I became a writer when I was ten years old, the same year that I discovered Agatha Christie – and therefore crime fiction. On Christmas Day 1984, I unwrapped a notebook and a box of pens, and after lunch, while everyone else dozed chipolata-stuffed in front of the TV, I made a nest in the corner of the dining room and began to write my own murder mystery.
via How I Became A Writer : Women Writers, Women’s Books
When I first heard that there was a new biographical film being made about Princess Diana’s life I expected a compelling, powerful story about a British female icon. I could not have been more wrong. Instead, we have some flimsy love story with Diana given the leading role as the typical helpless female in need of rescue. Somehow even a woman like Diana, who is well known for all the amazing things she accomplished, has been transformed into nothing more than a weak puppy-dog desperate for love.
What is it about strong women that filmmakers are so afraid of? Are we not allowed to know our own minds, have the courage of our convictions and be independent enough to accomplish our dreams without the aid of a man? We aren’t all damsels in distress desperate for a male hero to save us with happy-ever-afters. Diana was proof of that. She did charity work, helped the sick and dying, worked with the homeless, drug addicts and the elderly. She campaigned against the use of landmines and influenced the signing if the Ottawa Treaty. She did all this in spite of her divorce from Prince Charles and the way she was treated by the Royal Family, effectively becoming a single mother with two young children. She was constantly battling the press and public opinion on what she should and should not be doing, thinking, saying… and so on. Yet she died a strong independent woman that would not be told what to do or how to live by anyone.
I am so frustrated that a woman as iconic as Diana, historically known for her strength and charisma in the face of so much adversity, has been reduced to a pathetic ‘Mills and Boon’ character; that such a powerful woman of our time has been subverted into a non-threatening fiction when she could have (and should have) been so much more; this is a tragedy for both female-empowerment and for Diana’s legacy – a car-crash of a movie that should never have been made!
Having a passion for women’s history, this story brings a tear to my eye for a few reasons…
It demonstrates how one person can change the world, shows the bravery people can have in spite of the terrible consequences, shows human warmth and compassion in immeasurable depth, and sadly, the corrupt and ridiculous nature of power and politics in this world…