Somehow I've been able to find the energy to get involved in that whole Amy Chua debacle, in which a second generation Chinese-American professor of law at Yale managed to piss off the entire Chinese diaspora (and then some) with a Wall Street Journal article about the superiority of an authoritarian, abusive, high-expectations, stereotypically Asian parenting style over the self-esteem obsessed, basic-human-rights mollycoddling that supposedly turns other American kids into underperforming idiots. Cue screaming from thousands of second-generation Asian-Americans raised this way, many of them now grown up, who note the ruinous effect this parenting style had on their lives. We didn't get our higher suicide rate, our negative stereotypes, and our spate of bizarre cultural neuroses from having warm, loving parents who didn't lock us in our rooms if we didn't get straight As. But at least we're all lawyers and doctors now, right? Mama knows best. We should be thankful.
I've responded to the article at length on Facebook and on other people's journals, and I don't have the time or the energy to continue the discussion further. If you really want to know what I think, follow the comments on that original article, this Quora discussion, this blog post, this old but relevant video from the Onion (the WSJ seems to endorse her position!), and this Phillip Larkin poem; through that scatter plot is where the curve of my opinion lies. Don't miss Jeff Yang's followup article on SFGate, in which Chua either exonerates herself or tricks you into buying her book, depending on how cynical you are of her motivations.
But let's not talk about that right now. You know what worries Taiwanese people even more than raising kids? Making them. Population growth in Taiwan has fallen by a whopping 12% since 2009, lowering the average number of children born per woman to 1.15. That's something like the third lowest population growth in the world, and, needless to say, not at all sustainable. Economically or ecologically.
The infamous Taiwanese tabloid animators at NMA chime in, as this is a subject near and dear to their, uh, hearts:
A slogan contest? Oh, Taiwan. This is exactly the kind of thing that you do.
President Ma's war on celibacy is even more hilarious when you consider how most Taiwanese people are less than seven generations removed from mainland Chinese, who are the undisputed world champions in getting knocked up. How did we lose our way? Perhaps a little soul-searching is in order. The mainland has outproduced, outconsumed, outgunned and outfucked Taiwan for long enough! It's time for a change.
I reiterate my old pickup line. Save an endangered species: Have sex with me.