By David Futrelle
Attention-seeking alt-lite antifeminist Janet “JudgyBitch” Bloomfield has managed to get the attention of Vice News for the second time in four years, starring in a recent Vice video (embedded below) as “the woman against women voting.”
It’s a familiar role for her, as she’s been going on about the evils of the 19th Amendment for as long as I’ve known about her. Her argument is a simple, if ridiculous one: If women aren’t subject to the draft — if they aren’t at risk for being forced into combat for their country — they shouldn’t have a say in how the country is run.
Never mind that no man, in the United States at least, is subject to the draft right now. There is no draft, and hasn’t been since 1973, making draft registration (required of all 18-year-old males) largely meaningless. Were the draft reinstated, a highly unlikely development, it would almost certainly be extended to women as well.
Also, as we all well know, there are a lot of ways other than war that the government affects our lives, and it kind of seems like women would have an equal right to have a say in them, but never mind, because Bloomfield’s argument isn’t really based on logic; it’s an extension of her what appears to be her own deeply embedded internalized misogyny.
Bloomfield — real name Andrea Hardie — returned to the women-shouldn’t-vote theme on her blog JudgyBitch yesterday. In a post clearly meant as a backhanded slap at the Parkland students speaking out so eloquently for gun control, Bloomfield extended her “no draft, no vote” argument to high school students, declaring in a headline that “[t]he reason we don’t listen to 16-year-olds is the same reason we shouldn’t listen to women.”
Attempting to rebut a CNN opinion piece arguing that “Parkland students show why 16-year-olds should be able to vote,” Bloomfield mocks the idea that
16 year olds are brilliant analysts of constitutional amendments and no one is more qualified to parse the intentions of the Founding Fathers of the world’s most successful nation better than kids who also eat Tide Pods and think $300 Supreme Hoodies are a wise choice.
Huh. If dumb decisions by some members of a certain demographic were enough to disqualify everyone in that demographic from voting, surely the election of Donald Trump should disqualify all Americans who were of voting age in 2016 from ever voting again.
16 year olds should vote!
Yeah, okay. Great idea, on one condition: if 16 year olds can vote, then 16 year olds can be drafted.
Old enough to vote? Then you are old enough to die. Voting has consequences, and only the people paying those consequences have a right to choose them. …
16 year olds should not vote, unless we are going to draft them., That means only boys should vote, because we can’t draft women at all. Pregnancy will always exempt women from the draft.
Of course there are plenty of medical conditions that have gotten men exempted from the draft as well. Trump famously escaped the draft because his doctor told the draft board that the future terrible president had bone spurs. Should all men with (possibly imaginary) bone spurs also be denied the vote? Should they also be banned from the presidency?
There are ironies galore in Bloomfield’s stance here, but the biggest irony is about as basic as it gets: the woman here arguing that “we shouldn’t listen to women” on political issues spends much of her life loudly expressing her political views … and trying to get people to listen to her.
The Vice video reveals another rather astonishing bit of hypocrisy on Bloomfield’s part. Skip ahead in the video to 2;46, the point in the video when we are introduced to a fellow named Leo Oja, identified as “Janet’s Husband.”
Wait, what? I thought she was happily married to someone named Tim.
A quick bit of Googling reveals that Mr. Oja is a martial arts instructor specializing in Combat Hapkido.
Well that’s … interesting. A couple years back, you see, Bloomfield started posting excited reports about her new passion for martial art training, starting with Krav Maga and moving on to, you guessed it, Hapkido. Her posts on martial arts and the alleged beauty of violence grew stranger and more rhapsodic.
The strangest of these posts began with her announcing that “I am a troubled and haunted woman of late” before going on to describe her immersion in martial arts in almost religious terms.
The past year has seen some fairly momentous changes for me. Momentous in terms of my rather quiet, small life. … It begins with martial arts. … this was an utterly transformative experience for me, and it continues to be.
She went on to explain what was making her so troubled.
I am training 5 days a week now, and often for 5 or more hours a session. …
My husband refuses to join me. He wants nothing to do with this. There is no part of his being that relishes or enjoys violence, and he does not want to learn the brutality and savagery that sets my blood on fire. … He is not fine with it.
She concluded by announcing that she would be writing a book with her Hapkido instructor.
The book never happened. But something else did: Bloomfield left her college professor husband to marry the aforementioned Hapkido instructor. Or maybe her husband divorced her. I don’t know the details, and I don’t really care.
What makes this worth mentioning is Bloomfield/Hardie’s incredible hypocrisy here. As JudgyBitch, she has repeatedly directed her famed judginess at divorced and divorcing women, depicting them as lazy, ungrateful golddiggers happy to tear families apart in hopes of scoring sweet, sweet child support money and possibly even sweeter alimony. “It’s almost like the whole alimony thing is a giant scam orchestrated by gold digging women who do not want to do the work of marriage,” she wrote in one post, “but who wish to continue to fleece the men foolish enough to marry them.”
Even more disturbingly, she has regularly cast aspersions on pretty much any woman who charges her husband with child abuse or domestic violence when filing for divorce. When, during the messy divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, reports circulated in the media suggesting that Pitt had been abusive to their adopted children. Bloomfield wrote with obvious sympathy that Pitt “probably understands, this morning, why some women end up dead when they ask for a divorce.”
In a thoroughly repulsive post titled “I kind of hope Johnny Depp DID punch Amber Heard – I’m guessing she begged for it,” she went after Heard, who had just filed for divorce from Depp, declaring that her charges of domestic violence “smell[ed] like gold digger bullshit,” adding “why the fuck shouldn’t [Depp] hit Amber, if she asked for it?”
Alongside these overheated excoriations of divorced and divorcing women (and the domestic violence apologias), Bloomfield also wrote glowingly about her own marriage and how much she loved submitting to the authority of her husband and fulfilling her marital “obligations,” including cooking, cleaning, and sex.
“My sphere of decision-making is domestic,” she explained.
I am extremely happy to live the life I do, and I feel no resentment or lack of fulfilment because I don’t make decisions in the larger world outside my home. Quite the opposite: I’m very grateful I don’t have to do that. I understand what a privilege and luxury it is.
Guess what? The happiest couples are ones in traditional, conventional, patriarchal marriages. Women and children are physically safest under the care of a husband and father. Women who restrict their participation in the broader culture report themselves to be the happiest in the world.
I guess not always, huh?
“[W]e are dedicated to keeping our family life and our marriage intact,” she wrote in another post. “Divorce is not an option.”
Apparently it was.
You might think a development as momentous as this might cause here to reconsider some of her old dogmas. Apparently not. I don’t think she’s ever even mentioned it on her blog.