“Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair”
Using Macbeth to Teach Radical Gender Theory at New Trier

Macbeth discussion for New Trier sophomores kicks off with gender ideology

According to New Trier’s Equity Plan, “[a] school engaged in equity . . . confronts systems of advantage and disadvantage based on race, cultural background, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, religious belief, and other forms of identity.” Pursuant to the plan, “each area and department” is required to “establish an equity goal and determine action steps to achieve that goal.” For New Trier’s English Department, this means using classic literature like Shakespeare’s Macbeth to teach radical gender theory. 

For centuries, the Tragedy of Macbeth has been best known for “dramatiz[ing] the psychological and physical[ly] damaging effects caused by . . . political ambition [and power].” Not anymore, at least at New Trier.

Instead, a New Trier sophomore English class recently commenced its study of Macbeth by reading an article written by gender activists Joel Baum and Kim Westheimer titled: “Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?” Both authors work for Gender Spectrum, which “is perhaps the most prominent organization [in the U.S.] providing resources on gender in schools,” according to the New York Post. Neither author has scientific, medical, or psychological credentials. The article was created as part of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice initiative to infuse radical gender theory into school curriculum throughout the country. 

Without citation to any source, the article misrepresents basic biology and presents controversial gender theories as fact, including: 

“A significant barrier to creating fully inclusive schools is the presumption that sex, gender and sexual orientation fit neatly into a binary model.”

“If we truly want to include all students, we need to look beyond binaries to create practices that include school communities’ diverse representation of biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.”

“Individuals whose biological sex and gender identity ‘match’ rarely think about the alignment of biology and identity because they have the privilege of being considered normal by society.”  

“This binary world . . . conflates biology, gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation, relegating people to rigid categories: male or female, gay or straight.”

“[Human] diversity can be better understood by using spectrum-based models. Spectra make room for anyone whose experiences do not narrowly fit into binary choices such as man/woman, feminine/masculine or straight/gay.”

“Gender-expansive and genderqueer are two of many terms used by people to describe themselves as somewhere on a gender spectrum—outside of the either/or choices relating to sex and gender.”

Remarkably, the article cites no sources for any of these assertions. And the message of the article is clear: not only is gender identity separate from biological sex, but biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation all exist on a spectrum. None are binary. In addition, the article introduces “intersex conditions,” i.e., people born with ambiguous sexual anatomy, as a justification for its claim that biological sex is not binary. The authors also herald “new scientific knowledge” that support their claims, including the discovery of “more than 25 genes,” a supposed fact oft-repeated by gender activists, but unsupported by any online scientific source.

Not only is the article unsupported, it is contradicted by biological facts that have been well-established for decades, including:

“[A]n individual’s sex is defined by the type of gamete (sperm or ova) their primary reproductive organs (i.e., gonads) are organized, through development, to produce. Males have primary reproductive organs organized around the production of sperm; females, ova. Because there is no third gamete type, there are only two sexes that a person can be.” Wright, Understanding the Sex Binary, City Journal (Mar. 20, 2023).

“A person’s sex is almost always completely unambiguous and recorded correctly at birth.” (Id.)

“[E]xamples of people with ambiguous sexual anatomy (i.e., “intersex” conditions) . . . [does not mean that sex is non-binary]. This desire to extrapolate a small blur at a boundary to the entire picture is rooted in the postmodern impulse to “queer,” and thereby eliminate natural categories. In the queer-theory worldview, categories are themselves oppressive . . . .” (Id.)

“The terms intersex and transgender are entirely distinct and should not be conflated. Intersex people have rare (approximately 0.018 percent of all births) developmental conditions that result in apparent sex ambiguity.” (Id.)

Moreover, although gender identity theory is not solely rooted in biology, it is the subject of tremendous controversy throughout the world. It is poorly understood, and lacks long-term studies with a control group and meaningful sample sizes to support the current approaches being urged by gender activists. Sapir, Making the Case for the Other Side, City Journal (Apr. 14, 2023); The Economist, The Evidence to Support Medicalised Gender Transitions in Adolescents is Worryingly Weak (Apr. 5, 2023). As we have previously noted, there’s “little evidence” equity initiatives work and current methods may well have a “net negative effect.” Yet New Trier Superintendent Paul Sally insists that “equity” is “K-12 work,” “just like English and Math” (3/20/2023 Board Meeting at 1:16:45), all while New Trier’s test scores have fallen 17 points (reading) and 11 points (math) and spending per pupil has increased 37%. (See Wirepoints Report Card for New Trier.)

Ultimately, there is no reasonable explanation for using unsupported and inaccurate articles created by radical gender activists to introduce Shakespeare to sophomores. Facts matter, even when teaching literature and especially when ideological theories are presented as facts.

Literary scholars have long noted the theme of androgyny (or “inversion of normative gender roles”) in the characters of Lady Macbeth and the three witches. That is not new. (Nor is it mentioned anywhere in the English Department’s materials.) But even if New Trier were presenting this minor theme, it would be a poor vehicle for introducing 15-year-olds to Shakespeare. Ironically, this “inversion of normative gender roles” is also noteworthy because of how the tragedy ends. “Whatever Shakespeare’s degree of sympathy with such inversions, the play ends with a thorough return to normative gender values,” i.e., a “restoration of moral order.” (New World Encyclopedia, “Macbeth.”)

One can only hope that society at large, and New Trier in particular, similarly come to their senses, distinguish scientific facts from unsupported and illogical equity theories, and focus on teaching our children to read, think, analyze, and compute.
New Trier Neighbors signs on to Title IX letter representing 400,000 citizens seeking to protect girls’ sports

New Trier Neighbors signed on to an April 19th letter sent to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardonas to protect women in sports. The letter was initiated by Parents Defending Education. 

“On behalf of our 25 organizations’ 397,494 members, the undersigned groups write to you to express our deep concerns over the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule regarding transgender participation in student sports under Title IX. We oppose the Department’s efforts to coerce schools into allowing transgender athletes to participate on the team of their self-professed gender identity on the grounds that these changes will negatively impact the mental and physical well-being of biologically female student athletes, and also harm both parental rights and federalism – as well as the budgets of federal, state, and local education agencies across the country.”  

Read the entire letter here.

Last year, the Department of Education proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would expand the definition of the protected category “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity and received more than 200,000 public comments, an extraordinarily large number for a proposed department rule change.  

Recent stories in the news highlight concerns about the wisdom and fairness of these latest proposed rule changes that will affect women’s sports, including female track runners in Connecticut, a female high school volleyball player who was injured by a trans athlete, and the attack on NCAA female swimmer and female sports advocate Riley Gaines. Tennis legend Martina Navratilova recently penned an op-ed lauding the decision by World Athletics, the governing international organization over track and field, to prohibit trans women athletes competing against biological women.
May 16 - An Evening with Parental Rights Expert and Attorney Will Estrada 

Tickets available here!

The past couple years have been a wake-up call to parents regarding about what’s going on in America’s classrooms. But what exactly are parents' rights as it relates to education? What additional rights would the Parent Bill of Rights, recently passed by the US House of Representatives, provide? What could be some of the consequences if these rights are not explicitly legislated at a federal level?

Please join us Tuesday, May 16, at 6:30 - 8 :30 p.m. at a Wilmette home (address provided after registration) for drinks, hors d'oeuvres and remarks from Will Estrada, attorney and President of ParentalRights.org and the Parental Rights Foundation, two nationwide nonprofits headquartered in Loudoun County, Virginia that have advocated at the local, state, and federal levels to protect children by empowering parents.

Tickets available here.
Two Boys Kissing is on the New Trier sophomore English syllabus again!

In past some parents have obtained an alternative. Find out how they did it by emailing us at newtrierneighbors@gmail.com for more information!

To read more about the book click here.
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