Sady Doyle’s anatomy of the ‘trainwreck’ phenomenon points to the larger cultural forces behind celebrity gossip.
Trainwrecks don’t make themselves. In fact, you could say that trainwrecks are projections of our worst selves—steeped in our own internalized misogyny—scapegoated onto women in the public eye, whose then very-publicized rise and fall is lapped up by media and audiences alike.
The anatomy of the trainwreck is the subject of Sady Doyle’s debut book – “Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why”, published this past Tuesday (read Salon’s interview with Doyle).
‘Trainwreck’ is a dazzling compendium of iconic feminist figures – from Mary Wollstonecraft to Valerie Solanas – Jane Austen to Sylvia Plath.
Doyle situates these women as historical anchors in order to reveal a larger historical trend about cultural misogyny and the damnation of transgressive women.
They are deemed transgressive of course – because they dared to be human – have feelings – emotions – needs and desires.
The ‘trainwreck’ is simply a woman living in the world.