After posting my first blog on Amy Chua and her provocative essay, the story received much more media attention than I would have liked. Amy Chua appeared on Good Morning America, Cnn.com, Time Magazine and even the Colbert show. My blog recieved more views than it ever had before, and sales statistics for Chua’s book increased exponentially. Honestly her book sales were the primary motive behind the controversy and it is my personal opinion that we all were duped. A couple things have happened since her first article that support this assumption and that I feel need to be noted in order to finally euthanize this tiger mother and bring this unnecessary controversy to a close:
1) Amy Chua has completely changed her position, going on the defensive and trying to damage control what little dignity her reputation has left after humiliating both herself and her family with her roaring memoir. Her staunch ostentation has shattered to reveal a fairly insecure and regretful individual that projected that insecurity onto her children. She claims that the original article got it all wrong and that she never meant to embody this cultural stereotype. I highly doubt this considering that the article was an verbatim excerpt from her book and her first interviews showed the same tiger mother as in her book.
2) Her motherly methods and memoir has been heavily scrutinized. This would not be as significant if it were only American mothers that were angry, but it has been mostly Chinese mothers (from mainland China) that have been her most vehement critics. Several great blogs and reports have been written that criticize her stereotyping, providing examples of what China is truly like in the modern world, as well as her ignorance of Chinese cultural models and filial piety. What has happened, according to the criticism, is that Americans are too sensitive about their lack of progress, China’s rise, and Chua capitalized on those fears in her memoir. The problem is that she polarizes parenting styles by using false dichotomies and magisteria draped in cultural stereotypes. As the title of one mainland Chinese blogger states, “American Tiger Mother Clueless about Chinese Parenting.”
3) Her book has hit the New York Times bestseller list. Whether or not she is right or wrong about her parenting, and regardless of how humiliating her memoir has become, she wins. She has made her money, and will probably make much more. However, bear in mind that just because a book hits the NY Times bestseller, that does not make it a Pulitzer Prize worthy book. Richard Dawkin’s God Delusion is the best example of this kind of a “bad bestseller.”
Personally, I’m ready, and I hope the nation and the world is ready, to put this story to rest. Egypt’s unrest has far overshadowed her memoir and I can only hope that she continues to fade out of the media. The wounded tiger needs to return to her cubs, not look back, and take a long vacation with the money she gets from her memoirs.