Amy Chua, author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” has spent the past week being criticized. Supported a little, but mostly criticized — by mothers, child development experts, blowhards and other people’s kids.
All that negative criticism has no doubt been good for her: she’s likely secured a sizable advance for her next book proposal. Her thesis of lazy “Western” parents was proven, thanks to response essays of self-confessed “lazy Western parents.”
And, today, this: a letter of love, support and understanding from one of the reasons folks were so outraged.
Chua’s eldest daughter, a piano prodigy, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld wrote a letter to her “Tiger Mom” in the New York Post. In it, she defends Chua for the time she tore up a handmade birthday card. She praises her mom for making her practice hours and hours a day. She even tells us that she did have freedom — to choose a military history class instead of math, math, math.
But Chua-Rubenfeld said childhood wasn’t bad. She even got to wear eyeliner! From the NY Post:
When I got to high school, you realized it was time to let me grow up a little. All the girls started wearing makeup in ninth grade. I walked to CVS to buy some and taught myself how to use it. It wasn’t a big deal. You were surprised when I came down to dinner wearing eyeliner, but you didn’t mind. You let me have that rite of passage.
Chua’s WSJ essay was certainly eyebrow-raising. Her book contained sometimes more harrowing accounts of Chua’s unrelenting drive to get her daughters to earn accolades. In the end, though, the book is self-critical. Not exactly filled with remorse, but as Sophia argues, the mom has nothing to regret.
Of course, Sophia wasn’t the rebel. It’s Louisa, aka: Lulu, who’s got the story to tell there. But Lulu rebels and something tells me a Tiger Mom tell-all letter from her would be just as loving and defending of the mother.