A woman sparked an online debate after blaming the “patriarchy” for the supposed “backlash” against the true-crime genre.
Posting to Twitter on Monday under the username @introvertedwife, Sabrina wrote: “Of course there’s a huge backlash against True Crime. It’s predominantly consumed by women. Society cannot trust women to make decisions for themselves. Anything they like must be scrutinized and denounced.”
Further in the Twitter thread, she added: “There is nothing women or especially teenage girls can like that society won’t try to rip to shreds and call them vapid idiots for enjoying.
“‘Women can’t be trusted to read novels. Their brains are incapable of understanding the difference of fiction and reality.’
“This never changes. Infantilize an entire gender to maintain patriarchy’s stranglehold.”
True crime’s popularity has increased significantly within the last few years. Data compiled by Parrot Analytics revealed that the documentary genre grew 63 percent between January 2018 and March 2021, making it the fastest-growing genre in the streaming industry. Of all the sub-categories listed within the documentary genre, Parrot Analytics found true crime to be the most popular.
Additionally, Statista found that, in 2020, true crime was the third most popular podcast genre in America.
While it may be true that true crime is predominantly consumed by women—one 2010 study found that women wrote roughly 70 percent of Amazon‘s true crime book reviews—many of those commenting on Sabrina’s tweet argued that any criticisms surrounding true crime have little if nothing to do with its female fanbase.
“The backlash isn’t misogyny, it’s because toxic fans tend to treat true crime like a fictional property & feel entitled to make demands of victim’s families, use it as a gimmick for makeup videos, and set up fan sites devoted to everything from scammers to serial killers,” author Mikki Kendall tweeted.
“I think it’s mostly the whole treating-people’s-murders-as-a-form-of-entertainment and harassing-grieving-families-while-pretending-to-do-‘detective’-work thing that most people have an issue with, but sure, it’s because women like it, I guess?” added writer Parker Molloy.
“Terrible take. consider this—you’re disturbing families with dead or missing loved ones by capitalizing on their loss,” remarked a Twitter user named Val.
Still, some defended Sabrina’s tweet.
“I see a lot of people responding negatively to this, and I just want to point out: True crime can be f**ked up AND there can be a misogynistic backlash against it,” commented The Great Hippo.
“I’ve had this thought too. Have parts of the true crime genre gone a little too far in recent years? Yeah. But the pathologizing of women interested in it gets very misogynistic, very quickly,” replied Louisa.
“Interesting how women who consume true crime content seem to get so much online criticism relative to the men who commit the crimes they’re learning about,” added Ellen Brickley.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the true crime community has faced heat online. In the past, true crime TikTokers have been panned for “romanticizing murder cases.” And “TikTok sleuths” posting about the disappearance of Gabby Petito were criticized for using the case to gain views and followers.
“There’s a lot of people who are capitalizing off of and profiting off of creating content that’s designed to dissect the last days that we know of this girl,” Abbie Richards, who researches misinformation and disinformation on TikTok, told The Washington Post.
Newsweek reached out to Sabrina (@introvertedwife) for comment.