The Saga of Amy Chua
When I first heard of the … scandal? … at Yale Law School about a woman named Amy Chua and a husband who’s, like, a campus sexual predator, I didn’t know that I knew who Amy Chua is. I’d, of course, hear of the “Tiger Mother” or whatever the entirety of that book title is, and at that time (the time of knowing about the woman who is the “Tiger Mother”) my reaction to this Asian public figure was the same reaction that I had (many years later) when Marie Kondo swept the planet. And that reaction was one of *shrug* … meh.
On a side note (one that’s not completely irrelevant but that is mostly irrelevant to the overall “point” of this writing), when Kondo inevitably appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, I knew that Kondo was a fraud after she “perfectly folded” a fitted sheet, the dreaded fitted sheet that’s supposed to represent the pinnacle of house-wifery perfectionism. Kondo folded that thing terribly, truly terrible. Martha would have had to been diplomatic in her response had this been a Martha segment. I can fold a fitted sheet well beyond the looks of Kondo’s, and it was in this moment that I knew that Kondo is a fraudulent peddler of an idea that she cannot, herself, even embody. What a fucking farce.
Back to my point.
I read a number of articles throughout the spring and found myself following the media blitz surrounding this “Tiger Mother” of yore. My initial thoughts on Tiger Mother, when I first heard about it, revolved around the Asian-ness of it all. It seemed, to my naive mind (at that time), that that was it. It was merely chronicling how Chinese mothers raise their children. And I already sorta knew that Asian parents are tough, not because my white parents were tough, but rather, because that’s how Asian-ness was always presented to me, as an Asian raised in White-ness. It was a big old *shrug* for me when I heard that Asian parents work their kids into the ground to get ahead. Duh.
And then I never thought about that book or its writer, a name I never even learned, btw, ever again.
That was, until an article about an Amy Chua from Yale Law School popped up in my feed, which is, inevitably, filled with NYT articles (yes, I’ll happily admit that news isn’t news until it reaches me via The New York Times). I learned a little about who she is and what she’s about, and read all (and more) of the articles that are linked in THIS ARTICLE that finally gave rise to an actual question that I NEED to know about Amy Chua and her “work” at Yale Law School.
I actually have a few questions, but they all revolve around the same main point. And no, I don’t really care about whatever sexual misconduct has been perversely perpetrated by her husband, as the answer is obvious, OF COURSE HE’S A FUCKING CREEP. He’s a professor of LAW at a prestigious(ly white) university and was a professor during a “different time,” when that sorta shit against women was/is run-of-the-mill procedure. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a “deal” within their marriage, but this is not about that because all of that is a different issue beyond which this current issue stems. So, since we know that her husband is a sexual predator, we can imagine that their lives are filled with “grey areas.”
This to me is not the point, however, at this time. The point (and the questions that stem from it) revolve around Chua’s race. She’s Chinese (?) … Asian … she’s Asian, of some sort. Yale Law, like all elite institutions, are (strictly) mostly white.
The main issue seems to be that Chua has cultivated for herself (either through her hard work or not [as leveled by the NYT article wherein Chua’s professional career has no real basis in actual legislative or lawyerly work, instead, she’s socially mobile, etc.]) a bit of power in the way of placing future people of power under current people of power. The students who are placed “well” have glowing reviews of the professor/mentor. And I imagine that those students who can’t stand Chua are the ones who “lost out” on prestigious opportunities. This is all well and good and quite normal within the egotistical rat race that is the Ivy League, etc.
What I want to know, now, is whether or not the students that she’s been placing into prestigious or “good” clerkships, etc., are people of color. Are they? Is Yale Law School pissed off that their ONE professor of color (I don’t know if Chua is the only professor of color, and now that I think of it, I don’t even know if she’s a professor. She must be. Yea. Anyway, I don’t do research for these things. These are just my thoughts after I read stuff) is seemingly actively awarding students of color and not the whities? Is racism really the problem here?
I wonder this because I also learned that Chua & (pervey) husband wrote a book together that’s described as a racist book about how some races are better at rearing children than others, etc. So, I know that they have ruffled feathers about their People of Color Supremacy.
The article does not talk about this at all, except to mention that the actual students involved are two people of color, a half-Korean male and a black female. *sigh*
It all seems so obvious that this is an issue of race, but we can only know that if someone can prove that Chua promotes and awards students of color to the prestigious placements and clerkships. If Chua is actively placing students of color and not white students, I can see how an elitist white institution would want to get rid of her as fast as they could. It all adds up. But there’s no knowing until or unless someone looks into and reports that, yes, Chua IS advancing the opportunities for students of color.
If this is the case, is Chua doing anything wrong? Well, yes, and no, but that’s not for me to judge. I am no judge. I am no jury. I am a mere curiosity because the article mentioned above finally instigated a question that I would like to know the answer to because it matters. Both sides can be in the wrong (like Harry & Meghan v. The Firm; yes, obviously the royals of the UK are fucking racist, duh, that IS the point of their existence, hierarchy, and yes, of course, Meghan Markle is. the. worst. kind of money-grabbing, fame-reaching, status-exploiting social climber everyone says she is, duh). But two wrongs don’t make a right. And one of those wrongs can be more harmful than the other.
So, there you have it. I’ve made nothing of nothing, and I feel good, smug even. Until next time …
Originally published at http://ladypolarity.wordpress.com on July 30, 2021.