Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Amy Chua, this is your child



She's pointing the pious end of a Beretta in your face and probably gurgling in that cute and annoying baby voice of hers, "Eat shit, bitch!," and you know why? Because you seem to think your child is a dog, a thing you dress in a tutu and put on your lap at dinner parties, when in fact she is a perfectly emotional and free-thinking human being who is fully capable of deciding to stick the barrel of a gun in your smug, sanctimonious face.

Let me read back the opening sentence in your Wall Street Journal column:

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids.

Do you understand the meaning of "stereotypical"? Consult. I think what you meant to say was:

A lot of people wonder about the stereotype that Chinese parents raise such successful kids.

Because, you see, that might be true. And that might be worthy of investigation in such a fine, tympan-and-daguerreotype paper like the Wall Street Journal. But you choose to set a bare-assed premise that Chinese kids are more "successful" than your white New Haven neighbors, and in doing so you gloss over, well, EVERY FUCKING THING.

Some questions I'm left wondering: do other successful minority groups have this tradition of tough parenting? (Of course not -- they have other stereotypes, don't they?) What are the factors that contribute to immigrant success in America? Are child "prodigies" happy? How does one define "happy"? Are you ashamed of being racist?

And something else: NO. No, people do not sit around thinking about why Asians are more "successful." In the real world -- not your ivory tower called Yale -- they are just as liable to think why David won't ask that girl he stares at all the time on a date, or why John eats alone in the cafeteria, or why Grace went from being a model high school Valedictorian to a raging college slut, and how an entire generation of Chinese Zhous (and Wangs) can do so well on tests but produce no innovative thinkers and why they're so prone to political manipulation.

(See what I did there? I just did what you did. Pretty goddamn awful, isn't it?)

I really hate to inform you of this, Ms. Chua, but the world is not so simple that Sophia playing in Carnegie Hall makes her an unqualified "success." She's good at what she does, I'm sure, but I somehow suspect she would have been fine even without your hormone-induced hissy-fits, or what I can only imagine is your banshee-like voice saying, "Get back to the piano now"; your facile, sort of dangerous worldviews; and your prattle. God, your prattle probably deserves its own fucking level in Hell. You must nag like the violent end of a hose trying to put out a fire. Not to get all nihilistic, but in the end your daughter's still just another piece of human flesh doing a job that will lead to death without 99.99% of the world giving a damn. It's really, really great that you've prepared her so well to face this reality!

And here's the thing, Amy Chua: the way you describe your treatment of your kids is heinous. It's just so mind-boggling that I'm at a loss for words, which is why I'll just quote you:

Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.


Jesus William H. Macy Christ, the fucking piano and violin? I'm no criminal profiler, but when I find your body stabbed a hundred times by your daughter, I'm going to guess she's 5'4'', 115 pounds, petite, soft-spoken, straight-haired (shiny black) and single-lidded (thin eyes), has one dimple on her cheek, slightly hunchbacked, chalkboard-chested, likes Margaret Cho, likes reading Melissa De La Cruz, blogs on Xanga, works as a masseuse or someone equally skilled at rubbing one out, carries a kewpie-doll-keychain, is ambitious but understated, loyal but curious, shy but self-assured, and dates white men.

And finally, we get to your conclusion -- which, thankfully, I got to before popping a blood vessel (I probably wouldn't be able to say the same if I had picked up your book): "Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away."

Okay, here -- here, you poor excuse -- you once again do that thing that makes me so mad I have to get crude. (Quick interlude: to preempt any of you amateur psychologists out there who might be smirking at my emotional outburst, I'll put your suspicion to rest: my mom is the exact opposite of this woman, and I was raised in more or less the exact opposite way.) Do not EVER pretend you speak for "the Chinese," you crazy fucking Nazi. You are exactly everything that is wrong with Asian writers. You disgrace us. Please shut up -- and for some poor unborn soul's sake, don't have more children.

HT: Laura Fitch; UPDATE, 1/12, 12:50 pm: Also see: Elaine Chow's post in the Shanghaiist on Monday, and this story about Yin Jianli's book, A Good Mom is Better Than a Good Teacher.

1 comment:

kevinreitz said...

Ha! You're such an asshole tao. I love it!