Why I’m A Murderino and You Should Be, Too
By Kristin Crites | Guest Contributor | @KristinACrites
I have a secret; a confession to make.
I am a Murderino.
Right now one of two things is happening. You are either jumping for joy and pumped to see where this article goes, or you have zero idea what I am talking about and might be concerned about my mental state. If you’re the in the latter group, I’ll fill you in.
I’m talking about the podcast My Favorite Murder (or MFM for short). Fans of this podcast call themselves Murderinos. Some fans are obsessed with stories of murder, others have been sucked in by hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s witty banter and funny sayings (i.e. “Get a job. Buy your own shit. Stay out of the forest.”), but every listener gets something very important out of this podcast.
As women, we frequently hear cultural narratives--in pop culture, in the news media--telling us how little agency we have in our lives. We are often portrayed as hapless victims, or worse, blamed for any ill-fate that may befall us.
On the flip side, our stories about men are very different. When violence against women, or rape, are seen as “transgressions” and Brock Turners of the world go free; when patriarchal privilege allows for a sexual predator to be President of the United States; when we teach women how to not get raped, instead of teaching boys to not rape, we’ve got some serious problems. In the parlance of MFM, “Toxic Masculinity ruins the party again.”
My Favorite Murder responds to these all-too-common narratives with a resounding “nah-uh!,” and empowers listeners to take control of their lives. This is why you must start listening. Right. Now.
Every woman has a story of harassment or violation, every woman has taken the same steps in her life out of fear. We are taught to be polite (MFM’s stance on this, by the way? “Fuck politeness.” Yes, that is exactly what they say). We are taught to de-escalate situations, and do so even when our own well-being is at risk. We make up boyfriends to soften the blow of rejection so we don’t get attacked, verbally or physically. We walk through parking lots with keys interlaced in our fingers in case someone jumps out at us from the shadows. We laugh at sexist jokes so we are still part of the group at work, and aren’t labeled “The Feminist,” “The Bitch,” or simply dismissed because of our XX Chromosomes (or perception of XX Chromosomes). Even if we’re lucky and never get physically attacked, simply being female in our society constantly chips away at our sense of self, and feelings of safety and security.
The pithy quips of co-hosts Kilgariff and Hardstark jolt women out of the knee-jerk docile habits that often put them in harm’s way. Have a creepy feeling about the situation you are in? Kick ‘em in the shin and run first, then worry about if you are just being paranoid, or if telling him he is making you uncomfortable would ruin his day.
What does this have to do with My Favorite Murder? In academic lingo, Murderinos’ fixation with My Favorite Murder is called Equipment for Living, meaning it helps people name and talk about, and therefore cope with, recurring situations. Basically, listening to MFM helps listeners confront their fears and anxieties by “living” through those fears vicariously on a weekly basis. By hearing stories of those attacked, most who have lost their lives, but also the stories of those who have survived, women are able to live their fear without actually, y’know, dying.
They survive. And the survival, as well as their exposure to their fear, in turn helps mitigate fear.
Murderinos have created a virtual and real life community of like-minded, badass women. As of this writing, the My Favorite Murder Podcast Facebook page has 160,700 followers! I myself am someone with a sad “Hometown Murder” story, and was the intended victim of a serial rapist, so MFM stories appeal to me and resonate personally. I am a proud Murderino.
I can say with confidence, along with my fellow Murderinos, “Fuck politeness!” We can trust our gut instincts. We can take care of ourselves first and foremost because our lives literally depend on it.
Above all, we live by the maxim, “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered.”
Kristin Crites is a Real Estate Agent and REALTOR®, Feminist, mom of 2 amazing girls, and Colorado native.