Random thoughts thanks to “Anais Nin” and “Amy Chua/Tan”

July 8, 2011

What kicked off these random thoughts was caused by a Chinese friend quoting Anais Nin, “The only thing psychoanalysis achieves is to make one more conscious of one’s misfortunes.”

I Googled the quote from Anis Nin and found it on Solar Powered Visions and then found the following quote from PSYCHOANALYSIS AND THE TRAGIC SENSE OF LIFE by Richard L. Rubens, Ph.D., “To undertake such a journey is what is asked of patients in psychoanalysis. It is a journey into territory neither analyst nor patient knows completely, and both participants must recognize that they cannot know in advance what they will ultimately discover.… It (psychoanalysis) calls on man (or woman) to recognize his (or her) position in the forward sweep of time and to choose to live his (or her) life in full awareness of the loss that is inextricably bound up with the process of growth and change.”

That resulted in my thinking of two of Amy Chua’s critics on the Amazon Forum for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and that these two are unable to grow and change from what they have learned.

One of these anonymous critics calls herself Mandy Wu and the other JLee—both claim to be Asian and/or Chinese.  In fact, JLee started out claiming to speak for all Chinese women when she voiced her opinions as a fact that Chinese mothers are not like Amy Chua. Later, the China Daily would prove her wrong, which led to JLee calling me a Cyber bully.

Both Mandy Wu and JLee have demonstrated that Western psychoanalysis has made them aware of how miserable they are and they have identified this misfortune with Amy Chua’s parenting style as described in her memoir. These two critics are unable to recognize their position in the forward sweep of time and to live in full awareness with the process of growth and change. They are stuck.

I replied to my friend, “Amy Chua’s critics should just ‘eat bitterness’ and get over it.”

He said, “That’s not what ‘eating bitterness’ means.  It really means to endure hardship in order to build a better life.”

I asked, “Does that apply to both physical and mental hardships such as depression?”

He said yes.

As I walked away, I thought of, “Amy Chua and Amy Tan.”  I turned around and asked, “Why is Amy such a popular name among Chinese?”

My friend laughed and replied, “In Chinese ‘Amy’ means ‘love rice’ and Amy is one of the most popular names that Cantonese give to their female children.”

I then went to the MDBG online Chinese dictionary and discovered that “Ai” means love , which in Chinese is pronounced the same as the beginning of “Amy” and then I typed in “rice”, which appeared as “mi” or .  In Chinese, Amy is written as .

Discover Amy Chua Debates Former White House “Court Jester” Larry Summers

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America

July 6, 2011

On April 25, 2011, Nadra Kareem Nittle wrote, Are U.S. Universities Discriminating Against Asian Students? The answer to Nittle’s question is “YES”.

The reason I researched and wrote this post was because of John Putnam’s Chinese in the Gold Rush and my three part series on The Chinese in America.

After all, how many Caucasions, African Americans and Latino students would have to start at a two or four-year state college if Asians filled 40% of the seats at Ivy League universities? To understand what this means, discover the facts from Recognizing Good Parenting Parts 4 to 8 to learn who works harder (on average).

In The Chinese in America – Part 3, I wrote, “of the continued discrimination against Asian-Americans and Chinese in the US by other ethnic groups, which includes Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.”

In the US, since the Civil Rights era preferential treatment favored African-Americans and Latinos since Asian-Americans tend to swallow their bitterness instead of protesting violently as the other minorities have.

For example, the NAACP says it fights for social justice for all Americans. However, facts demonstrate that the NAACP tends to favor legislation that focuses on benefits for African Americans. If this were not true, there would be no need for political organizations to serve Latinos and Asian-Americans.

In fact, Africana Online says, “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been instrumental in improving the legal, educational, and economic lives of African Americans.” There is no mention of the other minorities that suffer from racism in the US.

However, Latino Political Clout is growing in America to challenge the NAACP’s voice.

The recent US Census indicated Latinos continue to become a bigger chunk of the American population. With growing numbers come a series of political and social changes to the country. The numbers indicate a growth in Latino political influence will change American politics. Source: rt.com (click on “Latino Political Clout”)

We know that the number of votes a minority such as African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans deliver equals political influence.

African American political organizations demonstrate the power of this influence.

Congressional Black Caucus

California Legislative Black Caucus

Black Leadership Forum

Georgia Legislative Black Caucus

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus

Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus

South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus

Latino American political organizations are challenging African-American influence.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

League of United Latin American Citizens

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, which has the NALEO Educational Fund — the nation’s leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Mexican American Political Association

California Latino Legislative Caucus

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)

As demonstrated, Asian American political organizations have a long way to go to catch up to African-American and Latino political influence. You may notice two of the Asian-American organization focus on Chinese-Americans, which represents about 3.5 million Chinese US citizens dividing the potential influence of 14.5 million Asian-Americans.


What has the NAACP done to end global slavery? Find the answer at NAACP International Affairs Goal

 Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans are crippled by their cultures when it comes to increasing political influence in the US since Chinese parents teach their children to eat bitterness.

In China, the tradition of “eat bitter” has been passed down from generation to generation. “Eat bitter” is a literal translation of Chinese "吃苦", which refers to endure hardship including discrimination.

Chinese American Political Association

Chinese American Democratic Club

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

80-20 Initiative

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

The 2010 census shows us minority influence is not equal since there are 40 million African-Americans, 26.7 million Hispanic or Latino Americans but only 14.5 million Asian Americans.  Numbers count since more people shout louder.

Elected officials from local, state and national levels would rather have Asian-Americans claiming racism than the larger ethnic populations that often act out their rage at not getting what they believe they are entitled through violence such as burning and looting businesses and wrecking vehicles during riots.

Discover the Timeline of Race Riots from 1980.

When has the US seen a race riot caused by a mob of Asian Americans? Instead, the few times any action has been taken, Asian-Americans resort to the legal system that may favor the larger, more vocal and violent minorities in America.

I suspect that “Eating Bitterness” was influenced by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius while in the West the warlike and often-violent religions of Christianity and Islam do not follow the same path.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Ugly Face of Intolerance – Part 3/3

July 5, 2011

Then on April 22, 2011, Patrick Mattimore (chinadaily.com.cn) wrote Do ‘Tiger Moms’ make the best parents?

The question was, “So what is Chinese mothering and is it superior to Western parenting? Should all moms ascribe to be Amy Chua?”

What follows are a few excerpts from the China Daily opinion piece.

“First, Chua is using the terms ‘Chinese mothers’ and ‘Western parents’ loosely. The Tiger Mother/Chinese Mother can be found in many cultures and is not exclusive within any culture….”

“Unlike in the West where children are encouraged to experiment and develop their own individual talents, Chinese parents believe the child is an extension of oneself. Chinese parents believe they know what is best for their children and therefore override the child’s preferences. Chua concludes that it may come down to a matter of choice. Westerners believe in allowing children a large measure of freedom to choose their own paths while the Chinese parent makes choices for her children.…”


Amy Chua’s daughter Sophia as seen on her Blog

”Trying to untangle Chinese mothering and Western parenting and pick one style of raising a child or the other as the exclusively right way is ultimately a fool’s errand. Certainly, there are elements from both that are worth adopting. Parents can be consistent without being inflexible. They can have high expectations and demand that children work hard without setting up gulag conditions. They can listen and adapt to their children without giving up control or responsibility for raising them.…”

“In the final analysis, Amy Chua has provided readers with a provocative memoir about how she raised her daughters. Certainly, her ideas are worth considering and many are worth adopting. However, no parent should believe that Tiger Mothers have infallible blueprints for raising successful children. Parents still need to chart their own course and be prepared to vary the course according to the needs of each child.”

Instead of listening to the intolerant opinions of inflexible fools from America, why not read what Sophia, Amy Chua’s oldest daughter, has to say in her letter to the New York Post or go to her Blog and discover for yourself that her tiger mother has not damaged her.

Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld’s Blog may be found at new tiger in town.

Return to The Ugly Face of Intolerance – Part 2 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Ugly Face of Intolerance – Part 2/3

July 4, 2011

I first ran into this particular wall of intolerance on the Amazon Forum where Amy Chua’s critics left reviews and comments about her parenting methods in a hate fest that had mostly nothing to do with the memoir.

What these critics write are attacks on Chua accusing her of being a child molester, a sociopath, or a narcissist, etc.  Often, these critics do not know what they are talking about and the biased ignorance runs deep.

One claim I have been struggling to disprove was the one that said, “Amy Chua does not represent the average mainland Chinese parent and had no right to claim that her parenting methods were Chinese.”

After more than four months, the evidence I have been looking for appeared in China when the China Daily published Tiger Moms’ Popular in China on April 14, 2011.

The China Daily said, “The strict parenting style advocated by Amy Chua, the Yale law professor, in her latest book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, is still popular in the country today, according to a recent survey.”

“Among 1,795 people polled online by China Youth Daily‘s social research center, 94.9 percent said they know women who are strict mothers, and 55.1 percent said they see merit in Chua’s parenting.…”

“A Beijing high school teacher, surnamed Liu, was quoted as saying that his wife had enrolled their daughter in violin and ballet classes at an early age and had resorted to scolding and spanking when the girl refused to go.

“Strict parenting is also a tradition in other Asian countries, such as Japan and South Korea,” Liu said. “It has merits in raising smarter children and preparing them better for harsh competition in the future.”

In addition, a critic of Chua’s on the Amazon Forum referred to an opinion piece posted on the Psychology Today Blog where Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College claimed that 42 one-star reviews from anonymous people that identified themselves as Chinese was enough to conclude that the majority of Chinese (there are more than 1.3 billion Chinese and almost four million are in the US) were critical of Amy Chua’s parenting methods.

When we compare Peter Gray’s opinion in the Psychology Today Blog with information from almost 2,000 people polled online in China, which source do you think is more credible?

Continued on July 5, 2011 in The Ugly Face of Intolerance – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3/3

June 13, 2011

As you may have learned in Part One and Two, Old-World parenting was an improvement over the way children grew up before the 18th century and the Chinese may have learned this parenting method from the invading Western nations after The Opium Wars.

However, parenting methods developed further and by the 1960s, according to research, the best method of parenting is not Authoritarian but Authoritative, which is characterized by moderate demands with moderate responsiveness.

The authoritative parent is firm but not rigid, willing to make an exception when the situation warrants. The authoritative parent is responsive to the child’s needs but not indulgent. Baumrind makes it clear that she favors the authoritative style.

The worst parenting style represents what studies show are the “average” child and parent in the United States today.  These parents are Permissive, Uninvolved or a combination of both.

Since the “average” parent in the US today talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and the “average” child spends more than 10 hours a day dividing his or her time between watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, social networking on sites such as Facebook, or sending hundreds of text messages monthly, it is obvious what the results are. Source: Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Since the Permissive and/or Uninvolved parent has few requirements for mature behavior, children may lack skills in social settings. While they may be good at interpersonal communication, they lack other important skills such as sharing. The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance abuse.

Return to A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2 or start with Part One.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2/3

June 12, 2011

Amy Chua’s so-called Chinese parenting style, identified as mostly Authoritarian, is the “CLASSIC” no nonsense do as I say, not as I do parenting style that first developed during Victorian England in the 18th century. The other parenting methods did not materialize until the 20th century, so how Amy Chua raised her two daughters had been in practice for more than two centuries.

Amy Chua says, “I believed that raising my two daughters the same way my Chinese immigrant parents raised me was the right way and that I had nothing to learn from the laxer parenting I saw all around me.” Source: USA Today

Positive Parenting Ally.com (PPA) says, “I think we can see the early seeds of the authoritarian parenting style in the 18th century. At that point in time, parents in the Western world (particularly the British) began taking the first steps toward a mind shift and become more involved in their children’s upbringing.”

PPA also says, “The mind of an authoritarian parent likes order, neatness, routine and predictability.… Children of authoritarian parents tend to do well in school and are said to generally not engage in drinking or drug use. They know the consensus rules and follow them.”

Instead of calling this method of parenting authoritarian or Chinese, I’ve used the term Old-World, which fits and is an acceptable choice of parenting

Authoritarian parenting was a vast improvement over how children had been raised (or not raised) before the 18th century. Prior to the authoritarian parent, children were mostly treated as adults and faced severe punishments such as mutilation, slavery, servitude, torture, and death. In fact, the US has a long history of treating children this way. Source: Child Labor in U.S. History

It was in the 18th century that Western parents stopped seeing their child as a potential representation of dark and evil forces that had to be kept in check physically (harsh beatings etc.) and instead attempted controlling their minds, their feelings, and their needs.

Continued on June 13, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3 or return to Part One

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


A Brief History of Parenting – Part 1/3

June 11, 2011

The Chinese did not develop the parenting style Amy Chua described in her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In fact, the Chinese may have learned this method of parenting from the British, French, Germans, Russians, Portuguese and Americans since this method of parenting was first developed in the West in the 18th century.

The 19th century invasion of China by Western powers during The Opium Wars explains what happened, and it was a British citizen from Northern Ireland that may have introduced this style of parenting to the Chinese.

This man was Sir Robert Hart, known as the godfather of China’s modernization. It was Hart, the main character in The Concubine Saga that guided the Qing Dynasty to restructure China’s educational system to compete with the superior, Western style of education of the time.

If you recall, the  West was going through the Industrial Revolution then.

Recently, I discovered that the one-star critic’s reviews of Amy Chua memoir of raising children the Chinese way had gone too far when another anonymous reviewer calling itself Tiger Indeed left this one-star review, “There once was a nation that fully endorsed these principals (referring to Amy Chua’s parenting methods). It was called the Soviet Union. Enough said.”

This wasn’t a book review. It was an ignorant, opinionated condemnation of the way Amy Chua raised her children.

Digging further, I discovered that Tiger Indeed has only reviewed one book. I’m sure you guessed the title: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then I discovered Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist who’s pioneering work in the 1940s – 1960s identified the different methods of parenting.

Baumrind described Amy Chua’s parenting method but the way Chua raised her daughters wasn’t from one method as there is some crossover between Authoritarian and Authoritative.

Continued on June 12, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.