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'Tiger Mom' Is Back With Her Most Racist Views Yet - Is it really offensive?

Posted by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM
  • 105 Replies

'Tiger Mom' Is Back With Her Most Racist Views Yet

by Sasha Brown-Worsham

Amy ChuaDoes anyone remember Amy Chua, the "Tiger Mom" whose ode to what she defined as the Chinese way of raising children went viral back in 2011? She was the Yale law professor who defended an incredibly disciplined program of academic rigor to ensure that her children -- and children of fellow "Tiger Moms" -- would end up in Ivy League schools and at the top of their chosen profession.

Hey, it was cool. Back then. But now Chua is back. Her new book, written with her husband Jed Rubenfeld, is far, far worse. The Triple Package posits that there are eight "superior" ethnic groups (race is apparently never mentioned) and that each one of them is more successful than other ethnicities.

Um, wow. I think she has finally crossed the line from trolling mothers and parenting blogs to trolling us all. Superior cultures? Really? She says Jewish people, Indian people, Chinese people, Iranian people, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles, and Mormons fare the best in the US. But why?

According to Chua and her husband, these eight cultural groups have three qualities that lead to wealth and power: superiority, insecurity, and impulse control.

Hooray for them. That really is awesome. But her theory here is so flawed and so racist, it's hard to even know where to begin. In her own words:

That certain groups do much better in America than others — as measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so on — is difficult to talk about. In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged.

Yup. So why are we talking about it? I have yet to read the book and maybe if I do, I will find that the things she says aren't as offensive as they seem on first glance. And I am not some politically correct ninny who is afraid of facing uncomfortable truths. But there is something inherently discomfiting about implying that any cultural group is somehow better than another.

The fact is, people are individuals. While growing up in my Jewish home, I would agree that education and success were pushed, but I am not sure I would be comfortable stating that those somehow make us superior.

The reality is people who have money have children who are better at making money. No matter what your cultural background is, that seems to be the reality for us all. They get better school, more opportunity, more money to throw at problems, and on and on. So is it the culture? Or the money? Chicken or the egg?

It just feels like a series of stereotypes that will anger those outside of those groups and cause the wrong kinds of debates. We need things that help us come together, not things that further tear us apart.

Watch video from CNN here.

Do you think this book is offensive?

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cathygymboree
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:23 AM
2 moms liked this

If race is "apparently never mentioned"  then why are you, we, talking about racism?

The mentioned groups do better because they want it more.

That's all and it has almost nothing to do with race.

lovemymini
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM
5 moms liked this
I think American Culture is much lazier as a whole then other culture's including ones she mentioned. I tend to agree with what she is saying.

I don't think it's racist at all and if you disagree then do something about it and prove her wrong.
Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM
11 moms liked this
Don't care for anything she has to say considering she seems more interested in turning out a product than raising a child.
Lottie925
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:40 AM
4 moms liked this
She has beautiful, successful daughters who publicly say they love her. I get that you don't agree with her strategies, but... She was a very involved mother who wanted the best outcome (in her opinion) for her kids. It's easier as an adult to have success and money then just be happy your mom was very lovey dovey. Sometimes "tough love" has a positive outcome.

Quoting Luvnlogic: Don't care for anything she has to say considering she seems more interested in turning out a product than raising a child.
Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:50 AM
1 mom liked this
What her daughters say in public doesn't interest me. How they feel in private is more important. Her daughters, both by nature and nurture, are reflections of her so they seemed to have flourished under her methods. Not everyone's child will and damage can and will be done by parents who don't have children like hers. And there is plenty of area between what she's advocating and being just "lovey dovey". Her success with this method is anecdotal, IMO...as are most "parenting methods". Yes, financial success is wonderful, but it doesn't make someone happier or more well-adjusted. Although, I suppose access to the best psychiatrists would be useful. :)

Quoting Lottie925: She has beautiful, successful daughters who publicly say they love her. I get that you don't agree with her strategies, but... She was a very involved mother who wanted the best outcome (in her opinion) for her kids. It's easier as an adult to have success and money then just be happy your mom was very lovey dovey. Sometimes "tough love" has a positive outcome.



Quoting Luvnlogic: Don't care for anything she has to say considering she seems more interested in turning out a product than raising a child.
momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

I read her first book and rather enjoyed it; it was much more nuanced than some critics made it seem.  Plus the book was an account of her journey away from Tiger Mom to a more moderate style, after realizing the damage she was doing to her kids.  (Too little, too late, it could be argued)  

It seems true that some ethnic groups in the US have done better than other ethnic groups in terms of creating financial security, setting up successful businesses, moving up into higher social classes, etc.  I don't think parenting styles are the whole story, but they are certainly part of the reason, and I'd be interested in reading what she's discovered.  

Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:59 AM
Yeah, I only saw her in hard core mode when out promoting the book so I wasn't aware she softened a bit. She just seemed so harsh and methodical in her style. Good for her that it worked in her case.

Quoting momtoscott:

I read her first book and rather enjoyed it; it was much more nuanced than some critics made it seem.  Plus the book was an account of her journey away from Tiger Mom to a more moderate style, after realizing the damage she was doing to her kids.  (Too little, too late, it could be argued)  

It seems true that some ethnic groups in the US have done better than other ethnic groups in terms of creating financial security, setting up successful businesses, moving up into higher social classes, etc.  I don't think parenting styles are the whole story, but they are certainly part of the reason, and I'd be interested in reading what she's discovered.  

A-nony-mous
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM
1 mom liked this

I was thinking about this the other day. I knew several Asian kids when I was growing up (moreso Chinese than Japanese but they had the same ideas) and it was very strict. They were never allowed friends over. They would finish school, go immediately home and do things like violin or piano practice for up to three hours and then go to bed. 

They've ended up being professionally successful but there were a lot of sacrifices.  They were socially shunned because they basically weren't allowed to be close to any other kids. They really had very few to no friends for their entire childhood. They didn't get to experience a lot of the 'fun' things that, I at least, feel kids should. 

It's not hard to make a child successful. If that's ALL you focus on and you push and nag and push and nag and obsess over it your child will probably end up professionally successful. But that doesn't mean that they'll be HAPPY. Or feel loved and secure.

Many of these kids are pretty miserable and dead inside. "Americans" (white Americans) may not raise as many Doctors and Lawyers and Engineers as Japanese, Indian or Chinese parents....but I think the average American child would probably say their life is more fun, fulfilling and they feel more secure and loved and appreciated than the average child of one of these "Tiger" type parents.  

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM
5 moms liked this

What if you happen to have a kid on the lower end of the IQ scale? Are they less than because they will never be admitted to an Ivy league, become top in their field or extremely wealthy?

These are the kids I feel sorry for- because some parents ARE conditional.

Lots of emphasis on money, as if that is what is most important and can buy happiness. Money buys experiences, but not necessarily a grounded, happy person.

Coconutty4Hubby
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM
When you become an adult, you make your own happiness. Like, ummm, let new ponder for a minute, Get a friend, shop, drink, watcha romance movie, eat some chocolate, go to work, DO SOMETHING, but YOU still make YOUR OWN HAPPINESS, at some point you have to stop blaming Mommy And Daddy for shit in your life.

Quoting Luvnlogic: What her daughters say in public doesn't interest me. How they feel in private is more important. Her daughters, both by nature and nurture, are reflections of her so they seemed to have flourished under her methods. Not everyone's child will and damage can and will be done by parents who don't have children like hers. And there is plenty of area between what she's advocating and being just "lovey dovey". Her success with this method is anecdotal, IMO...as are most "parenting methods". Yes, financial success is wonderful, but it doesn't make someone happier or more well-adjusted. Although, I suppose access to the best psychiatrists would be useful. :)



Quoting Lottie925: She has beautiful, successful daughters who publicly say they love her. I get that you don't agree with her strategies, but... She was a very involved mother who wanted the best outcome (in her opinion) for her kids. It's easier as an adult to have success and money then just be happy your mom was very lovey dovey. Sometimes "tough love" has a positive outcome.





Quoting Luvnlogic: Don't care for anything she has to say considering she seems more interested in turning out a product than raising a child.
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