Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My dad used to call my sister "tiger" when she was a little girl.  She's gonna kill me for bringing this up, I only bring this up because my father was what you might call a 'Tiger Father.'  He was strict, but hey, his father was stricter.  And we, me and my sister, do OK now.  We don't always agree with or will repeat my father's parenting methods, but we thank him nonetheless.  

In Amy Chua's latest book, 'Tiger Mother" that was excerpted in the Wall Street Journal, Chua chronicles the very strict and often scary mothering of her Chinese mother.  She also explores her own Chinese mothering methods.

Imagine if you "once told your own hyper-successful Asian American daughter that she was 'garbage.' That you threaten to throw out your other daughter's doll house and refused to let her go to the bathroom one evening until she mastered a difficult piano composition.  That you threw the homemade birthday cards they gave you as 7-and-4 year-olds back in their faces, saying you expected more effort."-The New York Times. Chua did all of these things.

Chua was pretty harsh. However, Chua got death threats from people who were so upset that she said that Asian American mothers were superior.

Death threats? it just me or is that a little harsh?

I'm sorry, is this worth threatening someones death for?  Isn't parenting a matter of choice?  What's next in the death threat pool, I wonder?

I don't even agree with this very verbally violent and bordering on abusive parenting style.  However if someone is honest enough to talk about it, I'm all ears.  I'm listening because I want to learn from someone else's mistake, even if that person doesn't think it is a mistake.

You see, my problem is not with Amy Chua's book, her opinions or her parenting style. My problem is that people are so violent and absolutely nuts and anything can set them off.

Yes I have a personal stake vested in this issue.  Yes I will probably write something that someone will hate, if I have not done so already.  Maybe I'll write an entire book that someone will hate.

Will I get a death threat one day?

What are you supposed to do once you get a death threat?  I mean come on.  On the one hand I would be flattered that my words could be so strong as to offend someone to this level of violence.  However when it comes down to it, nothing really is deserving of violence.  What are you supposed to do, keep looking over your shoulders every five seconds, or just pray that is all a joke?  How are you even supposed to live after you get a death threat?

I mean, a few days ago we were celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. We all got a day off because this wonderful man came into this earth and said that violence is not the way to get your point across.  The man was killed because he abhorred the very type of violence that caused his death.

When are we gonna learn?

We are not barbarians who need to kill each other for competition of food, but now we think it's worth killing each other over parenting methods?  Is this really happening?

Amy Chua is not advocating beating your children, she is simply pointing out that Asian American kids are really successful because their parents were really strict.  Sometimes these parents are mean.

I'm no parent or anything, but sometimes I'm mean.  I went to Columbia University to get a graduate degree, I'm an Asian American who succeeded in many ways due to my very strict upbringing.

All of this does not mean that I agree with Chua.  I however, love that she has the right to her point of view.  And she does make one very good point:  the Loosey Goosey I love you no matter what- type of parenting often leads to less successful children.

Why do we live in a country and world that is so afraid of the truth.  The truth is that if you want a successful child you can't always be the nice guy.  The truth is not fun.  The truth scares people.

And in turn they decide they want to scare the truth-maker.  Chua was simply stating her truth.

Who is next, I ask you?  The guy who doesn't like ice cream because it's too cold?  Everyone likes ice-cream, how dare he say it's too cold?  I want to kill him.

This is what we are going to be reduced to in a short while.  There will be no relevance to our violence.  (I'm not sure that there is any now...) People will be so scared to say things, say things that are true to them.

Chua was simply saying what was true to her.

If you want to kill her because of that, I'm sure you are one hell of a parent.


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