The Wall Street Journal and thousands of Internet voices might have cast her as the toughest mom on the planet but Amy Chua, author of the controversial Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, begs to differ with that persona. Just ask those attending the Society for the Performing Arts Fall Luncheon on Wednesday.
The Yale law professor deliciously and thought-provokingly entertained the audience that had gathered on the stage of Jones Hall.
For starters, she declared that she never said that Chinese mothers are superior to American mothers, as claimed in the WSJ. But she did admit to setting higher standards for her two daughters than most American moms do for their children.
"I have never in my life been in the same room with so many beautiful, stunning women," the Tiger Mom said. "You make New Yorkers look like hicks."
"We need to ask a little more of our kids," she said, adding that challenging our children with "higher expectations coupled with love is the greatest gift you can give them."
Bah, humbug on the notion that hers was "the most notorious household in the western world," another accusation she dismissed as one of many unfortunate interpretations of her book, wrongs based on misunderstanding. Much of the book, she said, was written as a self-parody but was incorrectly taken as dead serious.
As Chua writes on her website, "It’s not a parenting book; it’s a memoir. It’s also supposed to be funny, filled with zany showdowns between me and daughters, who have all the best lines and are always calling my bluff."
Karen Pulaski chaired the annual luncheon that filled the stage with a fashionable collection of guests. The crowd prompted Chua to observe "I have never in my life been in the same room with so many beautiful, stunning women. You make New Yorkers look like hicks." Of course, she won everyone over with that remark.
The luncheon honored Patsy Fourticq with the Ann Sakowitz Performing Arts Advocates Award, presented by the late Ann Sakowitz' son Robert Sakowitz.
In the fashionable crowd were the honoree's husband Greg Fourticq and son Gregory Fourticq plus Sarah Dodd-Spickelmier, Ginni Mithoff, Debra Grierson, Anne Graubart, Amy Lee, Anita Smith, Millette Sherman, Diane Lokey Farb, Barbara Hurwitz, Sharon Adams, Bill Caudell, Betty and Steve Newton and SPA executive director June Christensen.