Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is This Story Racially Biased???

I would like to read this book because I just watched the movie tonight. The movie was very compelling and emotionally engaging. It made my heart p0und like crazy from the beginning to the end. I would like to find out how much dramatization was rendered to the movie and how true is the movie to the book. After looking up the story, I found out that this book was critized for being racially stereotyping. This book was accused of mis-representing the Iranians and their culture, and giving them a negative image.

After watching the movie, Iran does seem like a place to me where I pray I'll never end up in. Sure, to certain extent, this story is giving people a scary image of Iran. But is Iran a welcoming place to live, or even to visit? I'm sure the answer is pretty obvious. Just look at the many Iranians who fled Iran and emigrated here to the U.S. I don't see many Americans frocking to Iran... I wish there were so the unemployment rate could finally drop.....

Is it not true that women in Iran can't go around town without the company of their husbands or relatives? Is it not true that women in Iran must cover themselves up from head to toe? Is it not true that women in Iran can be executed if they take the children and run way from their hubands? Is it not true that women in Iran have to seek permission from their husband in making every decision? Is it not true that in the event of a divorce, the women in Iran lose custody and visitation rights with their children by default?

Of course there are always two sides of the story, there is the American woman Betty's side and her Iranian huband's side... I'm sure a lot of Iranian women find the above rules for women important virtues and values that they are proud of... but at the same time, American women (or even Chinese women like me who was raised in China) who were raised with freedom would find such rules inhumane... I don't think I can survive one day with rules like that... I'll probably die of depression if I'm forced to live like that...

I just don't see how it's wrong for Betty to express her feelings about her experience. If the book is stereotyped, so what? It's Betty's feelings and her point of view. Don't we all have a right to tell others what we don't like. At the same time, for women who choose to embrace the way of life in Iran and who feel happy about it, good for them. While a lot of people resent Americans' labelling the Iranian culure as sexist, backwards, or hostile, these same people should realize that there are also many people in Iran and everywhere in the world who label Americans as big fat bullies, corrupted, incredibly stupid and yet aggrogant. I think if only people can stop demanding others to live the same way like they do, this world will have a lot less conflict.

Before taking sides, people have to see what country provides more opportunities for people of various culture to live life the way they like it.... The answer again is obvious. For those Americans who critized America for being racists, I really suggest them to move to the middle east so they can try pursuing their freedom and equality there......

The following is a clip from the documentary made on behalf of Betty's ex-huband, who told his side of the story, which side of the story you support?

My thinking: If he loved his daugther so much, why didn't he return to the U.S. to visit her??? May be he truly believed Iran was a better country for her daugther to grow up in, may be he truly believed Islam was the best gift he could ever give to his daughter....But obviously his daugther who is now an adult, feels America is the better place for her, or she would have moved to Iran already, cause as an adult, and a natural born Iranian citizen, she could go back to visit her father any time she wanted. But she didn't... Why? Did something she experienced as a child in Iran made her feel scared or uncomfortable to even visit Iran??

I remember my father took me to Tokyo one summer when I was a kid, I had so much fun there I wanted to go back again and again, even as an adult, Japan is still one of my favorite places to vacation in, and I can care less what my grandma said how Japan invaded China and killed millions of us, or how my grandfather said there was still this Japanese bullet buried in his left arm, which is true, it's still there and is seen clearly under the X ray. My point is, my childhood experience with Japan was so good that I like the place. I like the culture there, period... If Maltob had a great expeirence in Iran in the 80s, she would not hesitate to visit her father there...

After his wife and daughter disapperared, he didn't chase after them back to the U.S. ... He said he was never served with divorce paper from Betty... Okay, I believe so, but if I were him, I would go to the U.S. (whether or not I was served) to resolve the problem with my wife after she took off with my kid....., not about the marriage, but about handling the custody issue and all the properties in the United States. There is no way I would sit in Iran for years and years not doing anything until 2003. Why???

I just don't get this Iranian doctor. Why he never naturalized as a U.S. citizen after being married to one for 7 years in Michigan before he moved back to Iran? He probably didn't like America enough, which is fine...his own preference. My question is, did he love his daugther and wife more or did he love Iran more? He had picked his choice as an educated doctor, he should have known that every choice came with a price tag... So he picked Iran and lost his kid, or if he had picked his kid, he would have lost his tie in Iran, fair and square, why all the whining? He made his choice, and his daugther also made her choice.

So, I believe more in Betty's story, even though there may be some exageration in her book or movie. I believe that she did the best thing she could as a mother, by bringing Maltob back to the U.S.


Lisa R said...

Just wanted to let you know how thought provoking your review was. I immediately went to PaperBackSwap to see if I could find a copy and as luck would have it, I've got one on the way. I generally find that the movie isn't near as good as the book so will tackle the book first. Be sure and let us know what you think about the book.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Gramma Ann said...

I have never watched the movie or read the book. It just never appealed to me. I think when you are planning to marry into another culture, you really need to do a lot of serious research about that culture to see if you can handle what may come up in the future. I don't have an opinion either way, about the father, mother, or daughter, since I have never read the book.

My reason for stopping by today, was to tell you the lovely necklace and earrings arrived today, (Thursday, February 25) and to say Thank You, for being so kind. I will think of you each time I wear them. BTW, pearls are one of my favorite things. Thanks again.

China said...

Lisa, Thanks for your complement and yes please let us know your review after you read the book.

Gramma Ann, you're very welcomed, nothing pleases me more than sending out gifts. I agree with you that one should research very carefully before considering marrying someone from another culture. But the same caution should apply to whoever one is marrying. Betty's situation is no different from any woman who married an achoholic or a sports junky, or a workholhic... cause whether it's the culture, the personal traits, or the lifestyle, it's the fact that Betty realized she couldn't stay with her husband any longer.

"Love is Blind"... When we're in love, we won't care who the person is and where the person is from. Everything we see from that person we're in love with is good..

I'm not sure if you had known any Arab men or Middle Eastern men who are Muslims. I've worked with them as their consultants and colleagues, I've known these pepole, both here in America and in Hong Kong, they are very gentlemen like and they really sweep women off their feet. They can pamper you so much when they're dating you that you really want to marry them. I can relate to why Betty was in shock when she arrived at Iran with her husband and daugther...One of my girlfriends used to date a Pakistani Muslim man, who became also my friend. I had gone to his dinner gatherings a lot and he and his fellow muslim friens were really nice and I remember I joked about how they would lock up their wives. He was so humorous he just joked along... But he did admit that, his sisters, his female cousins all didn't drive and they all didn't leave the house without the company of his brothers, his cousins or uncles... He is such a nice guy and he even helped me out a lot cause I was his gf's best friend. But my question is if my gf really did marry him, would he remain the way he was when he was an expatriate in Hong Kong? They eventually broke up because my gf had big fights with him and then an American banker from the floor below our office pursued her... Now she is married to that American instead of that Pakinstani boyfriend she used to have. But she didn't leave her Pakinstani bf cause she was thinking she would be in home was because at one time he was so busy doing mergers and acquisitions he would always be late for their dinner outings or movies... But very nice guy, he even pulled chairs and opend taxi doors for us gals if he were around us and paid the dinner bill for us always...He also could cook like no others and keep his apartment in Hong Kong pristine and modern.. Good looking, Oxford educated, smart and worldly, I mean no woman can really tell whether a man like that will be the same man they date after they get married.... nobody...Middle Eastern men in America and Hong Kong behave totally like westernized people, in fact they are very charming and gentlemen like when they are pursuing a woman. That much I know. I think probably Betty had a lot of good time with her ex huband during her 7 years marriage with him in Michigan, just when her husband moved back to Iran with the family, everything changed for her... (from what i saw from the moive), but I can relate how and why all that happened to her...

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