Amy Chua, the Yale Law School professor and self-described “tiger mom,” is making headlines again amid a battle with her Ivy League employer. On this episode of On The Merits, Chua talks to Bloomberg Law columnist Vivia Chen about why she finds herself embroiled in controversy now and how challenging it’s been for her family.
Chua on why she is sticking with her husband, fellow Yale Law School professor Jed Rubenfeld, as he fights sexual harassment allegations:
“All I can say is, you know, marriages are very difficult. And this is definitely a difficult, really difficult period for my family. But we’re a very close family, all four of us.”
Chua on why people find her so polarizing:
“It’s probably a combination of my outgoing, sometimes unfiltered personality that you kind of see in the Tiger Mom book. And part of it, I think, has to do with my coming out and supporting Brett Kavanaugh in the summer of 2018 when he was first nominated. And that was really a hot button issue and a very, very intense time. I think part of it is also wrapped up with all the stuff going on with my husband’s Title IX stuff, which, you know, I feel like has nothing to do with me.”
Chua on her current conflict with Yale Law School over allegations that she violated an agreement not to host students at her home:
“First of all, the ridiculousness of the allegations—I mean, that I had dinner parties during Covid with federal judges. ... It’s just so crazy. And I feel like, what I told the dean that on the Zoom call, I think anybody else would have been believed. I said, ‘That’s ridiculous. Of course not. Absolutely not.’ And instead of being believed, she just kept asking me the same question. ‘Oh, so you’re saying no federal judges?’ ‘No.’ ‘No drinking parties with students?’ And I really did feel kind of like this reversion to being the only Asian kid in Indiana when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was just listening to the Zoom call like, ‘I can’t believe this. Do they not understand what I’m saying? I think I’m speaking good English. I’m saying nothing like this happened.’ And I couldn’t make any inroads.”
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