Talk:Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

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Why the redirects?[edit]

Why do "Tiger Mom" and "Tiger Mother" redirect to this advertisement for a book? Those two terms have meaning and I'm betting there are/were existing articles for those terms. They should not redirect to an "article" that promotes a book. (talk) 15:34, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Anxiety disorders[edit]

Quite contrary to what the Wikipedia article quotes from the writer Hara Estroff Marano, it is the mentality and environment this book promotes that has been a contributing factor to the huge increase in anxiety disorders over the last twenty to thirty years. These children will grow up stalked by emptiness - feeling that most of what they do in life isn't quite "enough". There is a myth here, typical of authoritarian personalities, that if you harangue people, they'll healthily "adapt". This approach is totally ego driven and focused on external validation rather than being comfortable in one's own skin. If you don't produce a child with a stress disorder you may produce competitors who are "the best" and "winners". Yet despite all of these "doings" and worldly achievements they will never feel satisfied and will be stalked by a sense of hollowness and an inability to just BE. So what is all the "winning" for. HansNZL (talk) 01:30, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes. See Parenting styles#Authoritarian_parenting and Concerted cultivation. However, this Wikipedia article isn't for discussion of the merits. Would you like to make your point in the body of the article in terms of "reception"? Beware, your edit will be deleted by vengeful editors who consider themselves to own this article. -- Rixs (talk) 13:57, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
No. HansNZL is not citing any source. There is nothing above that relates to the reception of "Battle Hymn". The article isn't about the merits, as you say. And calling Chua, for example, a genius or a saint (and linking to the respective Wikipedia pages on these topics) based on the opinion of an anonymous Internet personage would also be inappropriate. Ncip (talk) 16:58, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
This article is not a balanced and well presented encyclopaedic article about a book. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Books/Non-fiction_article. It should include a summary of the content with wikilinks to other relevant topics, before discussing the reception. It might even be nice if this article was about the book, not just about the WSJ article's reception. Has anyone here read it? (and the edit war is unconstructive on both sides) -- Rixs (talk) 18:33, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
On your first point, I agree 100% that someone should add a summary of the book's contents. On your second point, there were a lot of people editorializing on the Amy Chua page after the WSJ article came out. As Jimbo Wales noted in the discussion there, that material was rightly removed.Ncip (talk) 15:26, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I suppose in a round about way I was questioning the balance of the article, in particular Hara Estroff Marano's assertions about anxiety. HansNZL (talk) 10:14, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the Marano reference seems out of place in "Chua's defense". Maybe you can integrate it into the flow of the section above, dropping the last sentence about anxiety while you are at it. Ncip (talk) 15:33, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Done.Ncip (talk) 15:04, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

"The Little White Donkey" link?[edit]

There are a number of videos of people (adults and children) playing "The Little White Donkey" on Youtube. Here is one by (name removed): (link removed). Might this be useful as an inline link? Ncip (talk) 21:32, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I removed the link and name above because I saw her video was attracting catty "Tiger Mom" comments. Ncip (talk) 20:33, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Amy Chua, funny or crazy?[edit]

A "googlenglish" translation of a recent interview in the German magazine "Die Zeit" ( has Chua calling herself "crazy":

"As she explains why the horror, the book in many places raised their ha t? Viele hätten nur Auszüge gelesen oder Kolportagen gehört, verteidigt sich Chua. Many had read only excerpts or trash is to defend Chua. Längst nicht alles im Buch sei wörtlich gemeint. Not everything in the book is meant literally. »Wissen Sie, in diesem Haus wird viel gelacht! "You know, a lot of laughter in this house! Meine Töchter finden mich sehr lustig, und auch das Buch ist lustig! My daughters find me very funny, and the book is funny! Ich meine, da erzählt eine wahnsinnige Person von lauter verrückten Dingen. I mean, a crazy person tells of loud crazy things. Niemals würde ich die Stofftiere meiner Kinder verbrennen – das war ein Stilmittel, eine Übertreibung. I would never burn the stuffed animals my children - that was a stylistic device, an exaggeration. Ich habe viele Situationen zugespitzt, um meine Position klarzumachen.« I have pointed many situations to explain my position. "

Separately, Google Translate gives "insane" for "wahnsinnige" ( and "funny" for "lustig" ( How much of this, if any, belongs in the encyclopedia article? Ncip (talk) 14:07, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

The other problem with this interview is the ambiguity when Chua says her threat to burn her daughter's stuffed animals was a "stylistic device" (Stilmittel). This implies that she just added that to the book to make the story more dramatic. I actually think that Chua used some other word here, like perhaps "hyperbole", which the reporter translated as "Stilmittel" ( Ncip (talk) 16:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I assume that you, the newly registered user Ncip, are identical with the unregistered user with the IP address who removed the above quote twice in the last few days from the article. If you are a different person, please let me know since I certainly do not want to confuse two different persons here. The pattern of behavior - i.e. quickly removing a quote without, in my view, a good justification and without first discussing the issue - is similar between the anonymous user and you, which leads me to the above assumption. If I am wrong I apologize and, in any case, I would appreciate if you could clarify. I would also appreciate if you could confirm that you have no Conflict of interest, such as being associated with the editor of the book or with Amy Chua herself. I do assume good faith, but wanted to make you as a new user aware of the conflict of interest rule on Wikipedia in case you should not be familiar with it. Also, I wanted to let you know that I requested a mediation and wanted to ask you if you would welcome a mediation from a third party in this matter, if a mediator should be found. Once we have answers to the three above questions (identity, conflict of interest and mediation), I suggest to discuss the issues related to the translation and relevance that you have raised. On my side, I have no conflict of interest in the matter and would welcome a mediation. In the meantime I am not reverting the removal of the quote for now in the spirit of Wikiquette, hoping that you will adopt the same spirit in trying to resolve this matter.--Mschiffler (talk) 20:48, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
If you look above, you will see that I am not a newly registered user. My edits to this article are in good faith, and I have provided justification above. This Die Zeit interview is fascinating, but highly problematic. I really don't know how much of it is appropriate given that we are relying on the fidelity of the original translation by the reporter. Ncip (talk) 21:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
So answering my own question, putting specific words in Chua's mouth would not be appropriate since we do not know what they were and this Die Zeit story is a fairly breezy look at Chua and her family and not a rigorous piece of journalism. However I do think that the paragraph above in the interview might be usable as material to add to the "Chua's Defense" section of the article however it would be tricky and the English->German->English translation would have to be made clear. Chua is definitely defending herself here and her argument is rather novel. The first two sentences of the quoted section (>><<) both mention humor/silliness (lustig): "You know, a lot of laughter in this house! My daughters find me very funny, and the book is funny!" The next sentence, "a crazy person tells of loud crazy things" would seem to be a non sequitur, if not for the preceding "I mean" (Ich meine). I argue that this last Googlenglish sentence is a very poor representation of what Chua actually said. First, the German version uses two different synonyms for crazy, wahnsinnige and verrückten. It follows that Chua must have therefore have used two different adjectives in English. Also lauter alternately translates as "pure" or "nothing but" which makes more sense than "loud". That renders the sentence "I mean, a(n) (insane, mad, crazy, maniacal, demented) person says (nothing but, pure) (crazy, mad, insane, weird, wacky) things." Her point is rather elusive, to say the least, but here is my take. Saying that telling her daughter she would burn her stuffed toys was just her sense of humor would not be credible, so I think what she actually means is that this type of threat is her own, idiomatic way of communicating "I really, really want you to obey me now and I have no intention of backing down" that would be understood as such by her daughters. Her younger daughter's taunt of "Why are you still here?" to the threat of taking her dollhouse to the Salvation Army in the "The Little White Donkey" anecdote is consistent with this interpretation. The next sentence about Stilmittel (turn-of-phrase) is also consistent with an argument about not getting hung up on words that were never intended to be taken literally. Having gone through this exercise, I still agree with Rixs above that what this article about a book needs most is a summary of it's contents and not more excerpting of these human-interest stories about Chua. However if Mschiffler insists, and others agree, I propose an addition to the "Chua's Defense" section a short summary of the above paragraph from Die Zeit along the lines of the following: 'In an interview with the magazine "Die Zeit" (conducted in English and translated into German) Chua argues that her over-the-top threats, like burning her daughter's stuffed animals, were never intended to be taken literally.[reference to Googlenglish version]'. Interested parties could then follow the link to read more. Ncip (talk) 20:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with your interpretation and suggestion. This is not about human interest stories. Beyond the subtleties of the translation, the point is that Amy Chua says that the famous "burning of the stuffed animal threat" was not meant literally. This came as a surprise to me, and probably to others as well. The threat story was widely reproduced in the media. It contributed to the fame of the author and probably to the sales of the book. It makes one think about the motives and honesty of the author. The fact that this and other threats to her children were never meant literally could easily have been pointed out in the book. The belated statement that the threats were not meant literally is a highly relevant piece of information and entirely appropriate for an encyclopedic article, or - to use your words - it is indeed "fascinating". The part of the quote that could be problematic is where she - jokingly, I believe - calls herself "crazy", "mad" or "weird" or whatever her English words were. If taken out of context this could be misunderstood as mentally unstable. This is certainly not what she meant to say. In the reference I would not use the poor Googlenglish translation, but rather the following: "I would never burn the stuffed animals of my children - that was a turn-of-phrase, an exaggeration. I have exaggerated many situations to make my position clear." The reference should also include the bibliographical information and the hyperlink, as well as the internal link to Die Zeit, a highly respected German weekly, as you certainly know. I would also add, in an appropriate place, the other important quote that was removed without discussing the matter beforehand: Chua says that the book "was a therapy for me at the time of a great defeat". To state the obvious the reason for reinstating the quote is that the sentence explains the motive behind writing the book. This, I would believe, is both appropriate and relevant for an encyclopedic article about a book.--Mschiffler (talk) 21:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
You are mistaken and also being very disingenuous. She is not saying that she never said the things that she claimed that she did, i.e. that she lied about anything. She is merely saying that her "crazy" threats were not meant to be taken literally. Your motivation, obvious from the outset, is solely to discredit Chua and not to contribute to an encyclopedia article about a book. Please review the Wikipedia guidelines for non-fiction books: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Books/Non-fiction_article. Ncip (talk) 13:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
One of the rules on Wikipedia is to assume good faith. I am acting in good faith. You write that I don't. I hope that you understand that your comment is an insult to me. This is disappointing, since you were quite constructive earlier on. I did not mean to offend you and I am sorry that what I wrote apparently affected you in the way it did. I do not want to discredit Amy Chua. If my objective was to discredit Amy Chua I could have edited the article about her, which I did not do and have no intention to do. As you suggested, I reviewed the guidelines for non-fiction books, which provide a useful structure for such articles. They do not say what should not be included in them. There are obviously many things that should not be included. But my point remains that what Chua says is relevant to understand the book and thus should be included in one way or the other. If you think it is irrelevant, please make that argument which you have not made so far. Maybe do not make it right now, but after a day or so. There is no rush. You had your way so far by removing the quote, and I have not responded by reinstating it, but by discussing the issue here. Sleeping about the issue or asking someone else may be helpful. Remember: I agreed with your suggestion. If you believe that I am mistaken about something, please clarify what I am mistaken about and how it is relevant to resolve the dispute at hand instead of questioning my motives. Chua said that she exaggerated - I believe there is no dispute about that. I do not know for sure if this means that "she never said the thing that she claimed she did". Nor do you. Some people may think it does mean exactly that, others not. Let the readers judge for themselves.--Mschiffler (talk) 16:38, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Amy Chua lied about making threats to her daughters?[edit]

For anyone following this give-and-take between Mschiffler (article revision here) and myself but who hasn't yet followed the reference link, let me emphasize that the original German-language article is a pure fluff piece. "Die Zeit" may have won Pulitzer prizes, but this article will not be nominated for any awards. A lot of time is spent describing the Chua family residence, how Chua looks, what she is wearing, what her daughters look like, what they are wearing, etc. There is also the mention, perhaps tellingly, that "[Chua] speaks so quickly" (Sie redet so schnell). References to verifiable facts show that the reporter is very sloppy in this respect:

"On the first page of her book is one of Tiger's mom, which she has committed her daughters - the infamous list. Keine Geburtstagspartys besuchen zum Beispiel. No birthday parties go, for example."

The list (the same one reproduced in the encyclopedia article) in "Battle Hymn" has no mention of birthday parties. We do not know what questions Chua was asked, only her responses, as translated by the reporter. However the relative accuracy of the "Die Zeit" article is not the issue. Mschiffler says above:

'[T]he point is that Amy Chua says that the famous "burning of the stuffed animal threat" was not meant literally. This came as a surprise to me, and probably to others as well. The threat story was widely reproduced in the media.'

We know that she did make these threats and that they are an integral part of the story, e.g. her younger daughter's retort of "Why are you still here" when her mother threatened to take her dollhouse to the Salvation Army. As another example, we know she really did call her daughter "garbage". There is a long description and explanation of how her father had said the same to her and that she knew he didn't really mean it. Insisting that the only possible interpretation of the "not meant literally" phrase is that she only claimed to call her daughter "garbage" or donate her dollhouse but didn't actually say these things is absurd. In the translation of Chua's words in the "Die Zeit" article, the primary meaning of "zugespitzt" is "pointed" or "intensified". Although Mschiffler translates this as "exaggerated", the reporter has Chua using the actual German word for exaggeration (Übertreibung) in the previous sentence. It stands to reason that if Chau had used the word "exaggerated" twice, a faithful translation of this second sentence would have been "Ich habe viele Situationen übertrieben" not "Ich habe viele Situationen zugespitzt". Also the primary meaning of "klarzumachen" is "clarify". She is merely explaining that she often uses intense language to get her point across. If the phrase "lost in translation" applies anywhere, it is here.Ncip (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Since the last post there was an attempt at mediation. It unfortunately did not even begin to discuss the issues of substance raised on this discussion page. I am thus making another attempt to resolve the issues without the benefit of mediation.

The allegation that the reporter from die Die Zeit was sloppy has not been substantiated by Ncip. The comments posted by Ncip are, in my view, no reason to exclude the quote from the article. Concerning the various translation options, the alternative translations suggested by Ncip are plausible. I thus suggest to include the following quote in English in the article and to include the German translation in the footnote, mentioning that the English original is not available:

“I would never burn the stuffed animals of my children - that was a hyperbole, an exaggeration. I have intensified many situations to clarify my position.” The book "was therapy for me at the time of a great defeat".

Footnote: „Niemals würde ich die Stofftiere meiner Kinder verbrennen – das war ein Stilmittel, eine Übertreibung. Ich habe viele Situationen zugespitzt, um meine Position klarzumachen. (...) Es war für mich Therapie im Moment einer großen Niederlage.«

I hope that this issue can be resolved soon in a manner respectful to the points of view of both parties.--Mschiffler (talk) 01:33, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

"The allegation that the reporter from die Die Zeit was sloppy has not been substantiated by Ncip." I did substantiate that claim. Re-read what I said. Pay attention to the deficiencies I noted in your reverse translation. Ncip (talk) 21:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
It seems that you did not even read what I wrote! Please take the time to re-read the translation carefully. Please state what part of the new translation you disagree with. All your suggestions were taken into account! I used the discussion page to see if you agree with the new translation, which is basically your own! You did not react for a week. Now you simply revert everything without paying attention to detail. And you accuse others of sloppiness! Please do not delete the quote once again before having re-read the translation and without stating what you disagree with.--Mschiffler (talk) 12:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Letter to the Tiger Mother[edit]

Hmm . . . methinks this be a case of Stockholm Syndrome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

...This whole article is a giant endorsement for the author and her work. Not one 'criticism' is levied against her except in broad terms, yet 99% of this article is about how awesome the writer is and how much better Asians are to westerners? Don't like this article at all. It almost reads like it was written by the Wall Street Journal after their review in order to hammer their points even further. Not once is it discussed that the same kind of kid raising described here has caused kids to become remote, suicidal (if they fail their parents expectations) or socially inept because they see everything as a competition that they must devote their life for. Yeah, this article is certainly a giant advertisement for her book and her teaching methods and that isn't what wikipedia is about... (talk) 21:42, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Are we really surprised that a Rupert Murdoch owned paper (the WSJ) endorses this type of thing? No. HansNZL (talk) 08:11, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

p.s. if we understand this underlying bias it may help us seek other sources to bring balance to the article. HansNZL (talk) 02:28, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Trump's favorites are irrelevant?[edit]

CliffC, it is incumbent on you to give a proper reason for removing (revision 431331889) the Los Angeles Times link of Donald Trump's endorsement of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Simply saying "Trump's favorites are irrelevant" is only expression of your personal opinion and reflects poorly on your responsibility as a Wikipedia editor to remain objective. If you have a personal or political belief against Donald Trump, then take it to an outside forum such as Democratic Underground. However, as my user ID suggests, there is no place for politics on Wikipedia, and that includes yours.

As Donald Trump is a notable pop-culture personality, best-selling author, as well as an authority on Sino-American foreign affairs, Trump's endorsement of Amy Chua's novel is just as valid and significant an entry in the [[1]] section as, say, the quote/link from Financial Times, which you obviously did not have a problem with removing from the Tiger Mother article.

Lastly, even though this is your responsibility, not mine, I will cite precedent on Wikipedia that one celebrity's endorsement of another is in fact a "relevant" reference in the "Reception" section of articles for books, television and film. Please look at [[2]], where it says "Time named Toy Story 3 the best movie of 2010,[47] as did Quentin Tarantino.[48]" One might argue that Tarantino's endorsement of Toy Story 3 is also irrelevant, however Tarantino's endorsements of his "favorite movies of 2010" appear on nearly every Wikipedia article for each of those respective movies.

That said, if you are willing to remove the Tarantino endorsement links from each of those articles (20 to be exact), then I will reconsider your reasons for reverting my Los Angeles Times link of Trump's endorsement of Tiger Mother. Until then, I am undoing your edit. If you undo my link to Trump's endorsement again, I will happily take this directly to Wikipedia:Mediation where we can openly discuss amongst the committee why your personal political beliefs have no place on Wikipedia.

Thank you Noplaceforpolitics (talk) 05:29, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

I would have provided a less terse edit summary with my reversion than "Trump's favorites are irrelevant", but I saw your brand-new account as just another incarnation of
three accounts already sufficiently warned and reverted (by myself and others) that have been spamming Wikipedia with the same link to an LA Times blog article. It is unclear who or what is being promoted — the LA Times, its blog, the author of the blog article, or Trump himself — but spam is spam, and has no place here. Take a look at WP:REFSPAM for a more elegant explanation.
I have no "personal or political belief against Donald Trump"; if I did I would not let it cross over into my editing. My first objection is to the spamming that's been going on, but I'll point out that Trump has no standing (he's not under editorial review as a newspaper critic would be) to have his comments quoted in Wikipedia beyond in his own article. He's just a celebrity who happens to have something to say, let's keep comments by such celebrities out of Wikipedia articles not directly related to the celebrity. Your comparison to Tarantino "endorsement links" is a poor one, as Tarantino is an acknowledged expert in the field upon which he is commenting. In any event, WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is always a poor argument. --CliffC (talk) 19:05, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, CliffC, but I am going to escalate this to mediation. First of all, your definition of "spamming" is way too loose. Just because YOU disagree with someone else's edits does not automatically make their edits "spam." This is a COMMUNITY site afterall, not "CliffCpedia". If someone felt that the references to Trump's endorsements were valid, then they deserve to have a say. Second, Once again you reveal your true agenda when you write biased (and ignorant) justifications like "He's just a celebrity who happens to have something to say." That is YOUR personal opinion of Trump, but someone else might consider Donald Trump an authority in the global arena, not to mention a best-selling author who is knowledgeable in the literary and publishing industry. My comparison of Trump's endorsement with Tarantino's endorsement are valid and equal and you know it however much you don't want to admit it for your own personal reasons. Trump is an expert in Sino-American foreign affairs AND literature as much as QT is an expert on children's cartoon movies like Tangled or Toy Story 3, articles where his "spam" links (according to your definition) still exist on Wikipedia.
You, CliffC, make an extremely poor argument for reverting my edits (and the edits of past contributors of this same link). I will not tolerate your thinly-veiled personal/political agenda; I will be escalating this issue to mediation. Stay tuned. Noplaceforpolitics (talk) 00:46, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
That's fine with me. I'll wait for a notification. :) --CliffC (talk) 16:05, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
CliffC, just because my request for mediation has not been acknowledged yet does not give you the power to revert that reference to Trump. I suspect that you asked your little friends in mediation to "ignore" me for a few months in the hopes that I would forget about this, then you could furtively revert my edit (which you just did) without my knowing. But you have been caught red handed, so I, once again, had to undue your revert. We will, according to the rules of Wikipedia, continue to wait for mediation, just as you agreed to above ("I'll wait for a notification"). Please do not think that you are above the rules; that's not how Wikipedia works. Also, if you continue to call me a "spammer" across Wikipedia for absolutely no reason, then I will also have to file another complaint against you, this time for slander.Noplaceforpolitics (talk) 01:09, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Noplace, I have again reverted your WP:BOLD addition of material still under discussion, per WP:BRD. Please do not restore it until this discussion is closed. When an unrelated edit to this article showed up on my watchlist recently, I remembered that the material was still in place; and since I hadn't been notified of any action on your part toward mediation and a resolution, I deleted it. Nothing "furtive" about it, in Wikipedia all edits are public. As to asking "[my] little friends in mediation to 'ignore' [you] for a few months", Napoleon Bonaparte once said "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence".
Looking at your edit history, on May 31 you attempted to file a mediation request at [3]. However, your request ended up in limbo because you apparently overlooked the instruction to "Add the name of the main article (not the talk page) after the last forward slash in the text box below. One article only, in plain text, no wikilinks." Thus, the title of your request includes only the date you filed it, not date/Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I suggest you file a new, proper request. You can copy-paste the claims you made on the old report into each section. Don't change the second line from |article={{SUBPAGENAME}} , that also messes things up. Once I hear from "my little friends" that the report has been filed I'll respond to your claims. --CliffC (talk) 23:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Project Qworty[edit]

In a review for the Washington Independent Review of Books, Heather Banks writes that Chua is "her own worst enemy. Raising two daughters, Sophia and Louisa (called “Lulu”), she seems a cross between Leopold Mozart (the ultimate stage father) and Joan Crawford (“Mommy Dearest”). In interviews, she says the book demonstrates her sense of humor, but there is little evidence of it."[1]

Just one of the edits made by Qworty listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Contributor clean-up/Qworty The above text was removed with the edit summary: "undo promotional edit"[4] It certainly doesn't come across as promotional, perhaps with some alterations it could be restored. Cheers. -- Hillbillyholiday talk 03:45, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

NPOV problem[edit]

This article reads like a love letter to Amy Chua. It reads like it was written by marketing people for her book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cainxinth (talkcontribs) 18:07, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Banks, Heather. "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom review". Book review. The Washington Independent Review of Books. Retrieved Feb 5, 2011.