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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

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.

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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8 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).

8 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?

8 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
8 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.

8 years ago

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

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