January 12, 2014

Tiger Mom And The Triple Package

I need to read deeper into “Tiger MomAmy Chua‘s new book “The Triple Package” because I don’t want to rant about something based solely on a blog post.

The Triple Package by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld

If she’s the Tiger Mom, does that mean she has the Eye of the Tiger?

However, my time is limited, and the shelf-life for news gets shorter every day. Seriously, there’s stuff in my blog queue from… I’m not even going to look. Therefore, I’ll write what I can now and get back to it with more info if/when I can.

Here is what Gawker writer Jordan Sargent says about Chua’s new book:

The New York Post has a review of her new book The Triple Package —co-authored by her husband, Jed Rubenfeld — which says that there are eight groups of people superior to all others: Chinese, Cuban exiles, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Lebanese-Americans, Mormons, and Nigerians. Remember, her daughter got into Yale and Harvard so it has to be true.

“Groups of people superior to all others”? Seriously? This is something that we’re allowed to say now? Because I thought that was, you know, like saying men can’t be primary caregivers (cough, SAHD WAHD, cough cough), or something far more obviously offensive. (I tried to come up with an example that felt not completely racist/sexist/jerky but I couldn’t.)

Gawker’s Sargent goes on:

According to Chua and Rubenfeld, there are three reasons — the so-called “triple package,” please bear with me — why those eight groups reign over everyone else in the world: superiority complexes, insecurity, and impulse control. They believe (“believe”) that true success is reached because you think you’re better than everyone else, but also not really, and that you can resist temptation as you strive for a larger goal. Oh, and also that you haven’t “yet bought into mainstream, post-1960s, liberal American principles.”

Sargent is critical of Chua’s ideas, as is the NY Post’s book reviewer Maureen Callahan. Sargent then calls Chua’s… output… “pop psych trolling”. I don’t know what that means. I do know that declaring a race/ethnic group/nationality/person who holds certain religious beliefs to be superior based solely on that criteria is the slipperiest of slopes. “Asians are smarter.” There we go. That one is positive. “Jews are good with money.” Also positive. But do either of those statements sound OK to you? Because they don’t sound OK to me. More importantly, would you want your children to say “Nigerians are more successful because they are Nigerian”? I wouldn’t. If that is indeed the premise of “The Triple Package”, that’s bad for a variety of reasons.

NOTE: As of this moment I haven’t read the Post’s review of Chua’s book, nor have I read the book. (To be fair, the book doesn’t “drop” until February 4, 2014. That’s what the kids say, right? Drop?) This is due to the fact that I have kids to feed and stuff. Like I said, I may do an updated post later.

UPDATE: Here’s a quote from the Amazon description of “The Triple Package”:

 It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.

So yeah. There’s that.

UPDATE 2: Amy Chua has written other books besides “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother“. They sound more academic and less “pop psych” oriented. I haven’t read any of them. If you have, let me know. Anyway, here are other books by Ms. Chua.

Infamous “Tiger Mom” Returns To Troll the Entire World (Gawker)

The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America (Amazon)

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