Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Weird Stuff: Tiger Moms, the Koch Brothers And Makeup As The Cause Of Molestation of Women

This is like speed blogging on weird topics.  Some topics are truly weird, others are not weird but we are not supposed to notice them. 

First, the so-called Tiger Mom, Amy Chua,  has written a book with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld about which culture does the best child-rearing.  

Whether Jed Rubenfeld is a roaring Tiger Dad or just part of the decoration of the living-room is unclear from the preview of the book I've seen.  By all that I mean the age-old question whether fathers are to do anything more than open their wallets.

The book, Triple Package, is not out yet, so what I write about here is what one review argues the book tells us.  The review may be mistaken, in which case I'm going to have to apologize!

In any case, this is what the review tells:

In “The Triple Package,” Chua and her husband, co-author Jed Rubenfeld, gather some specious stats and anecdotal evidence to argue that some groups are just superior to others and everyone else is contributing to the downfall of America.
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese Chua and the Jewish Rubenfeld belong to two of the eight groups they deem exceptional. In no seeming order of importance, they are:
    •    Jewish
    •    Indian
    •    Chinese
    •    Iranian
    •    Lebanese-Americans
    •    Nigerians
    •    Cuban exiles
    •    Mormons
These groups — “cultural,” mind you, never “ethnic” or “racial” or “religious” — all possess, in the authors’ estimation, three qualities that they’ve identified as guarantors of wealth and power: superiority, insecurity and impulse control.

I wonder what those statistics could be.  If they have to do with income and education, say, it's important to remember that some recent immigrant groups to the US tend to have a lot more educational and other capital, on average, than some recent immigrant groups not included in that list.

For instance, it's very very difficult for an Indian family to get a work visa to this country unless at least one of the adults has a university degree or two, preferably a doctorate.  Similar arguments can be made about the recently immigrated Chinese, say.  And the Cubans, I have read, have on average been wealthier and more educated than other Latino immigrant groups on their arrival to the US.

Such differences probably account for at least some of the later differences in statistics measuring economic success here, whatever the parenting skills of various groups might be.

As a complete aside, my early upbringing consisted mostly of getting told not to get a big head.  I still got a big head.  So. 

Second, the financial reach of various wealthy conservatives looks to be enormous.  Digby writes about the Koch brothers' wallets in American politics.   And an article from last December summarizes a study which tried to find out the sources of funding for the climate change counter-movement.  Many of the sources are now hidden because they can be (yeah!), but the Koch Brothers have been busy in that field, too.

The role of money in American politics is one of those things which really should be written about a lot more, but it's not, because the people with the money are so powerful, and they are not going to fund anything which disses them.

Third, one survey in Saudi Arabia about the "molestation of females" gives us this:

Saudi men believe women are to blame for the rising cases involving molestation of females on the grounds they are seduced by women’s excessive make up.
The findings were included in a survey conducted by the Riyadh-based King Abdul Aziz Centre for National Dialogue and involved 992 males and females.
The survey, carried by Saudi newspapers, found that 86.5 per cent of the men polled believe that women’s exaggeration in wearing make-up is the main cause of the rise in molestation cases in public places in the conservative Gulf Kingdom.
No way of knowing if the survey is any good in terms of being representative. But those findings do echo other types of statements we have heard. 

Just as sexual molestation can be "caused" by wearing short skirts and tight tops, it seems that it can also be "caused" by wearing eye makeup with a niqab.  Taken to the extreme, this thinking boils down to women causing all molestation by just being there.