“Stay Sexy . . . Don’t Get Murdered”: Feminist Potential in True Crime Narratives

None at BOND Collective Gowanus

Tue, Jan 31 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Every week, the two female hosts of the podcast “My Favorite Murder” recount stories of murders both famous and obscure to each other, and conclude with the directive and plea: “stay sexy . . . and don’t get murdered.” The show topped the iTunes ranking for Best Comedy Podcast in June of 2016, and sponsors a lively Facebook group with close to 15,000 members. The popularity of “My Favorite Murder,” along with the phenomenal juggernaut of the podcast Serial, is representative of an emerging, and feminist, trend in the pop culture mainstay of true crime.

Since Truman Capote established the mainstreaming of the genre with In Cold Blood, true crime texts have proliferated throughout the American entertainment landscape. In the twenty-first century, some female creators began to challenge the tropes of the genre. Rather than taking a prosecuting or detached tone, these women explore their emotional enmeshment in the story. Their work disrupts conventional narrative structure, and in so doing, troubles the conceit that true crime stories conclude with revelations of truth and allocations of justice. Books like The Red Parts (Maggie Nelson) and Men We Reaped (Jesmyn Ward) are told a-chronologically, disturbing established timelines to foreground how trauma reverberates in the families and communities of victims.

Similarly, podcasts like My Favorite Murder and Serial resurrect and refashion an older medium—radio shows—to experiment formally with storytelling that dismantles the conceit that true crime stories can be contained within tidy, journalistic narratives. These texts narratively and formally decenter “truth,” foreground the creative process, and create space for empathy and community in a way that could be called feminist. This Olio proposes to trace the feminist potential of these trends in true crime.

Teacher: Tracy Bealer
Venue: BOND Collective Gowanus

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 4, 2020, 8 p.m.

A Dialogue: Buddhism and the Stoics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Bhante Kusala & Michael Prettyman

June 5, 2020, 8 p.m.

Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 8, 2020, 8 p.m.

Regulating Business in a Capitalist Society

Location: at Online

Teacher: Lawrence Cappello

June 9, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

Location: at Online

Teacher: Andres Bernal

June 19, 2020, 8 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.