Tiger Mom is what nightmare memes are made of
If, like me, you were raised by at least one ultra strict, old-school Asian immigrant parent, you have already experienced the PTSD of flashbacks related to all the Tiger Mom brouhaha.
If your friends aren't bombarding you with articles and comments about this roaring controversy, as mine were/are — Tiger Mom is Amy Chua, a Yale Law School professor who stirred up a generation's collective angst with an excerpt of her book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" featured in The Wall Street Journal under the way-to-be-provocative headline, "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior." In it, she describes a fascist-like household where her daughters were never allowed to go to sleepovers, "get any grade less than an A," and "not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama."
It's a riveting read, and nothing like what the Journal "excerpt" suggests. There's still plenty to be horrified by at in the actual book, but even more, as Wang noted, to think about — and laugh at, as odd as that may seem to those who haven't yet read it: Far from being strident, the book's tone is slightly rueful, frequently self-deprecating and entirely aware of its author's enormities. It's a little, but not quite, like a Chelsea Handler book — if Chelsea Handler were a Chinese American law professor and Momzilla of two.He also rooted out the puppeteer behind all of the fuss: Rupert Murdoch, who might be married to a Tiger Mom himself.
When you're no longer under oppressive rule and enjoying freedom, it's easier to laugh at the tyranny of the past. But, I have a feeling a lot of us revisiting our childhood are wincing, too. I didn't have a Tiger Mom, but I did have a High Expectations Asian Father who did not let us speak English in the house (that didn't last long), who forced us to go to Thai school, who did not believe in air conditioning during the day (in Florida), who did not "let" me date until I finished college and who did not let us sleep over at other kids' houses (unless they were Thai). I'm grateful now for the discipline he instilled in us and the ability to speak and understand our native language, and my siblings and I have all done well academically and in life, in general, but I would sure like to have some of those childhood memories wiped by Eternal Sunshine.
Now I need to go schedule a therapy session. Stat.
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