Amy Chuas Cub Defends the Tiger Mom

battle hymn of the tiger mother, amy chua

Worth defending? Yes, says one of her daughters. Yes.

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.
Photo: zocalopublicsquare.org

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