Mocking the Tiger MomCarolyn Castiglia
Here we are, headed into week three of intense Tiger Mother coverage! Yes, magazines and newspapers are still abuzz with talk of Amy Chua’s “Chinese parenting.” The New Yorker has a review of Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, in their January 31st issue called “America’s Top Parent,” and TIME ran a revealing piece on their website last Thursday called “Tiger Daughter” about an American Dad living in Shanghai. In the essay, writer Bill Powell says his Chinese wife “takes the lead” and “does the heavy lifting” when it comes to their daughter Abby’s education. He admits that as a result of being drilled “relentlessly in math and Chinese” night after night, “sometimes Abby cries and mopes.” He says he sees “no evidence that she’s turning into a tortured, malfunctioning kid,” adding the hilarious caveat, “Mind you, this is only first grade.”
And so it is: Amy Chua and the suddenly popularized, polarizing notion of “Chinese parenting” are ripe for mocking at this point. Western creativity abounds on the Internet, and the children of clearly too-permissive parents have been having a blast developing material that mocks the Tiger Mom.
First there’s the Tiger Mom Meme, showcased at the Tumblr blog Tiger Mom Says. You can create your own Tiger Mom Meme at Meme Generator, but here are a few of my favorites from others as showcased on Buzzfeed:
Note: Amy Chua is not pictured in these meme images. Amy Chua is definitely hot enough to be a cougar, but she would never show this much cleavage. IT’S NOT APPROPRIATE!
I’ve already shown you comedian/actress Becky Yamamoto’s recent vlog post showcasing her mother’s reaction to Chua’s methodology, and now I’ll offer you musical comedian Jen Kwok’s newest hip-hop track Extreme Asian Parenting, aka the Tiger Mom Rap. You can listen here, but use headphones if you’re at work. Lyrics include: “I found the key to perfection is assimilation/Don’t let my daughters out the house so life’s a simulation/Now I’m selling my techniques like a corporation/And I’m married to a guy named Jed!!!” Gangsta. Kwok weighed in previously on the Tiger Mom controversy, calling Chua’s advice nothing more than Tiger Balm.
Emmy-Award winning Asian American Theatrical Comedy group 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors recently filed this special news report parodying Amy Chua’s parenting style. (Keep those headphones on.)
Editor’s note: I like this piece and think overall it’s very well done, but Amy Chua would never allow her walls to remain unfinished the way you see them in the shot at 1:36. TRY HARDER NEXT TIME, GUYS! Clearly your mothers were not tough enough.