Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Psycho

Many of you have probably heard about "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and author Amy Chua, the uber-competitive mom who says in her Wall Street Journal article, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" that Chinese mothers are superior because they A) don't care about the kid's self-esteem, B) believe their kids owe them everything, and C) Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children's own desires and preferences. This could explain the lack of a "Chinese Mothers" section in the Hallmark Mother's Day card department.

Amy is a law professor at Yale University, and the author of a couple of books, which for ONCE does not impress me. She is seemingly hell-bent on breaking her children and spending one day of the week on the therapist's couch for the rest of her life.  Her newest book, "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" is a diatribe about how horrible "Western" parents are for caring about our children's "happiness", and how the only way to "win the prize" of successful children is to choose their extra-curricular activities and force them to practice instruments for hours on end while withholding water and bathroom breaks if necessary.

Subtitled, "How to Lose Friends and Terrify Minors."

There is also this little gem (and I quote):  "Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight."  Because as we all know, A) daughters totally respond to their parents calling them fatty, and B) there are no fat Chinese kids.

PERSONAL MESSAGE TO AMY CHUA: 
YOU WIN. PLEASE STOP.  I'M PURPOSELY MAKING MY CHILDREN SLACKERS SO YOURS CAN SUCCEED.  I'M BEGGING YOU, STEP DOWN! 

Can I give your girls a hug and take them to Dairy Queen?

Generally, I think it's wrong to judge mothers.  Just because something is right to you doesn't mean it's right for everyone else.  Kids are different, families are different, circumstances are different.  Children of working moms are just as happy (or dysfunctional) as children of at-home moms.  Some sugar is okay, but try not to make the main course of every meal a Ding-Dong.  It's okay if you can't eat off the floor, because who would?  Even though I'm taken aback by Amy's mothering methods, my real problem with her is her total narcissism and smug assertion that she is the best mom in the world and all of the "Western" moms are soft losers whose kids won't be FIRST at everything or suffer the consequences.  So I guess what I want to say to Amy is, "Suck it, bitch."


Photo taken 5 minutes after Amy Chua
removed my left kidney with her
bare hand and ate it.


However, Chua and I have quite a bit in common.

FACT:  One of Amy's daughters was so upset about being essentially tethered to the piano until she learned a piece that she actually chewed on the piano.  After my kids' last piano lesson, they told me their teacher took out a block of sharp cheddar, peeled the wax off, and started gnawing on it during their lesson, and it had teeth marks in it where it had been gnawed before.  Amy's daughter has played Carnegie Hall; my children can play "The First Noel".

FACT:  Amy called her daughter "garbage" after said daughter purportedly disrespected her.  My minivan is full of garbage after we leave McDonalds, where I get my children Happy Meals.  I literally buy their happiness.

FACT:  Amy's children have never been "allowed" to be less than #1 in their class, with the exception of gym and drama.  My children have never been allowed to be #1 in their class in gym, but sadly, they seem to headline the drama department.  How to stomp out that success in a subject not of my choosing!!!!?  No more Hamlet, you theatrical loser!

FACT:  Amy revels in her Chinese heritage, and uses this heritage to intimidate her children.  I am part German, and when stressed, I find nothing more effective than screaming at my children in German, because they know that Hitler was evil and insane.  "Get in the van!  SCHNELL!!! SCHNELL!!"  "Achtung!  Ve are late for dance!" and then when they silently sob in their car seats I yell, "Stoppen sie sobbich, du bitte bratzen!"  (Since they are just children, and therefore stupid and malleable, they don't have to know I don't actually sprechen sie Deutsch, I can just make it up and tell them HOW IT IS, damn it. Strike one for German Mother Superiority!!)

So thank you, Amy.  You have given me the gift that I never thought I would receive. 
You made me feel like a Good Mother. 
Drinks are on the house.




9 comments:

Brooke said...

This was hilarious.

And if she is raising her kids in the U.S. ... doesn't that make her a Western Mom too?

Toni said...

Loved it all, but this is my favourite bit:

PERSONAL MESSAGE TO AMY CHUA:
YOU WIN. PLEASE STOP. I'M PURPOSELY MAKING MY CHILDREN SLACKERS SO YOURS CAN SUCCEED. I'M BEGGING YOU, STEP DOWN!

Margot said...

Hee hee hee. *chuckling*

SarcasmInAction said...

I ditto the "suck it" comment to her.
I feel bad for her kids.

PG said...

AMEN! Have you read this blog post in reply? "In Praise of Mowgli Mom?" Think you would enjoy :)

http://snarkshelf.blogspot.com/2011/01/raised-by-mowgli-mom.html

GrandeMocha said...

Make mine a margarita with salt & we'll drink to being Good Mothers!

Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain said...

HIL. AR. IOUS.

Clare said...

Oh Julie, you said exactly what I wad thinking, but in a much funnier way! Love this!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first post that Ms. Chua is, in fact, Western. I love the cultural diversity found in the US, but I don't care for this obsession with one's ethnic heritage (especially when you are claiming your race is essentially superior). George Carlin very astutely pointed out that racial pride is absurd because it makes no sense to be proud of something that's an accident of circumstance.
In addition to being an narcissistic psycho, the author is also a self-congratulating racist.

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