Mama Sass

Mama SassMama Sass is an incognito working mother of two who lives in Miami and writes about moms in pop culture. She hides her identity to spare her daughters (and mother-in-law) the embarrassment.

Tiger Mom is back. Make her go away.

Most likely to succeed?
Most likely to succeed?

The mom who rejected her 4-year-old’s birthday card is back.

Yale law professor Amy Chua – who sang the praises of “superior,” iron-fisted Chinese-American mothering in the 2011 book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (then backpedaled and told her critics she was just being funny, ha, ha) – is cracking jokes again. 

She and her husband, Yale law prof Jed Rubenfeld, have written a new shock-schlock book, Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, due out Feb. 4. In it, they reportedly claim that eight cultural groups are superior to others because they share the same successful characteristics. 

Surprise! The authors happen to fall into two of the self-selected model minority groups, Chinese (her) and Jewish (him). 

Well, Chua is actually part Filipino, but her smug Chinese superior side has banished that filthy part of her to a bad place where kids don’t earn all As on their report cards.

Cuban exiles, Nigerians, Mormons (I think these are Mitt Romney’s kids), Indians, Iranians and Lebanese-Americans also make the cut. 

Singling out master races and religions has worked so well for us historically. What's next for Tiger Mom? Her own version of Mein Kampf?

Groups that didn’t make the team include Muslims, Brazilians, American blacks, Haitians, Appalachian hillbillies and the Kardashians. If you’re a white, non-Nigerian black or Latin American woman thinking about having a baby, do the world a favor and don’t. You guys are the worst. You have ruined the Western world with your notions of freedom, individuality and creativity.

According to Chua and her well-selected hubby, the three magical traits the chosen cultures share are: 1) extreme confidence 2) humility and 3) an ability to resist temptation that the authors call “impulse control.” 

Impulse control? Have these two ever seen a Chinese toddler chain smoke? Or spent time with the Little Havana crowd standing around the bakery counter at Versailles?

Let me get this straight – if you can manage to feel superior and insecure at the same time while abstaining from crazy sex, drugs and too many desserts, you can make it in America? 

In the perfect world of Chua-Rubenfeld, chosen cultures that possess these competitive-edge traits push their children to do better than others, resulting in higher income, higher test scores and better careers. 

Using questionable stats and anecdotes, with no peer review (if they’re so smart, why the junk science?), the Tiger Parents argue that even if you don’t convert to Mormonism or conceive in Nigeria, you still have a shot at success for your kids if you adopt the same values embraced by these superior cultures. 

The authors’ daughter got into Yale so it must be true. We know how hard that is when both of your parents are rich, educated, well-connected and teach there.


Miami Herald

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