselves.

And like Teddy Beale, they’ve made jokes of themselves.

Shaenon
6 years ago

I do kind of love that the thing that’s sent them on this over-the-top lying rage fit is a friggin’ cat meme.

YoullNeverGuess
YoullNeverGuess
6 years ago

Part of me thinks this is very straightforward. MRAs make shit up all the time and then repeat it amongst themselves until it becomes established fact on places like reddit. They know pedophilia is a very serious accusation to level, so this provides a shorthand on why David is evil incarnate. In a few months, it will be common knowledge among MRAs that David is a pedophilia apologist, and that’s a much better reason to hate him than “he embarrasses is all the time.”

But at the same time… they constantly make excuses for pedophiles! Sorry, elephantophiles, which I find more understandable, because everyone loves elephants. They should be the first people in line to defend David against these accusations they made up themselves… my eyes are crossing. I guess David is destined to become King of the MRAs.

katz
6 years ago

David, I’m sorry they’re going after you. That must be really difficult!

Lids
6 years ago

I swear they accused you of pedophelia a few months ago didn’t they? They aren’t even creative. How about accusing you of… running an illegal unicorn breeding factory. Or tying MRA shoelaces together while they aren’t looking.

Lids
6 years ago

Excuse me, pedophilia.

Lids
6 years ago

Once, when I was attending the five person MRA meeting at my local trash heap we were infiltrated cunningly by David Futrelle – AND HE TIED ALL OUR SHOELACES TOGETHER.

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

@Lids an especially impressive feat considering he is just a human suit operated by cats!

Falconer
6 years ago

SHAENON! *glom* How ya doin? How’s the bairn?

breadandrosesblogger
6 years ago

Oh please, I can play this game too.* Look:

“Nickelback is the greatest band ever.” – Janet Bloomfield

Yes, that was the most horrible thing I could imagine smearing her with.

*Seriously, this was a joke, please don’t do what Bloomfield and Elam are doing. It’s screwed up.

strivingally
6 years ago

I think JB knows damn well that if she were a big enough name to have a newspaper column, what she’s done there would absolutely be actionable in a court of law. She knows she’s held to lower standards than someone from an organisation with a bigger public profile because, well, AVFM is relatively tiny and fringe. So she’s going the whole “notoriety isn’t as good as fame but heaps better than obscurity” route.

I can’t believe that a “movement” that continually states that feminist arguments are weak and on the precipice of falling apart is resorting to the most blatant misrepresentation, slander and bullshit deception to peddle their ideology. If feminism is so obviously a broken philosophy and anybody who finds out enough will turn away from it, then why would it be necessary to make up things supposedly said by feminists in order to “discredit” them? And for a group who always claims feminists are uncritically swallowing the words of their leaders, the AVFM flying monkey squadron seems to be quite happy to just accept whatever JB tells them somebody else said.

When you consider internet trolling to be a good career move, you really need to look at your choices in life.

tiko72
tiko72
6 years ago

Below is my comment from Ophelia Bensons blog.I wrote it after a previous commenter had said that the MRM were in meltdown due to the success of ‘confused cats’.

Just going to add that their little tis fest is not just the success of ‘confused cats’ but that it seems to be getting more coverage than their conference the other week is really upsetting them.
It’s kinda pathetic to see pictures of the conference and all the empty seats and yet they talk about it like it was the most successful thing ever and a turning point for the MRM.
I’ve got two images in my head.When they’re talking about their super duper conference,I see a grinning excitable clown who’s secretly crying inside.When,despite their bests efforts to get into the mainstream,they see yet another cat blog take over the internet,I see A bunch of 4 year old’s stomping around screaming “it’s not fair you meanies” .

I did not realise how serious it was until I came over to WHTM and read this post.Yes they are big babies and deserve to be mocked but this is awful.They really are the lowest of the low,nasty horrible despicable people.
I’m sorry you are on the receiving end of this David,you have the support of your commenter’s,blogger’s from FTB and I’m sure many others.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

“I’m functionally illiterate and PROUD!” — Janet Bloomfield

Nyah, nyaaah, nyaaaah.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

My thoughts on all this: I take 4 psych meds and I am not nearly as disconnected from reality as these people.
Maybe a real turning point for the MRA movement would come about if someone spikes the punchbowl with haldol at the next conference…

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
6 years ago

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. None of the things David has written count as pedophilia apologia. I seem to recall that these are the same people who think that they should be able to have sex with 12-14 year-old girls. They also hold up “Lolita” as an example of how “natural” their attractions are.

“Lolita” is a great book by the way. It’s beautifully written and it’s sad to see how badly people have misinterpreted it. Humbert Humbert is creepy, Nabokov intended for him to be creepy. For as educated as the MRAs who defend pedophilia claim to be, they apparently lack the reading comprehension to know that Humbert is abusing Lolita and she is suffering because of it.

scarlettpipstrelle
6 years ago

Just goes to show what we all knew: the philosophical underpinnings of the online MRA cadre are simply vile. They are hateaholics and rageaholics, and now this one is on a bender. Doesn’t take much to set them off. They can pretend to want to help men and boys, but acid-tripping on anger and bullying is their real scene. “… of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45 – hasn’t Dalrock noticed this?) And yes, everyone noticed the empty seats at their pathetic “conference.”

House Mouse Queen
6 years ago

David,

I left many comments on the AVFM video supportive of you. I am sorry you are being dragged through the mud by a bunch of losers who realize you’re a much better writer than all of them and have successfully mocked them at every turn.

My support and respect,

Diana

brooked
6 years ago

@Sarah

That video genuinely chilling and reminded me of this:

http://youtu.be/LNMVMNmrqJE

creepycupcake
creepycupcake
6 years ago

David, you really do deserve a medal for dealing with these emotionally draining, selfish, depressing abusive creeps. I love your blog and I read it every day. Someone needs to stand up to these bullies. Thank you.

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

@Sarah

That video genuinely chilling and reminded me of this:

Yeah, I should have included a warning for “thinly veiled racism” with that post. I didn’t think of that until after I posted it. Sorry, my bad.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Seems to me that Tom Martin is really invested in saying children go into prostitution voluntarily. Wish the police would investigate him.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

Seconded, Kittehs.

thewatchingdog
thewatchingdog
6 years ago

Degrading Themes: Attack Pattern to Put the Victim on the Psychological Defensive

Degrading themes can be used to put a person or victim on the defensive or psychological defensive. Some example of using degrading themes is to make insinuations that the victim is a criminal or a pedophile.

An example of an attack pattern used in psychological harassment or psychological warfare is:

• Making insinuations that the victim is a criminal or pedophile to put the victim on the defensive.
• Followed by threats to induce the fight-or-flight response or to induce fear.

thewatchingdog
thewatchingdog
6 years ago

Jessica Valenti got a some of this………… Criminal Harassment Network Routines, Strategies, and Smear Campaigns criminal harassment network routines, strategies, and smear campaigns that involves psychological manipulation, technology, and uttering threats. According to Marie-France Hirigoyen psychiatrist the intent of many emotional abusers is to systematically “destabilize” and confuse their victims, Smear campaigns to destroy their credibility, and often abuse builds over a period of time until it becomes so unbearable that victims lash out in frustration and anger aka hitting back, only to appear unstable and aggressive themselves….aka when you fight back we take you picture ..and Photoshop it top of dead firefighters and babies..and post it everywhere to attack you.

Jens Knudsen (Sili)
Jens Knudsen (Sili)
6 years ago

Have they remembered to tell The Amazing™ Atheist that this is the tack they’re now taking?

Katie
Katie
6 years ago

Urgh, what a charming personality JB is turning out to be. Give her enough rope and she just might hang herself.

Sir Bodsworth Ruggleby III
Sir Bodsworth Ruggleby III
6 years ago

When ‘let’s go through everything with a fine toothed comb’ meets MRA-level reading comprehension.

brooked
6 years ago

Dean Esmay @deanesmay
@DavidFutrelle @AVoiceForMen Strange allegation from the man who libels and smears human rights activists for a living. Oh, the irony….

I think irony should sue Esmay for defamation. Doesn’t Elam and Co. have an alleged human rights group to run? Do they think David Futrelle is the greatest threat to men’s well being? And by men’s well being I mean AVfM crew’s hurt feels of course.

Note: Esmay put his own spin on the traditional MRA mangled ellipsis in that tweet, what a renegade.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Seems to me that Tom Martin is really invested in saying children go into prostitution voluntarily. Wish the police would investigate him.

Roger that. And he says the men who buy them are “victims”? Of what, a police sting?

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

What the ever loving fuck? Gaslight much, you drooling MRA morons — oh, and I’m talking to your pathetic fan girl too. Yeah, abusers lobby is an apt nickname for those dengerates.

scarlettpipstrelle
6 years ago

I took a look over on AVFM where they’re jabbering about David, and I think they’re fixated on the movie Salo, trying to equate it with child porn. Uh, that movie is on YouTube. It won a court challenge in 1994. Yes, many consider it vile, and for reasons that are easy to understand. Some people claimed that some of the actors were underage, meaning 16 not 6. Interesting that the MRAs should be ranting about child porn since so many of them claim the right to reach for green fruit.

Some consider the film’s thesis to be pretentious or gratuitous or pointless. But of course it’s violent and revolting – it’s based on a story by the Marquis de Sade, so what else could it be? It’s not Disney. The film’s director transplanted the story to Fascist Italy to make some point about power and corruption. Therein lies the claim to artistry.

So, over on AVFM, storm and fury signifying nothing – as usual.

cloudiah
6 years ago

If quoting the things MRAs actually say, with links so that readers can see them in context, constitutes libel, we may need to update the dictionary.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: Shaenon

I do kind of love that the thing that’s sent them on this over-the-top lying rage fit is a friggin’ cat meme.

They really don’t our cat hobby, do they?

RE: Mnemosyne

For as educated as the MRAs who defend pedophilia claim to be, they apparently lack the reading comprehension to know that Humbert is abusing Lolita and she is suffering because of it.

They also miss the part where she LEAVES HIM. Seriously, the whole end of the book is him tracking her down, all waily and upset, and she sends him packing. She gets on with her life, while he has a colossal meltdown and tries to marry his car to a tree. But yeah, Humbert is totally the one we should be caring about in the story.

Dumbasses. *wrote an essay on the voice in Lolita back in the day*

Darlenebertholet
Darlenebertholet
6 years ago

I was contacted by Tom Martin on twitter about that 1995 book review. I didn’t read it but cussed him out anyway. I know your character and u are not a pedo creep . Ironically when I was 13 I was hard trafficked into prostitution and I didn’t realize what was happening to me and it was very damaging . I had exited by 15 and suffered PTSD and other mental disorders so I was quite shaken when Tom Martin used words like whore when describing children to me and I blocked him immediately. I am glad that there are people like you out there calling dirtbags like this on their shit. Feminism has helped me gain a healthier perspective on my interactions with men and given me the strength to press charges on a man involved in my exploitation 🙂

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Darlenebertholet,

That’s awful. I’m sorry that happened to you and I’m sorry that assholes like Tom Martin are there to say triggering bullshit to you. Congratulations on pursuing charges against the predator. It must have taken a lot of courage.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Darlenebertholet: seconding what WWTH has said. I’m pleased you’ve found support, and thank you for pressing charges against the abuser.

Nathan Hevenstone
6 years ago

Wow. Just wow. And when I thought they couldn’t sink any lower. Even people who won’t label themselves feminists should be appalled by this. This is low. Valenti, you, and so many others targeted by these disgusting serial harassers…

This is criminal.

aebars
6 years ago

Bloomfield hasn’t turned up to troll this thread yet? I’m impressed.

marinerachel
6 years ago

I know! She must be busy running errands for Paul.

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
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.”

QFT.

I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this sewer of nastiness, David. It certainly shows you’ve pissed off the right people though. There goes any pretence by AVfM to care about actual victims of pedophiles, false allegations, and indeed truth.

For those who follow JB but have reading skills and a residual understanding of fair comment, it might be an alert they can’t ignore.

Shaenon
6 years ago

SHAENON! *glom* How ya doin? How’s the bairn?

Awesome. He has spectacular hair.

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

I was quite shaken when Tom Martin used words like whore when describing children to me and I blocked him immediately. I am glad that there are people like you out there calling dirtbags like this on their shit.

As a general rule, if one finds onerself on the same side as Tom Martin, it might be a good idea to indulge in a bit of intensive soul-searching. And it’s even more idiotic if one uses Tom Martin as a source to smear someone falsely as a defender of pedophiles, when Martin is such an aggressively outspoken defender of them himself (to an extent that I’ve never previously encountered online, at least when said defences are signed by what is demonstrably his real name).

Of course, it’s perfectly possible that Bloomfield might have been unaware of Martin’s views, but she’s clearly aware now (I don’t believe for a millisecond that she’s not avidly reading this thread), in which case in PR terms she has a bit of a dilemma.

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.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Darlenebertholet — that’s terrible! *drags over the barrel of hugs* there’s all variety of fuzzy animal in there, and a fish tank next door, but only one clown loach seems to be awake currently and they’re more fun to watch when they school.

Wetherby — I wish that meme would die. Goldfish have perfectly functional memories. Conditioning works well on them, you can get them to do tricks even. Versus my father, who STILL can’t grok that red light = hot stove (an error the cat made exactly once) — misogynist bigots, less intelligent than goldfish!

brooked
6 years ago

#NOTALLGOLDFISH

Someone had to do it, so I did.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Attention span of a pet rock? Works for me. 🙂

SusieCross
SusieCross
6 years ago

Thank you for this blog. Those people are disgusting filth.

The Truffle
The Truffle
6 years ago

As I understand it, JB lives in the UK, where libel laws are much stricter than they are in the US. You’d think she would know better, but…never mind.