June 20, 2021

"Who cares about a parenting memoirist’s removal from a law-school teaching roster?"

"The answer is, in part, because this story manages to touch on seemingly every single cultural flashpoint of the past few years. Chua’s critics see a story about #MeToo—because of her husband, but also because Chua supported the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, even after he was accused of sexual assault. Meanwhile, Chua’s defenders see a morality tale about liberal cancel culture. 'What they’ve done to you is SOP'—standard operating procedure—'for conservative allies but chills me to the bone nonetheless,' a supporter tweeted at her, earlier this month. Megyn Kelly weighed in, tweeting, 'Make no mistake: this is retribution for her support of Brett Kavanaugh, & it is disgusting.' Chua’s allies have also suggested that anti-Asian bias is involved. 'The woke academy reserves a special vitriol for minority faculty who don’t toe the line politically,' Niall Ferguson, a historian, tweeted. Chua and her husband aren’t politically conservative—she says that [her husband Jed] Rubenfeld has historically been 'very left-leaning,' whereas she is a 'solid independent'—but they are provocateurs."

From "What Is Going On at Yale Law School?/The prestigious institution has tied itself in knots over a dispute involving one of its most popular—and controversial—professors, Amy Chua" (The New Yorker).

There's not much new in this article. It's bringing New Yorker readers up to speed on something I've already blogged about a few times, as you can see by clicking the "Amy Chua" tag. It was new to me that — as Chua tells it —Chua's daughter Lulu pushed her to go big:

“She’s, like, ‘You have to fight the narrative,’ so I just did something shocking,” Chua said. She wrote an open letter saying that she’d been falsely accused and described a Zoom call with the Yale Law dean in which she’d been treated “degradingly, like a criminal.”... “I sent it to my entire faculty, and I tweeted it,” Chua said. “Ever since then, it’s been kind of an escalating nightmare.”

If you choose to do "something shocking," aren't you seeking "an escalating nightmare"? I guess the something shocking is what she aimed at others and the escalating nightmare is what she found happening to her. Let me rephrase that: the something shocking what she now says she did and the escalating nightmare is her description, to be published in The New Yorker, of how her life feels to her now. 

And it worked. She's got a big New Yorker story about her. Look at that headline — parse it — and look a the nice photo of her perched on a glossy, empty desk. This is good press.

1 comment:

Ann Althouse said...

Carol writes: "Ann, I'm wondering if part of the campaign against Chua isn't also an attempt to quash JD Vance's career as a Trumpist politician since she was his mentor and got his book published. But I'm paranoid."

Vance is mentioned in the article in this context:

"As a mentor, Chua is known to have a type: immigrants or students of color, usually those who have come from impoverished backgrounds. But she also takes an interest in conservative students—an arguably marginalized group at Yale—and those pursuing nontraditional careers, like business or journalism. (One of her most notable mentees was J. D. Vance, the author of the 2016 best-seller “Hillbilly Elegy,” who ticked several of those boxes.) “I think she likes people who are a little bit of an outsider or underdog for whatever reason,” the 2019 graduate told me."