The fact that the quotes were patently ridiculous, and utterly unlike anything Valenti has ever written, didn’t stop Bloomfield’s army of knucklehead followers from swallowing her lies whole – or, once informed that the quotes were fake, of declaring that they sounded like something someone like her would say.
Bloomfield, for her part, is suggesting that it might have to do with some cakes she was baking. No, really:
So it seems that my account on Twitter has been suspended. I find that odd since most of my most recent tweets have been about baking a wedding cake. Not exactly controversial. I suspect some sort of automatic response was triggered when a lot of people simultaneously reported me for abuse but I have no idea.
Naturally, Bloomfield’s comrades at A Voice for Men have spun this as “Judgy Bitch was censored for a cake!”
Let me take a moment to ignore my regular readers and speak directly to the Men’s Rights Activists who might be reading this blog. I suspect there are a few.
What I would like to talk to you about it ironic humor. Because, here’s the thing, sometimes people say things they don’t actually believe in order to make a little fun at the way other people see them.
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.
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.]
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:
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:
@JudgyBitch1@JessicaValenti JB, "I didn't like her shirt so I lied about her maliciously to harm her" isn't an acceptable defense for libel