The notion of encouraging kids to push past easy doesn't bother me. Nor do I think we harm them by requiring them to do things they don't feel like doing. But I do maintain that parents should motivate their kids to stretch a little.
This storyline is no longer about a Chinese-American mother and her parenting style. This narrative has exposed a raw nerve about the current zeitgeist of parenting and how best to raise our children in 21st-century America.
If you want to make people a little upset, say something mean about their husband. If you want to make them angry, pick on their pets. If you want them to attack you from all sides, criticize their parenting.