Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Amy Chua, Yale Law School, And the Cauldron of Nonsense

Following up on my previous posts:

Bloomberg Law, On Amy Chua, Yale Law and the Cauldron of Nonsense:

She’s the Kim Kardashian of legal academia. We know there’s no rational reason why we keep following the saga of Amy Chua—a.k.a. Tiger Mom—but we keep watching the show anyhow.

In the latest episode, Chua is battling Yale Law School, students, academics, and the privileged segment that eats this stuff up. It’s a reality show for the elite! ...

She’s brash, flashy, and vocal, but could gender and race expectations factor in how she’s treated and perceived?

Chua told me she’s opposed to “identity politics” and initially resisted those explanations. What changed her mind, though, was how she got booted from teaching the small group: “I had to read about it in the Yale Daily News,” which “is disrespectful.” She added that Heather Gerken, dean of Yale Law, treated her dismissively during a call in April when she tried to explain the circumstances of her meeting with students at her home: “I felt this reversion to being the only Asian kid in Indiana when I was four or five years old. . . Do they not understand what I’m saying? I think I’m speaking good English.”

Chua said that she feels cast in two contradictory Asian stereotypes. On one hand, she said she’s told, “you’re being deceitful and cunning, and you’re pressuring students and dominating them”—the Dragon Lady trope. At the same time, she said Yale expected her to be obedient: “They’re assuming I’m just a docile Asian who will just take it.” She added, “how many mixed anti-Asian stereotypes are being applied to me?” ...

What’s frustrating to Chua and her supporters is that the most vociferous critics seem to be people who don’t know her. Chua said the students who complained to the dean are not former students: “And I don’t believe I’ve ever met them.”

One of her former female student puts it: “It’s the Woke Olympics at Yale.” ...

Chua has not stayed in her designated lane. She’s doesn’t conform to our usual idea of the stuffy Ivy League law professor. And she definitely breaks the stereotype of the demure, quiet Asian.

But what’s wrong with that?

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink