Why We Love to Hate ‘Trainwreck’ Women

Many thanks to Sirin Kale and BROADLY for publishing my conversation with Sady Doyle about society’s punitive impulse, morality dramas, and impossible standards of femininity.

Why We Love to Hate ‘Trainwreck’ Women: In honor of the reissue of Sady Doyle’s “Trainwreck,” Knox talks with Doyle about why we “wreck people because they are women.”

The same habit of mind that seeks to punish derailed celebrities and project evil onto political opponents and public figures also leads to wrongful convictions like mine. It encourages judgment by projection and popularity, and it obstructs our ability to evaluate context and objective evidence.

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5 Responses to Why We Love to Hate ‘Trainwreck’ Women

  1. Tom Zupancic says:


    Regarding this present article and the others you wrote that were published by Broadly, I have to suspect that many are not familiar with this… what… what to call it? A resource? An outlet? A venue? A uniquely enlightened point of view?

    Points of view matter. People should check out Broadly.

  2. Tom Zupancic says:

    Amanda, you are absolutely correct; our society has an arbitrary double standard based on gender … and this is a problem. The current climate; its duplicitous essence; the intrinsic inhuman antagonism to actual human beings… Our behavior as individuals and as a society speaks volumes about who and what we truly believe. It is not very pretty.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Just one more comment

      Why hate?

      The polarization of American society appears to have reached a point where hatred has become a fundamental driving force. That is not good.

      How we got here and who is responsible doesn’t really matter; our challenge as a people is what Americans do about it. How we resolve historical injustices, differences and grievances between people, and the many very real and substantive issues we face, is our challenge.

      How we do this matters. It defines who we are and what we believe. What we do now will determine our future.

      • Tom Mininger says:

        Your comment has me thinking about my experience watching O.J.: Made in America. It was a musical chairs of anger. Just when I’d locked my fury onto someone, the music would stop on another target. OJ, police, advocates, whites, blacks, prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, promoters, our insatiable lust for tabloid crap…

        At the end, I sat back exhausted and thought maybe Amanda is right: “Compassion is empowering—it opens the doors to reconciliation. And compassion is just—we only compound injustice when the worst of someone else brings out the worst in us.”

  3. Tom Mininger says:

    It was bizarre back in the early days of your case when you became the scapegoat for the healthy libido of millions of young women. Meanwhile Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was hosting Bunga Bunga parties with underage girls and his TV networks were obsessed with (as one critic put it) scantily clad beauties writhing about. I remember arguing that if sexuality had anything to do with violence, Berlusconi would be a mass murderer.

    I cringed at some of those TV interviews you had with the big “mainstream” networks back in 2013. Just like the tabloids, there was no profit in discussing blood transfer evidence or DNA evidence or Guede’s established break-in modus operandi. The agenda had to be the sexual behavior of a pretty young woman and what does that “mean”. After all the media coverage over the past decade, I’m amazed how many people still don’t know the details of Guede’s 5 week break-in spree, including knives, rocks, 2nd story windows and hanging out in kitchens, leading up to his deadly one. Titillating narrative is more important.

    The Muslim dress and behavior code for women is an overt and conscious expression of control. Western civilization engages in more covert or subconscious shaming methods. There is some common denominator of gynophobia in our genes, as though the sky will fall if women are not contained.

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