Thursday, July 22, 2021

San Francisco DA's office embraces brave new grammar

 Press release: June 30, 2021: “Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced a bold new policy to promote respect for the gender identity of all people encountering the criminal legal system. . . . The policy directs all San Francisco District Attorney’s Office staff to both inquire and then use correct pronouns, names, and titles for crime victims, witnesses, and the accused in a criminal case. . . . The policy also requires prosecutors to ask the defense which pronouns should be used for anyone accused of a crime, and to document and use those pronouns throughout the pendency of the case.”


1 Now comes gender-enlightened Petitioner and, consistent with the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s bold and inclusive pronoun edict, earnestly asks to be addressed as “Your Highness” and referred to as “His Highness” in all courtroom proceedings and court filings.

2. From earliest childhood, Petitioner has been identified as royalty. Petitioner’s birthing person (“mom” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to the Infant Petitioner as “His Majesty.” Similarly, Petitioner’s birthing person’s inseminator (“dad” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to Petitioner as “a Jewish prince”).  Similarly as well, Petitioner’s identified-as-female-at-birth-and-identified-as-chronologically-subsequent-at-birth sibling (“little sister” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to Petitioner as “King Doofus.” 

3. Though wry or even disrespectful, such descriptions reflect a due acknowledgment of Petitioner’s long-standing transroyal status. Petitioner declares and embraces this princely or kingly identity, consistent with an obnoxious desire to regard others as commoners or peasants. Petitioner also wonders whether he* [to use oppressive oldspeak, pending recognition of preferred pronoun*] can cancel people at whim by making vexatious official complaints about instances of misroyalizing and royalphobia, which are sadly rampant in our society. 

4. It is pure discrimination and egregious noninclusivity to deny Petitioner’s royal gender identity because, by pure accident of birth, his lineage traces to Brooklyn shopkeepers and then to Chicago schoolteachers and accountants and not to Windsor Castle.  

5. Petitioner recognizes that the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s policy does not specifically mention lawyers, but only “victims, witnesses, and the accused.” But surely this is a mere oversight, and inconsistent with the policy’s bold and inclusive intent. It makes little sense to allow a criminal complainant, defendant, or witness to choose zitz or zatz own precious pronouns, but to not accord attorneys the same protection from the grievous psychic harms of grammatical clarity.  

6. Indeed, Petitioner knows, or imagines he knows, that many a grizzled criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor has been reduced to brokenhearted tears because judges persist in imposing the cruel and outmoded binary formulation of “his” and “her” rather than adopt such valid, inclusive, and beautiful preferred pronouns as “ishkabibble,” “zipadeedoodah,” Pi to the 131st digit, or the complete lyrics to “Over the Rainbow,” whether recited forward or backwards or translated into Albanian. 

7. Petitioner’s request is certainly no less reasonable than other hypothetical gendering requests that would seemingly be granted under the express terms of the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s bold and inclusive edict. For instance, it would appear that a rape complainant in a criminal case can be compelled  to refer to her alleged rapist as “she” and “her,” even if the defendant identified as male when the incident took place and even if the defendant looks, sounds, and behaves, at least to the gender unenlightened, like a football linebacker with unconventional fashion and grooming preferences. 

8. Petitioner acknowledges that gender liberation ideology and parlance largely arose from the theorizing of hyper-privileged and avowedly progressive academics. Nonetheless, he dismisses as conspiratorial or phobic any suspicion that these high-status individuals were motivated to promote their careers on the backs of their marginalized group identities or to pad their CVs by producing gibberish in the guise of scholarship or to indulge in the narcissism of identity politics in lieu of discussing and acting upon such substantive and urgent progressive concerns as climate change, income inequality, and mass incarceration.

9. In considering his modest request, Petitioner asks that notice be taken of the wise precept articulated by noted legal philosopher Humpty Dumpty, who declared, “When I use a word. . . it means just what I choose it to mean– neither more nor less.”