Here comes the sexism, WTF, people?

The Rittenhouse verdict hasn’t even been public for an hour and already I’m seeing supposed lefties criticizing Rittenhouse’s mother not for her parenting or her recent interviews but for her appearance.

People are saying she must be a drunk or a meth head or a victim or incest or a perpetrator of incest all because they’re

  1. pissed at the legal system, and
  2. offended by her unattractive (to them) looks.

I get that people are pissed, but if how you want to express your anger at our legal system is to trash a woman who didn’t commit a crime, don’t do it here and maybe don’t do it at all.

Fuck all that sexist shit. Fuck it right out of the universe.


  1. billseymour says

    I totally agree with the point of your post.

    What I’m wondering is whether you’ll have another post about the actual case.

    For example, we’ve heard lots about how the judge objected to one of the prosecutor’s lines of questioning, but I don’t recall hearing anything about what the line of questioning actually was.

    And what about the prosecutor’s claim that you can’t set out to start trouble and then claim self-defense after the trouble starts?  Was there any answer to that in the judge’s opinion or his instructions to the jury?

  2. says

    @ billseymour

    The prosecution wanted to refer to some photos of Rittenhouse with some people who were said to be members of the Proud Boys. That was to show movie.

    The judge disallowed on two grounds: that something six months post event couldn’t be evidence of motive prior to the event; and the prosecution didn’t have any evidence that he knew who the people were.

    As to your second point; that’s a really interesting one. At the risk of being lazy, may I just cut and paste a comment I made about a really good article on the trial. It sort of covers that.

    ****That was a really good analysis. Managed to be both objective and sympathetic on a very emotive subject. I’d been monitoring the trial to compare how it might pan out here. I think in both cases the acquittal was inevitable as soon as Grosskruetz gave testimony that he’d pointed his gun at Rittenhouse. One major difference here though, apart from the fact no-one would have guns, is that generally you can’t use self defence where it’s a confrontation you yourself created. That’s not an absolute rule; if I push you snd then you pull out a chainsaw, I could use force back. But where all things are equal if you start a fight and the other person retaliates, any force you use won’t technically be in self defence (it’s like they look at the whole incident, and the initial unlawful use of force carries over).

    I’m glad also he addressed the disallowance of the use of ‘victim’. I can see why that upset people; but that’s meant to be the rule in common law jurisdictions generally. Whether someone is a victim is the issue the jury have to decide; so it can’t be pre-empted by the judge. With live victims we tend to use ‘complainant’. You can use victim though if that’s not part of the defence. So if you’re running alibi then you aren’t disputing someone may be a victim; just it wasn’t you who did it.****

    In the actual trial the judge just gave the Wisconsin model direction on that.

  3. says

    I post this so people can see what sort of elements influence a trial from an advocacy perspective. I’m on this; but there are also some people who actually know what they’re talking about.

  4. Allison says

    WMDKitty — Survivor @6

    Oh, I think she’s ugly as all hell, but it’s nothing to do with her looks!

    Then why use a phrase (and a trope) that rather explicitly refers to looks?

    It really sounds like you want to use a sexist insult (i.e., disrespecting a woman by disparaging her looks) and then pretend you aren’t.

    If you have specific non-sexist objections to her (as opposed to indirectly attacking her son by attacking her), please spell them out without using sexist tropes. Otherwise, you just make yourself look like a sexist.

  5. billseymour says

    Alan Robertshaw, thanks for the info.  I see that the judge did address the issue of what constitutes self-defense.  The sense that I get from it is that just generally showing up to cause trouble doesn’t negate the right; it’s necessary for the defendant to be the instigator of the particular confrontation.  Is that right?

    I also note that the judge said explicitly that the jury was the judge of the fact only, and that the court was the judge of the law, thus eliminating what’s called “jury nullification.”  I remember serving on a jury that was instructed that the jury was the judge of the law and the fact.  I suppose that that could be a difference between Missouri and Wisconsin law.  It could also be different for civil and criminal cases; and all I remember about the case is that it was a DWI.

    I haven’t looked at the video yet except to note that I’ll have to set aside about an hour and a half for that. 😎

    I apologize to all if I’ve hijacked the thread (the OP was about sexist language describing the defendant’s mother, not about the case itself); but I didn’t know where else to put it.

  6. says

    @ bilseymour

    My pleasure; glad to be of service.

    Jury nullification is another interesting topic. Although over here we call them “perverse verdicts’. Which I guess is appropriate for CD’s blog. The ‘law is for me, facts are for you’ direction is pretty much the norm in common law countries. Although some of my judge friends joke about it. The standard direction is “so if I express what seems to be an option of fact that doesn’t tally worth your own opinion, then you must disregard it” so they joke about wanting to add “completely ignoring my 35 years experience of bar and bench dealing with scumbags like the defendant day in day out.”

    You can’t invite a jury to return a perverse verdict; but you can remind the jury that ‘they are the lamp that shows freedom burns” or whatever. There’s actually a plaque at the Old Bailey commemorating the case that established that principle. I sometimes thought about mentioning it; but I didn’t want to get a bollocking for a mistrial.

  7. billseymour says

    WMDKitty, is it really all that surprising, ugly even, for a mother to try to protect her child?  Yeah, she should probably have done more to keep him out of harm’s way before the incident, but stuff she said after the incident in public doesn’t strike me as all that horrible.  Note that we don’t know what she said to him in private.

    It’s possible that she’s also a Trumpista, and that would certainly make her ugly, but not, IMO, defending her kid.

  8. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    The judge got really upset with the prosecutor after the prosecutor IIRC asked *twice* why Rittenhouse stayed silent instead of cooperating with police. That sort of questioning at trial is a huge no-no and a huge violation of the defendant’s right against self incrimination. The prosecutor ought to know better. Then right after the prosecutor did something else, maybe it was trying to bring up the other evidence mentioned above, and that also pissed off the judge.

    Also, AFAIK, according to Wisconsin law, if you provoke a fight, but then try to retreat from the fight, then you regain your right to self defense. As far as I can tell from the videos, Rittenhouse was retreating or trying to retreat the entire time, and so the question of whether he did any initial provoking is not relevant – what the other people were doing was not self defense. You can’t do self defense on someone who is retreating. Citizen’s arrest perhaps, and maybe maybe defense of others(?), but not self defense.

    The unfortunate reality is that Rittenhouse is innocent and acted in lawful self defense. The unfortunate reality is that it’s a legal for an underage kid to show up to a protest open-carrying a rifle. How the f’ that is allowed by the law is beyond me. But given those legal facts, and given the other context (Rosenbaam threatening Rittenhouse with death, then chasing Rittenhouse, then trying to take his gun from him), the verdict of “not guilty” is a foregone conclusion – at least regarding the shooting of Rosenbaum. I think the context for the other shootings is still also unfortunately clear legal cases of self defense.

  9. StevoR says

    @ ^ GerrardOfTitanServer : No, the unfortunate reality is that Rittenhouse got away (legally speaking) with multiple homicides because the law is an a joke and unethical and the (almost all white with only one Hispanic man) jury and Judge were biased in his favour.

    Kyle Rittenhouse was guilty the moment he went to the protest armed with a machine gun ready to murder Black people for asserting their Lives Matter too.

    That the law isn’t just and is racist and needs changing is obvious to almost everyone. As is the fact that Rittenhouse needlessly killed two men and wounded a third by his own poor choices and actions making him a murderer in fact if not law.

  10. StevoR says

    PS. Disgusting victim-blaming of you there GotS. You are deliberately ignoring the much morepertinent and important facts that Rosenbaum was unarmed and Rittenhouse not only posed a threat to him and threatened him, he actually killed him. Then Rittenhouse shot dead Anthony Huber and injured Gaige Grosskreutz – who despite being armed did NOT resort to deadly violence with a gun.(Nor did anyone else at the BLM protest despite Rittenhouse’s provocations and murders.) All because Rittenhouse was a murderous racist with a gun in a place he should NOT have been and went there ready to murder African-Americans and their allies.

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