The most outrageous parents in America gathered in the Rockies this past week, and had a lot to say.
You know them by their headlines, if not their names. “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote in the Atlantic earlier this month.
“How to Land Your Kid in Therapy,” Lori Gottlieb wrote in the same magazine a year earlier.
“Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” Amy Chua opined in the Wall Street Journal last year.
Get them together (at the Aspen Ideas Festival the weekend before Independence Day) and you would expect a fight, right? After all Gottlieb’s piece praised parents who let their children fall and fail once in awhile, saying that Americans were screwing up their children by being too involved; Chua, in contrast, charged that American parents weren’t nearly involved enough and needed to push their children to practice the piano and get into Harvard; and Slaughter said that any kind of mother was was all but guaranteed to fail if she tried to be at all involved with her children while also nurturing herself and her career. (For which Gottlieb lambasted her in a follow-up piece, writing “How does a smart woman like Slaughter still believe in the childlike notion that people (of either gender) can have whatever they want whenever they want it, regardless of life’s intrinsic constraints?”)