Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

More on Bringing up Bebe

Another thing I find confusing in Druckerman’s book is where she sees all those crowds of rude, loud and out of control American kids. I can’t think of a single time I saw a child anywhere in this country pitch a fit, fling themselves on the sidewalk or beat their parents in public (all activities that Druckerman lists as normal American behavior patterns for kids.) If anything, I find children in this country to be exceptionally calm, polite and easy to be around. 


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7 thoughts on “More on Bringing up Bebe

  1. “a child anywhere in this country pitch a fit, fling themselves on the sidewalk or beat their parents in public”

    Maybe this is a generational/regional/class thing? I obviously haven’t had contact with American children in a number of years, but I’ll just throw out a couple of anecdotes.

    Back when I (briefly) had some peripheral contact with expats, they had a Sunday brunch thing which I mercifully missed. An friend went once and said it was pure hell with the American kids screaming and running around and throwing things and having tantrums left, right and center.

    Between then and now I had a student who worked in the US over the summer at a country club restaurant on the east coast (so we’re not talking about poor folks). She was shocked at the way kids behaved and described a lot of screaming and hitting parents.

    So maybe this is an affluent coastal type thing?


  2. Have you ever been in a Walmart? I know they don’t sell any Gucci there, but that’s like the African savanna is for lions when it comes to kids melting down. Here’s some documentation, as a scholar would say:


    • The people this author describes in her book are way too rich to be aware of Walmart.


      • Actually, as you can see below at the link, there is a higher % of 100K+ earners who shop at WalMart than those in the income bracket right below them.


        • Interesting! I had no idea. I thought we were supposed to despise Walmart. Hmm. You live, you learn.


          • My mother’s family had extensive property holdings in Shanghai from the last quarter of the 19th Century to 1949. One of my greataunts lived in Switzerland 6 months of the year and 6 months with my grandparents here in the States. If you went shopping with her and saw something you really liked, she’d sometimes just give you the money for it, like 50$ or so, and this was back in the 70s, when milk was a dollar a gallon.

            The only snobbishness on her part was when she lived in Hong Kong and owned the Coca-Cola distributorship there. She and her husband resented that their house servants, Chinese of course, sold the cases of Coke they gave them as a bonus along with their usual salary instead of just drinking it. But to a traditional Chinese taste, tea is better, and they can used the money, being poor servants and all that.

            I’ve heard Mexicans say Coke is only good for mixing with their preferred Johnny Walker Red. Now that’s snobbery.


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