The perfectly representative Fox News story

How it begins:

An Arizona pro-parent school board member, who was recently elected into office, leaked and alerted parents to a radical science curriculum that is currently being considered in the Peoria Unified School District.

Notice that it calls this new school board member “pro-parent,” to distinguish her from all the anti-parent parents on the school board. Aren’t you curious to find out what “radical science” she objects to? Someone who looks this smug must have oodles of opinions.

I bet you already know what she’s going to freak out about.

Within a month of being at the school board, Rooks leaked a proposed textbook that would be used in the district’s high school. She said she was alarmed that the science curriculum discounted the reality of biological sex.

“I mean, these are kids we’re talking about. It’s not adults making adult decisions. These are children. So their minds are… not developed completely yet,” Rooks said.

Here we go again. At least the news article actually quotes what the textbook says, so we can judge how “radical” it is.

According to a post by Nicole Solas of the Independent Women’s Forum, the textbook said, “The biochemical, physiological, and anatomical features associated with ‘males’ and ‘females’ are turning out to be more complex than previously realized, with many genes involved in their development. We now know that sex is not a binary state, with just two defined outcomes.”

“Because of the complexity of the genes and proteins involved in sex determination, many variations exist. Some individuals are born with intermediate sexual characteristics, or even with anatomical features that do not match an individual’s sense of their own gender (‘transgender individuals’). Sex determination is an active area of research that should yield a more sophisticated understanding in years to come.”

Yeah, no. That’s pretty conventional. Also true and valid.

Fox News also helpfully (?) includes this illustration.

Male and female chromosomes.

OK, which one is the “male” chromosome? Does it have a penis? Does it make little tiny microgametes? What’s with the blue and yellow and green and purple pseudocolor? Why even include the right panel, are some of those male and female chromosomes, too?

You’ll have to go to the link to see some truly triumphant stupidity, though. They bring on Jack Brewer to opine on the subject. Brewer is a former football player who then became a “wealth manager” for Merrill Lynch, and then founded The Brewer Group, a Christian consulting firm focused on Building the Kingdom through Business. He is completely unqualified to contribute to the discussion.

Brewer mumbles along about how the transgender agenda is witchcraft, literal witchcraft, and also throws in the statistic that transgender teens are 5 times more likely to commit suicide, implying that being transgender is the cause, rather than the oppression brought on by Christian fanatics tormenting them.

I don’t normally watch Fox News. This reminds me why.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Witchcraft? Thus is beautiful! I have rarrly seen stupidity in such a pure form before.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    You can, and should, just call any group or individual that refers to themselves as “pro-parent” or “pro-family” what they really are:


  3. birgerjohansson says

    My hasty spelling errors @ 1 are, when I think about it, perfectly adequate for the topic.
    We cAn nott havve moar than 2wo sekkses.

  4. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson @ 1, I watched this angle of attack begin. Some of the more fundie far right groups have begun attacking all science, starting with medicine by branding all physicians and pharmacists witches, with drugs being practiced witchcraft. I listened for hours to an ordained minister go on and on about it to men in a homeless shelter – many of whom were finally on their psych medications, more under care for various addictions and being medically treated. This, of course, derailed their 12 step program and the horrified chaplain in charge of well, everything then had to have the 12 step coach then walk back a lot of the bullshit.

    Still, that witchcraft is wrong, there ain’t no genes and sexes, just god whammys and storks or somethin. Tons of hand waving and mumbles on specifics, citing “mysteries”. Pity Shaggy and Scoobie are in rehab, otherwise the crew could jump into the Mystery Machine and those mysteries.
    I honestly considered taking up day drinking, but alas, the river across the street is too shallow to handle the supertanker that I’d need.
    Which reminds me, gotta make up another half gallon of iced tea…

  5. StevoR says

    Notice that it calls this new school board member “pro-parent,” to distinguish her from all the anti-parent parents on the school board.

    I’m guessing they mean as opposed to being pro-teacher(s) or, y’know, pro-children / pro-students.. But yeah, pro-willfully ignorant, transphobic & generally fascists sums them up I’d say.

    Brewer mumbles along about how the transgender agenda is witchcraft, literal witchcraft, and also throws in the statistic that transgender teens are 5 times more likely to commit suicide, implying that being transgender is the cause, rather than the oppression brought on by Christian fanatics tormenting them.

    Well, Dark Age European “Witches”* were many times likely to be die by being burned for witchcraft therefore y’know witches bad.. Because we say they are and we’ll kill you heretics if you claim otherwise… Imaginary nonsense with real hate and brutal punishment to enforce conformity then, much the same as now. Hateful lies and nonsense claims with real world persecution for people just being harmlessly different. The more things change..

    Oh I’m guessing these toxic, fascistic bigots are also Trump voters who think he’s being “persecuted” in what he unironically calls a “Witch hunt!!!!11ty!!”” whilst they themselve s engage in, well, this.. For .. pities sake.

    .* Which we know didn’t really exist beinga s supernatural powers etc ..not a real thing so .. yeah. Anyhow.

  6. says

    I thought female chromosomes had little breasts on them. I don’t see them in the illustration. Was my sex education so sorely lacking?
    No. No, it’s the scientists who are wrong.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    That (upside-down) Y chromosome looks like an angry Mexican-wrestler’s face mask – I guess because it’s so full of testosterone.

  8. Erp says

    The story is from January 2023 so a bit old; the textbook might be Campbell Biology: Concepts & Connections (my source is the Daily Mail which isn’t particularly reliable) presumably the 10th edition which seems to be High School biology level.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Meanwhile, next door in southern California: “You, Satan, you are losing!” (Digby article mostly quoting a Daily Beast piece behind paywall.):

    Sonja Shaw, who was elected to the Chino Valley Unified School District board of education last November with an assist from a local megachurch and its Christian nationalist pastor, didn’t equivocate in naming the enemy: state Democratic officials who are challenging her right-leaning policies—and drafting laws that hinder book bans and protect teachers from harassment.

  10. raven says

    That textbook is rather superficial and is only mentioning humans.

    A lot of animal species are hermaphrodites.
    It is 33% of all non-insect species.


    A rough estimate of the number of hermaphroditic animal species is 65,000, about 5% of all animal species, or 33% excluding insects.

    Some species can change their sex for various reasons.

    Researchers have identified more than 500 fish species that regularly change sex as adults. Clown fish begin life as males, then change into females, and kobudai do the opposite. Some species, including gobies, can change sex back and forth. The transformation may be triggered by age, size, or social status.

    What we learn from fish that change sex – La Trobe University › news › articles › opinio

    Many species have more than two sexes. Some fungi have thousands, in one case 36, 000 sexes.

    IF HUMANS were mushrooms, finding a date would be much easier. Whereas we muddle by with just two sexes, the fungi have 36,000, all of which can mate with each other, in a mysterious process involving underground fronds. So why don’t humans have such a varied sex life?Sep 15, 1999
    Scientists discover why fungi have 36000 sexes › news › scientists-discov..

  11. StevoR says

    @ 7. feralboy12 : female chromosomes are pink and come from Venus. Male chromosomes are red and come from they* say. I’d draw you a doodle to explain this but, well, text box only here..

    .* Where “They” = very silly people..

  12. raven says

    …or even with anatomical features that do not match an individual’s sense of their own gender (‘transgender individuals’).

    What the fundie kooks do, is simply deny that gender even exists.

    Among others, J.K. Rowling and Richard Dawkins have said or implied this.

  13. microraptor says

    I’d like to see them explain what a cis woman with XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity is.

  14. Doc Bill says

    @5 dbinmn

    I actually met Peter Max a few years ago at an art show in Austin. He didn’t say much. They had him propped up in a chair like Weekend at Bernie’s. They were selling a bunch of reproductions and derivative works; not inspiring at all.

    Quite disappointing but totally fixed by tacos and beer!

  15. raven says


    You aren’t too wrong about the Weekend at Bernie’s analogy.
    Peter Max in his later years ended up wealthy and also has a dismal life, advanced dementia since at least 2015.


    In 2019, The New York Times published an investigative journalism piece on Max’s current state, revealing that he is suffering from advanced dementia, that he is now often unaware of his identity and his surroundings, and that his deteriorated mental state has been exploited in a massive art fraud scheme dating back to at least 2015.[2]

  16. Ada Christine says

    @microraptor #15.

    in this very blog i’ve seen a GC troll simply say that any person with 46,XY karyotype is a man regardless of whether that karyotype was known from birth or discovered later. they have to, because any room for nuance or acknowledgement of the slipperiness of genetics is a card from their house.

  17. jenorafeuer says

    Pretty much. It looks pretty clear that ‘pro-parent’ here means ‘parents should get to narrowly define what schools are allowed to teach their children to guarantee that the children won’t question what the parents say, but the schools still have to spend most of the day babysitting the kids so the parents can get other things done’.

  18. says

    So, birth certificates, like xtian terrorists, allow only two choices: male or female. I wonder whether it is the ignorant bureaucrats or the twisted doctors that are the ones that do everything they can to cram every newborn into one of the two, whether they fit or not.
    I seems that the ultimate goal of these xtian terrorist miscreants and their mega-wasteful church backers is to have all the textbooks written by drooling former football players and ignorant homeschooling mothers. And, then jebus can dictate and ‘bless’ all their ignorant, hateful decisions.

  19. says

    Then I read: ‘These are children. So their minds are… not developed completely yet,” Rooks said.’
    And, I thought, you silly ninny, that’s the whole point. you should help their minds develop by providing them with actual science, not xtian fantasy mumbo jumbo!

  20. James Redekop says

    Witchcraft? I know a few trans people who would love it if they could transition by just casting a magic spell… So much easier than having to do it the real way.

  21. raven says

    Brewer mumbles along about how the transgender agenda is witchcraft…

    Translating from fundiespeak to English, this just means, “things I don’t like.”

    It has the same meaning here as “cultural Marxism” or “Woke”.
    Which also just mean, “things I don’t like.”

    This is what happens when you have a small and limited English vocabulary.

  22. raven says

    What is the Transgender Agenda anyway?

    AFAICT, it is to not be murdered by fundie xian terrorists, and to be left alone to live their lives like everyone else.

    It’s a lot simpler than the Gay Agenda.
    Which is that everyone will have fabulous drapes and owning a stylish pair of shoes will be a human right.

  23. raven says

    There are so many right wingnut kooks that they are hard to keep up with much less remember.
    They are so generic, they all sort of blend together.

    RNC Speaker Facing Federal Charges Of Insider Trading
    NPR › 2020/08/25 › rnc-speaker-facing-f…

    Aug 25, 2020 — Earlier this month, Jack Brewer, a former NFL player and a supporter of President Trump’s reelection, was sued by the SEC.

    This instant expert who can’t tell witchcraft from a biology textbook, has been in trouble with the law recently for insider trading.
    No surprise.

  24. scuba says

    Am I misunderstanding, or is that a photo of the cis mother who is complaining?
    Because if so I suggest ‘she’ gets herself karyotyped, stat. She might be in for a surprise!

  25. S maltophilia says

    She’s going to be a mother of the bride less than 9 months before she becomes a grandmother.

  26. simplicio says

    I like Rooks’ stand on students and the complexity issue. If she is also a creationist, it will be impossible for them evolve into a more complex Kind, meaning they will never make it to adulthood?

    Fortunately, she has the maturity and wisdom to realize the needs of students, which I seem to be totally lacking.

  27. brightmoon says

    So what was wrong about what the textbook said. Well I guess I should have expected that as they’ve have never acknowledged a lot of confirmed-for-centuries science facts and this is relatively new research