Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tiger Mama

This post has nothing to do with the markets or with energy issues... I just couldn't let this go by without commenting about WTF is wrong with us. If you are Politically Correct, perhaps you should skip this.

I hope most of you have read about Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and simply over-achiever par excellence who, just to add insult to injury is an outrageously attractive and THIN married mother of 2, Asian-American woman. (If you have not please feel free to google Amy Chua or Tiger Mother/Mama. Here is the original excerpt that sent people into orbit.)  Please note that I do not necessarily agree with all of Ms. Chua's parental philosophies... maybe she goes too far, and maybe she was speaking in a self-depricating manner.... so what? The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Oh, and a disclosure: I am from the lower end of the working class and not of 100% European ancestry and my wife is an Asian Immigrant (and is stereotypically accomplished herself, yet has decided it best for the family to be a full time mom)... I wouldn't know how to classify my kids, other than "beautiful"... 

Besides the simple fact that Ms. Chu will be HATED for all of the above listed reasons (brilliant, accomplished, thin, able to maintain a marriage, and takes responsibility for parenting), Americans simply cannot withstand the thing NOT BEING SAID IN ANY OF THE CRITICISMS of Ms. Chua.

And what's that?

What is the prison population of children raised by parents using Ms. Chua's formula?  Zero?  How many Doctors, Lawyers, Investment Bankers, Engineers, Computer Whizzes, Military Officers, and World Class Musicians were produced in strict, demanding homes versus those with absentee fathers and irresponsible mothers?  The Web is going ballistic over Ms. Chua's "Chinese" parenting style, a style that is successfully producing our society's best and brightest (and a couple of suicides and adult-offspring in therapy... nobody's perfect). Please compare that to what is going on in the African American community:

90% of African American children will require government food assistance during their childhood (to be fair 33% of White Children and 50% of all children will find themselves in the same sh*ty boat).

72% of African American children are born to un-wed mothers (the moron that wrote this article said "So What?") 

Seventy-two percent of black babies are born to unmarried mothers today, according to government statistics. Statistics show just what that fullness means. Children of unmarried mothers of any race are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults, and have their own children out of wedlock. 
The black community’s 72 percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008, the most recent year for which government figures are available. The rate for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent.

The Arizona shooting notwhithstanding, gun crime is largely an African American issue.  Half of all murder victims are African American and 93% of those murders were committed by another African-American - and the Web and Blogsphere think that "Chinese Mothers" are the problem?  Maybe they are the solution to what was has proved to be an intractable problem.  Want to solve crime, poverty, gun violence, and any of the other social ills in America? Then do what Willie Sutton did.  He robbed banks cause that's where the money is... The sad fact is we now have an African American in the White House that simply does not address these issues... if there ever was a president that could take these issues on, that could call African American men on the carpet and demand that they accept responsibility for their children (OMG! Did I say that?  You bet. Every child deserves a father and I couldn't care less if somebody is offended by my pointing out the obvious)... BHO could have been that president... I guess he's holding his thunder for his second term.  

Maybe a drill seargent national Mother figure is in order...  maybe that's what our poofy, feel good, pansy asses need.   China is wiping the floor with us.  The Chinese people are willing to work and COMPETE, they have strong families, and they actually know how to live within their means.  Holy smokes! Can you imagine?!!  (Any American so much as mentions the issue is immediately labeled a "racist" by the "Progressives"... Ever notice how white Progressives always seem to marry other white Progressives? )

Amy Chua for President in 2012.


bureaucrat said...

As with the "Chinese Miracle," the "Tiger Mommy" thing .. in time will tell. Lets see if China and those two daughters are a big "thumbs up" in 10 years. The U.S. does not have jobs here for everyone to be a PhD, and China cannot continue just expecting the rest of the world to do nothing but borrow and buy more Chinese crap. With energy limitations (oil, coal, nuclear), and corrupt Communist government, China is the biggest nothing in history. And we'll see how the Tiger Mommy's two girls end up in the near future. Nothing wrong with being average. :)

DaShui said...

Two of my friends had german parents, they were hard asses too

PioneerPreppy said...

The Chinese mother discussions have been going on all over.

Now Greg when you say "China is mopping the floor with us" what do you mean exactly? Are you referring to Chinese students in China? Abroad? Chinese Americans?

In China the students do not face racial or gender engineering. One comment I read (I think over at Mangan's) is that when you compare female American to female Chinese the gap shrinks remarkably. I haven't chased down the claim but it makes sense because so much Western Feminist energy is channeled into reducing Western Male achievement. Also Chinese women do not seem to follow education in the sciences any more than Western women do.

As for Chinese students abroad and Chinese Americans, well again they are not subject to the same social engineering pressures and in fact within the US benefit from them at a cost to American males.

Lastly I am not sure of Chua's status as being an immigrant or what generation Chinese but she certainly has the connections to be able to put that kind of time into strict parenting. A very few Western raised women will want to do that, damned few. The answer why so few want to actually raise their children is obvious.

The real test will be to see how her children, who become even more Westernized, raise Chua's grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

That article was certainly interesting, but even the "survey" had only two choices permissive or demanding parenting...which makes it just another BS survey.

Clearly, the US culture was once far more demanding, and perhaps not quite so much as this article suggests, but not anything close to the permissive-entitled type culture that most children in this country have bought into.

Self-discipline and self-efficacy are clearly far more important than self-esteem in terms of achievement orientation in academia and most of the world of work as well. An utter lack of freedom, isn't all that healthy either, but this doesn't mean that you have to be like this article, or the other option is permissive. We see many cultures who have strong authoritarian measures where parents control their children, many muslim countries come to mind, and rigidity isn't always something beneficial.

We have some Japanese in our family as well, and see that Straight A's and overzealous study and narrow fixation on skills doesn't always pan out that well either. Japan for many years had amazingly high levels of child suicide--although the culture has clearly become much more Americanized than in the 80's and 90's.

I know multiple straight A, super achievers that were trained to be music prodigies, and they aren't doing all that great either--perhaps they should have become bankers instead? I do enjoy the free piano recitals though on occasion.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


China mopping the floor.... i was referring to their increase in output per worker.

And look.... I was not saying that M.s Chua is the perfect mother... its just a short essay, and I can't WAIT to read the book... but I do not disagree with her parental philosophy.

What I was saying is that the media and the Left, of which Ms. Chua probably counts herself a member, have been tearing the living s**t out of this woman while giving a pass to the GLARING shortcomings in non-asian minority communities.


Greg T. Jeffers said...


My wife is Japanese, not Chinese, and trust me.... there is a BIG difference... but my wife is the real deal when it comes to mothering her kids.

This is really unPC to say, but I don't mind pissing people off....

I live in nuevo riche Boca Raton. Many of the women here "gave up" their careers as teachers and nurses after marrying Physicians and Hedge Fund Managers... but not to raise the kids... they have nannies and cleaning ladies and tutors... I have no idea how they fill the time when they are not at their shrinks.... but that's the way it is. No one complains about that, but then Ms. Chua comes along and puts her finger in the proverbial light socket....

Greg T. Jeffers said...

We parent our kids. There is no nanny or cleaning lady or domestic in this house. Our kids will get good grades and excel in music and other intellectual pursuits OR ELSE. We will know where they are, who they are friends with, and we will not tolerate ANYTHING that kids shouldn't be doing... I'll spare you the list of those things, but I am sure you get the idea.

These values have been abandoned by a great many Americans somewhere along the line - and it shows.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Not the point. They don't get more average than MOI. The point was (positive) involvement in our children's lives by their mothers, or the lack there of.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


The point of music and writing and chess is to expand a young mind AND keep hem busy. Idle time for kids is not a great idea. I don't care if its music, or tennis, horseback riding, cross country jogging, Jiu-Jitsu... anything is better for a teen than sitting in front of a video game, smoking pot, and having unprotected sex... I think we have seen how that turns out.

And it is true... there is no way to make a living in music. Well, almost no way. So, yes, they will need a way to make a living... banker, physician, engineer, computer programer... whatever. Anything but starving artist. That job sucks.

PioneerPreppy said...

The left is tearing her up because the family and strict parenting was/is the first major barrier to feminist-socialism. The best way to attack Western Christian civilization is by taking the family apart. They couldn't attack the so called patriarchy so they went for the wives and children, inviting every other minority or special interest group they could find along the way.

If a non-minority family attempted to raise their children the way this woman is they will find themselves in a social services hearing. Minorities can still get away with it but the list of homeschooling or strict white parents taken to task by the state is very long.

I can name half a dozen Christian families within 15 miles of my house, who attempted to raise their children not unlike Mrs. Chua, and they were constantly under State scrutiny.

The only thing that saved my son and I from the same intrusion was the fact that I have a state teaching certification so questioning my "ability" was not an option.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


The good news is.... they are LOSING the fight (at least at the moment). Not only are they losing it, but their members are pealing away and (gasp!) actively parenting a la Ms. Chua.

One of the things I like best about Tennessee... it is such a Libertarian state....homeschooling is NOT frowned upon or harassed... there are thousands of homesteaders doing just that, among other very traditional practices.

Judeo-Christian norms are being re-found... and its not just Judeo-Christian; my wife's family is Buddhist, and they are nuclear family oriented much as we are. The family is EVERYTHING, and outside political interference of the family is NOT TOLERATED WHATSOEVER.

In the end, the better system always wins.

Dan said...

The more traditional minded amongst us are outbreeding the pro-death nihilist crowd and it’s a hard to win converts, regardless of what you are preaching. The future belongs to the past. :-)

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I am continually amazed by the things people commenting here come up with.

How very, very perspicacious of you... I gotta tell you... I am going to use that early and often... just as soon as I get my mind around it.

Anonymous said...


You are a true lib. Let's all shoot for the lowest common denominator. Let 'em all text and play Gameboy. That'll get our kids far in life.

Excellence is needed at all levels of society, from those who push a broom right up to the rocket scientists. What is wrong with working to your highest potential, no matter what that potential might be? Someday soon, it will matter a whole lot more than it does now. Lazy sacks of $#!t on the government teat will get their comeuppance.

Thank you, my German parents, who taught me about work and responsibility.


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Further, I'll say that pushing the kids into a mold is not all that good. They do need to follow their likes and interests, as long as they are pursuing something positive and they are truly working at it. It is the freedom that we give our children to pursue their interests that drives innovation in this country. While we are the nation of "Johnny can't read," the major scientific, technological, and artistic innovations still originate here. We don't see much that is new coming from the structured societies of Asia. We suck at the bottom and are awesome at the top.

Most failure in this country seems to me to be due to failure in the family. The children grow up in such emotional and social chaos that they don't have the time or energy to devote to positive endeavors. Not much good happens with children when a stable family is not supporting them. We have the "Progressives" to thank for that on so many fronts.


Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

Of course we are awesome at the top! We are a nation descended from people with the chutzpah to get on a rickety boat and sail to an unknown land - talk about a unique selection process...

The U.S.'s capital postion in the financial markets has a great deal to do with our success at the top - I would wager, though it can't be known, that that is by far the largest contributor.... if such capital appears in other societies, ESPECIALLY in Asia, you can count on them to bring it to a whole other level... and there is nothing wrong with any of that.

What irked me in the media depiction of this is that pushy mothers like Ms. Chua are the problem - hardly. Faulty parenting is a HUGE problem within certain groups here in the U.S., but Chinese Moms are not one of them.

bureaucrat said...

Carbon, my friend,

Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer, and we can't afford an economy with nothing but high-wage people anyway. Where do you think the Mexicans came from? :) There is a greater need for average people doing average work in average (government) offices :), and they should be all be paid a middle-class, living wage.

What we have now is this diabolical distraction where everyone is allowed 60-80% of what they truly need to live a decent life (the balance paid for by credit) and are instead treated to TV shows like "Meet The Kardashians," so average people can "pretend" they have it all by living thru TV characters, without actually gaining anything. Howie Mandel's TV show also comes to mind.

Everyone should reach as high as possible, but we need not make those who can't reach the stars to live like beggars. Having a house, two kids and two cars used to be enough.

Anonymous said...

A look at television statistics says it all to me. It's how children spend their time. TeeVee raises most children in America.
54% of 4-6 yo would rather watch TV than spend time with Daddy. Appalling.
I'm sure the TV in Tiger Mommy's house is rarely on for the kids.
Dancing With the Stars..never.
It is a brainwashing and propaganda device.
Rational Liberal

Anonymous said...


I agree 100%. Asian mothers are not the problem! The LCD ethic that is trying to pan tiger mom just galls my butt. Achievement: Bad? Just do enough to get by, like everybody else: Good? No one ever accomplished anything while hiding within the norm.

It is just another way that the left is trying to impose equality of outcome on us.

The other thing, is that the success of Asians gives lie to the whole "you can't succeed because of your skin color" crap. Anyone, even in today's economy, who is willing to work and learn, can succeed.


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...


Let me tell you about "Bob." My wife and I have known him for about 20 years. We are both glad to know him. He is dumb as a sack of hammers. Really, I think his IQ is between 75 and 80. He works two jobs. He tries hard, shows up on time, and works. He is personable and friendly with everyone He has a wife and a daughter, supports himself and owns his own home. Why? Because he makes the best of what he has. He has led a successful life. We can't all be rocket scientists, but we can be successful within our limitations if we are willing to work.


Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

Maybe 30 years ago that was enough, Carbon. I think not today.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

When I worked at Bear Stearns I had an assistant that had some learning issues; a young black man with a heart of gold and a good work ethic. I don't know how he came to Bear, but he was a good guy and I enjoyed our friendship.

One day, this is 1994, he asks me to give him a reference as he was applying for a job with the NYC Department of Sanitation. A couple of my desk partners overheard this, and I explained what the deal was and how this was an unbelievable opportunity for a working class kid from Brooklyn (remember, these were Ivy League types... there were maybe a couple of working class guys on the floor out of several hundred) and the guys got together and quietly helped our friend with his application and interview process. When he got the job, we celebrated over lunch.

Our friend is a few years away from a City pension (for what that might be worth) and is a homeowner and family man. He came a long way from a $7 per hour job as a clerk at Bear.

One of the greatest Horatio Alger stories ever.