Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why - Sady Doyle
In her first book, Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why (Melville House, $25.99), the immensely talented young feminist writer, Sady Doyle, explores the phenomenon of women celebrities who rise to fame only to be derailed by a public “trainwreck.” Doyle, a staff writer at In These Times who founded the blog “Tiger Beatdown,” suggests that this is the predictable outcome for women who dare to deviate from conventional rules of female behavior. While her focus is on contemporary figures such as Whitney Houston, Miley Cyrus, and most of all Britney Spears, she traces the historical lineage of the trainwreck phenomenon back to Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Brontë, Sylvia Plath, and Billie Holiday. The explosion of new media has only exacerbated the problem in recent times, making it easier to humiliate women public figures and harder for them to regain their footing. Political trainwrecks get brief attention from Doyle, but her ideas certainly reverberate in the aftermath of the 2016 campaign.