Battle Hymn of the Gassy Tiger

January 17th, 2011 → 2 Comments

By now, you have likely heard how Amy Chua figured out how to make the long exhausted “East Meet West,” “Oh my mother, my mother,” “two cultures” blah blah blah memoir, into a best selling book on parenting by publishing that ridiculous treatise on “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” in the Wall Street Journal.

After reading that article, I thought the article should have instead been titled, “My Daughters Got Depressed and Jumped Off a Bridge,  But At Least I Can Still Show Off Their Trophies to Company.”

I’m Amy Chua’s worst nightmare.  I did everything her daughters weren’t allowed to do: quit the piano, watch tv, had sleepovers, had “playdates” (whatever the heck those are), got to be in plenty of school plays, and you bet your ass I complained when my folks didn’t want me to be in them.

Did I graduate the head of my med school class at Harvard?  No, I became a creative f*cking genius and am happier for it (hmm… maybe I never learned humility either).

After the fact, Chua conveniently dismisses herself of the criticism saying that the it wasn’t her idea to title her article that way.  Yes, somehow we are to buy that a woman who calls her kid “garbage” and hovers over her kids’ every move had no authority on what to title her own article for the Wall Street Journal?

Will this article and the subsequent controversy sell books?  You betcha.  As horrified (and kind of jealous)  I am at her tactic of getting press for the book, I was happy to ride her coattails and get my 2 cents in to share a message that does matter.  And that is, that Asian American women have high rates of suicide and depression because of the parenting style of mothers like Amy Chua.

I made the local news.  The story actually airs today at 5pm.   They were in and out of my house in twenty minutes.  Watch the story here.

I apologize in advance for using the universal “we” instead of “I.”  The way I am edited, it does sound like I’m some kind of PhD social scientist.  Artists are emotional anthropologists of sorts and I’ve spent a hell of a lot of time thinking, talking and reading about depression and suicide among Asian American women, making me as good an authority as any.   They asked me to condense my long rambling and detailed thoughts on the subject of why Asian American women had such high rates of depression and suicide in this country and so I was cut down to two sentences!

I have so much more to say on the subject matter…. I do have an 80 minute show on the matter.  Oh hey, why not pre-order the DVD here?

Category: Blog

2 responses to “Battle Hymn of the Gassy Tiger”

  1. Steve Lee says:

    “Yes, somehow we are to buy that a woman who calls her kid “garbage” and hovers over her kids’ every move had no authority on what to title her own article for the Wall Street Journal?”

    Actually, it’s pretty common for columnists and reporters to have the editor write the headline for them and not see the headline until it’s printed.

    • kristina says:

      Having dabbled in journalism, I realized that too Steve after publishing this blog. But in general I still think she’s a genius for stirring up unnecessary controversy for what is probably just a ho-hum book.

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