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Diana - English rose

Deconstructing Diana - The English Rose

Truth is, Diana made me uneasy. She was beloved solely for those traditionally feminine qualities of beauty, compassion, and emotion. Her flaws were further proof of her vulnerability - she was high strung, bulimic, insecure, a disillusioned romantic.

Yet what I did like, what allowed me to connect with her, was that there was something endearingly antic and wild about her, something untamed and untouched. And where is it written that every woman must be a brilliant and tough-minded careerist to deserve our respect?

Of course, Diana's fairy tale wish to marry the prince soured. How could it not? But who among us has not pursued a dream that could never be?

Now her death sparks an ugly debate about where to affix blame and punishment. It's the paparazzi. No, it's the drunken chauffeur. Maybe boyfriend Dodi importuned Monsieur Paul to speed? Or was it perhaps some as-yet-undetected defect that caused the car to careen out of control?

No, what really killed Diana was her unfailing belief that the Right Man would save her. All little girls are raised to believe in those promises of protection.

Like women everywhere, Diana was the powerless passenger, hurtling toward fate, without any opportunity - or inclination -- to put her own foot on the brake.

If there is a lesson in her death, it is not that we need more laws for our protection, but that we must learn to save ourselves.


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