Friday, January 28, 2011

Inferior Western Parenting

In light of a recent controversy involving a certain Yale professor and her “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, there have been many criticisms about stereotypical Asian mothers and their parenting ways. One such criticism comes from an “Angry Asian Man". Not only does he clearly convey his opinion about the Wall Street Journal article written by Amy Chua, a professor at Yale, but he does this in typical “Angry Asian Man” style. “Angry Asian Man” is a very sarcastic, witty, and satirical blog, because this blog is in fact not written by a constantly angry Asian man. By calling himself an “Angry Asian Man”, the author of this blog evokes a certain type of personality even before the audience reads his content. His style, which is demonstrated through one particular post “your permissive western parenting is inferior, is very indicative of his particular style of voice. This blog post explains the author’s opinion on the recent Wall Street Journal article of an Asian “tiger mother” who defends her extreme parenting style. The post starts with
"Yes, I have read Amy Chua's Wall Street Journal piece,"Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,"and yes, I think the author is crazy."
Through this very clever use of linking to the original article, the author clearly states the source of the topic as well as inserts his own beliefs and opinions in the very beginning of the blog post. The author answers questions that were not asked by the audience, which demonstrates a sense of exasperation, and sets the tone for the whole post.
To be honest, at first I thought it was satire, until I was hit with the sickening, sinking realization that Chua is dead serious. She's completely embraced the model minority myth, and is the living embodiment of the Hardass Asian Mom... on friggin' steroids.
Through this example, the author combines both a serious tone and a very casual tone. The serious tone is evoked through his use of alliteration and negative adjectives, such as “sickening, sinking” and “dead serious”. Instead of just saying “serious” and “realization”, the author uses very emotionally heavy adjectives to describe his initial reaction. He goes on to say that Amy Chua is “the living embodiment of the Hardass Asian Mom… on friggin’ steroids.” This sentence is quintessential “Angry Asian Man” style. He capitalizes “Hardass Asian Mom” as a reference to a common stereotype that he assumes his readers understand—after all, his target audience is the Asian American community (as his blog is about Asian Americans). Not only does he reference “Asian Mom”, which in itself evokes certain stereotypical qualities, but he also inserts “Hardass” and “… on friggin’ steroids”. By doing so, the overall effect is that it reminds his readers of his writing personality. But furthermore, the use of the “…” is very effective—while the audience is mulling over the idea of “Hardass Asian Mother”, he uses the “…” as a pause into the next statement, which is extremely casual and colloquial, and it achieves the effect that makes him a very humorous person.
"Wall Street Journal readers are probably going to read this smug, bull$#!t piece and feel like they got some lightning bolt understanding of Asian behavior, as if they've now been made privy to some Ancient Chinese Secrets. Oh, I get it now. I understand why all the Asian kids are soulless, unfun automatons. Thanks, Professor Chua."
This is a classic example of the “Angry Asian Man” style. His voice is very sarcastic and ironic, which is obvious through the very last sentences. The irony kicks in when he says “Oh I get it now” because it clearly is a mockery of the actual issue. The sarcasm in this example is especially evident when he ends the post with “Thanks, Professor Chua”. Through these two techniques, this reinforces the type of voice that “Angry Asian Man” has throughout his blog—both sarcastic and ironic in order to convey his serious opinion.

In another blog post featuring things that are demeaning to (and stereotypes) Asians, “Angry Asian Man” comments on a tumblr page dedicated toAsians Sleeping in the Library".
"Fellow Asians, are you with me? I mean, on one level, I can appreciate this. I certainly wouldn't have called myself the most disciplined college student, but I do recall more than a few snoozes with my head perched on top of a textbook. At the library."
At first, through the use of “Fellow Asians”, the author clearly connects and relates with the audience. By doing this, he is able to talk about his own opinions with a level of relativity from the audience. In another example, “Oh, brother. I don't think the intent is malicious, but this guy could learn a thing or two about extolling the model minority myth, even in jest.

The tone of exasperation again is evident, through the use of “Oh, brother”. Much like the article by Amy Chua, “Angry Asian Man” emits a very exasperated tone of voice through his usual colloquial and casual style, by expressing his serious and personal beliefs through many instances of sarcasm and irony to achieve his specific voice.

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