There’s a tai kwon do place that I pass daily while driving my five-year-old to and from school, where I can see through the huge plate-glass window tiny people in bright white, slightly-too-large uniforms, kicking avidly.
That looks like a good time, I think. I should sign the kid up for a class. The next day, I pass it again. Yeah, I really should look that up, I remind myself. The next day: Well, it’s not going anywhere. If imaginary looks could kill, Amy Chua — the self-described Tiger Mom and author of the new book The Triple Package — would have set my head ablaze with one disapproving glare.
My kid doesn’t know how to swim. He doesn’t go to Kumon. We have peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for dinner pretty regularly. And when people ask if I’m entering the lottery to send him to a Japanese- or mathematics-immersion school, I shrug and say that our neighborhood school seems like just as solid an option.
Yep, I’m a sloth mom. Keep reading »
The last time we checked in with “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua, she had just published a book, Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, which argued that strict Chinese-style “tiger mother” parenting is superior to permissive, indulgent Western parenting. The Yale professor explained how her two daughters were never allowed playdates or sleepovers and were punished for not practicing music and studying constantly. She was successful, sort of: one daughter, Sophia, performed in Carnegie Hall at age 14 and is now a junior at Harvard.
Anyway, Amy Chua made a big kerfluffle in the media and sold lots of books. Now she and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is also a media professor, are back with a new book. In The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain The Rise And Fall Of Cultural Groups In America, they argue that there are eight ethnic/cultural/religious groups who are the most successful in American society.
They are, in no particular order, Chinese, Jewish, Mormon, Indian, Iranian, Lebanese-American, Cuban exiles and Nigerian. Keep reading »
When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »