Wed 26 Jan 2011
the Onion makes me cry again today with their post New parenting Books Sparks Outrage: (Their satirically brilliant post below.)
New Parenting Book Sparks Outrage
Last week, Penguin Press published Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, which criticizes “Western” parenting and advocates an “Asian” approach that includes forbidding playdates and being highly critical of children in order to make them more successful. Here are some other tips from the book:
- Take your children to Chuck E. Cheese’s and let them play any game they choose, then make them watch as you burn their tickets
- Ice cream is a great motivator for kids; promise them that if they do everything you ask, they can have some when they turn 18
- Inform your child that televisions receive all of their power from flawless renditions of Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D
- Only let your children have a pet dog if they can tame the most rabid dog at the pound
- Should your child express interest in spending more time with his or her friends, simply pack up and move several hundred miles away
- To ensure academic excellence, inform your children that there is a mark higher than an A-plus and then shame them for failing to attain it
- Replace their frail little limbs with less fragile prosthetics
- Remember, you may have to put up with one or two suicides before you finally craft that perfect child you’ve always wanted
I love the clipped tonal quality of these outrageous suggestions. I imagine a stiff-lipped, speaker with the impeccable posture only genuine, Zen control can erect from the human spine. Her words intone this clearly elucidated smack from the diaphragm, like a Cambridge neurologist enunciates a prognosis. The tension is delicious, and unsavory enough to make readers worry if they can get to the potty on time.
Anyone with a finger on the pulse of the media cycle knows Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother did more than strike a vein of controversy, it severed an artery. The blood spray has stained even the coolest of shirts. People are well beyond offended by Chua’s book, commentators are rabid and hysterical. High pitched and raving, these percussive utterances spit from the throat though loose, moist lips that splatter saliva as rapidly as they shoot words of outrage like machine gun fire.
What exactly has our American, parental panties in such a bundle over this one? Why is everyone so offended?
Why Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother Sparks Such Outrage
Penguin Press opened Pandora’s box last week with their release of Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, by Yale University law professor, Amy Chua. Certainly, Chau unapologetically details how she and her husband chose to raise their two daughters in “the Chinese way,” that emphasizes academic excellence and individual superiority over social engagements and extra curricular activities. However, the backlash of controversy in response to her book exposes the very insecure fish bellies of modern parents. Here are some possible reasons our American, parental panties are in a bundle:
- We’re more like Ron White than Sartre. Like yesterday we were snuggling on a beanbag chair naked, eating Cheetos, and we said, “Yeah. We could make a baby. How hard could it be?”
- My daughter is the Props Manager of her high school’s Drama Club.
- My daughter plays concert Kazoo.
- My 187 pound, 12 year-old daughter goes to the bathroom whenever she wants, usually during Oprah commercials.
- We wanted our 15 year-old daughter to play Carnegie Hall too, but she had to drop out of school to go to rehab before her baby is born.
- We’re going to get around to teaching our daughter Mandarin Chinese once she brings up her F in English.
- I don’t know which friend’s sleepover my daughter’s attending; she hasn’t been home since Friday morning.
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!