Michael I am sorry to disagree with you. A steep decline over 25 yrs. What world are you living in. You can read all the statistics you want, but step outside and you will see you are wrong. As the lady said, when we were kids, we played outside without fear, we didn’t have to lock our houses like Fort Knox, we didn’t worry about being robbed, raped, shot at while sitting on our porches or driving down a highway, Of if our car breaks down worry about who is helping us, (which people helped so much more back then then they do today)we left the keys in our cars so we can find them easily. Kids left in the morning and returned home for mealtime without the parents having fears of being kidnapped, killed or molested. We went to schools that were open all day without fears of gunmen coming in and killing us all. Come on open your eyes and see the truth. We enjoyed our childhood without our parents having to hover over us. We played at the parks by ourselves and took our younger sibs with us. We were the care takers. Unless you lived it you do not know. Statistics will tell you what you want to hear. Statistics are stacked and slanted. I lived it, I know. Yes maybe compared to the old west maybe, but 25 yrs you could not be more wrong. And it was due to the fact that parents and teachers were not afraid to discipline their kids. We knew if we acted up, we were going to be punished. We got in trouble at school, we knew we would be in trouble again once we got home. We had respect, something that is becoming a lost art. We didn’t curse at our parents, teachers or anybody in authority. We had respect. We did our chores when expected. It taught us how to have good worth ethics when we reached adulthood. Now the kids are being coddled, and babied, and taught they do nothing wrong. Parents are scared to hurt their kids feelings, or that their kids won’t like them if they punish them. I was a single parent and raised my kids by myself. They are thriving successful happy adults. None of them in trouble. But they have to live their lives with their kids and grandkids in fear of the everyday violence that has gripped this country. Kids cannot be let out of sight now in fear of being molested, kidnapped or murdered. Kids are murdered while riding their bikes in broad daylight. Our teenagers are ravaged with drugs and alcohol. Schools are locked up like a prison. When is the last time you heard of a school you can just go in and walk around to check on your kids? When is the last time you slept with your house unlocked and windows open? When is the last time you left your keys in your car with windows down on purpose? When was the last time you let your kids sell school fundraisers or girlscout cookies door to door alone, or stayed out by themselves till street lights come on without worrying? If you believe them statistics you read then you are extremely misinformed and niave.
I am a bit confused as to why so many people seem to question the truth of Betty's story. She and her family are the ones who lived it. Who is anyone else to assume she is falsely presenting it? In my opinion, much of the reason for the movie and the book (which I agree is much better based on thoroughness alone) is that she is telling her story as a warning to other wives who may find themselves in a similar situation to not put herself and child(ren) at that risk. Others have mentioned that they were free to come and go as they pleased from Iran back to the . Betty clearly points out in her book that she knows others in that same situation. It just wasn't true for her. I agree that the book is far superior to the movie, but for the movie to accurately represent the book, it would have been several hours long. As such, within the time frame, I think it did a great job. Perhaps I find the book and movie 100% believable having had the pleasure of meeting Betty. Also, I was born and raised in one of the small towns in Michigan where Betty lived, and worked for a year in one of the other small cities where she lived. Her descriptions of those places were right on target. My sister, a nurse, knew Moody from one of the hospitals mentioned--and confirmed, as stated by Betty herself, that at that time in his life, Moody was indeed a very nice man. In the book, Betty also makes it VERY clear that she knows and has great love and respect for many of the Iranian people--many of whom put their own lives at risk to help her and Mahtob escape--people whom she knows she can never repay in any way for what they did for her. The only Iranian people she presents (in the book) in any really truly bad light are those of Moody's family--especially the freeloading, ungrateful relatives who lived with them for a short time in America and expected her to wait on them--her being a second class citizen simply because she is a woman. There is nothing wrong with her making those statements. After all, she should know. She was not portraying all Iranians as having those characteristics. Also, in the book, she very adequately describes how erratic Mood's behavior and personality were, problems with situational depression--and how she chose to ignore/tolerate it because neither of them were very realistic and were non-confrontational people--often letting things get out of control before situations were even addressed. I could go on with many other things, but I think the reviews that see this as a culture bashing movie are reading a lot into it that is not there. It is simply one woman's story of what happened to her--as a warning of what is a chilling reality of what could happen to a child in this kind of situation. After what she went through to make sure her daughter did not have to live as a subservient second class citizen, she wrote it to try and keep the same thing from happening to anyone else.