Your Favorite Women Creators Are Debuting Podcasts On Luminary This Week

“We will never call you crazy,” Lena Dunham assures at the start of her new podcast, The C-Word, which debuts on Luminary May 11.
The C-Word, which Dunham co-hosts with art curator Alissa Bennett, re-examines the downward spirals of notorious women throughout American history. “If there is one thing that America loves even more than a comeback victory, it’s bearing witness to the catastrophic public descent of a woman,” the creators told Refinery29. The premiere looks at doomed heiress and tabloid fixture Casey Johnson.
Dunham's latest venture is one of six women-created podcasts landing on Luminary over the span of two weeks. Roxane Gay and slam poet Sarah Kay are among the new hosts.
Luminary, which launched in March 2018, is a startup with big dreams: The podcast distributor aims to be the "Netflix of podcasts." In exchange for a monthly subscription fee of $7.99, listeners have access to Luminary's trove of over 40 original (and ad-free) podcasts, including Dunham and Gay's. Users can also access other podcasts without paying a subscription fee.
In addition to upending the traditional podcast distribution model, Luminary is committed to modernizing another aspect of podcasting: Getting more women on the air.
"When we think about the voices we’re used to hearing on the airwaves — the ones playing on the radio in the car, those that dominated the early days of podcasting and still do, today — we hear a certain tone. A certain gender," Kenzi Wilbur, director of Partnerships and Programming, told Refinery29. "Undoing that is work we’ll all be doing for years to come, but giving new voices new platforms chips away at it."
In that vein, here are the women-created originals you can expect to hear on Luminary in the coming weeks.

Sincerely X with Sarah Kay

Premiere Date: May 6
What It's About: Sincerely X is like the opposite of a very public TED talk. What's the story you would least want to tell a crowd of people? Those are the stories you'll hear in this podcast. In the first episode of the second season, available exclusively on Luminary, a woman describes escapin the violence of her childhood.
Why We're Excited: The wise, deeply empathetic Sarah Kay is an ideal host for this podcast in which people have to be their most vulnerable. At 19, she got her start delivering a chills-inducing poem, "If Should I Have a Daughter," on a TED stage. It's a full-circle moment for her.

Celeste and Her Best, With Celeste Barber

Premiere Date: May 7
What It's About: Celeste and Her Best allows us to indulge in one of the best of all guilty pleasures: celebrity gossip.
Why We're Excited: Celeste Barber built her enormous Instagram following by satirizing celebrities (her posts are absolutely hilarious). In this podcast, she'll actually get to talk to them.

Hear to Slay with Roxane Gay & Tressie McMillan Cottom

Premiere Date: May 7
What It's About: Hear to Slay is the Black feminist podcast you've been waiting for. According to a statement given by Roxane Gay, the podcast will cover "the high brow, the low brow and everything in between." Expect incisive and intelligent reads from two of the most brilliant thinkers today.
Why We're Excited: It's obvious — we'll get the news and pop culture filtered through Roxane Gay's wit and ferocity, and we'll laugh along the way. Co-host Tressie McMillan Cottom said it best in a statement to Refinery29: “It is said that every badass woman has a group chat that keeps her lit. The chat that lifts me up — and holds me down — is full of my Black feminist BFFs being honest about life, love, money, and culture. Hear to Slay is that group chat, set to 10."

Hyper-thetical with Kerry Bishé

Premiere Date: May 10
What It's About: Calling all fans of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone! This podcast, created by FilmNation Entertainment, is for you. Each episode takes a detour into a hypothetical near-world future scenario, grounded in actual science.
Why We're Excited: We'll take any opportunity to hitch a ride out of this sim.

Lena Dunham's The C-Word with Lena Dunham and Alissa Bennett

Premiere Date: May 11
What It's About: What does it mean when we call a woman crazy? That she's difficult, paranoid, demanding. She doesn't fit in the box. Instead of dismissing the women that society have called crazy, Dunham and co-host Alissa Bennett write the narratives that once documented their downfalls.
Why We're Excited: We're ready to rescue the reputations of the dismissed women of history.

Guys We F****d with Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson

Premiere Date: Becomes exclusive on Luminary on May 20
What It's About: Let's talk about sex, baby. In each episode of this podcast, stand-up comics Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson have rambling and blazingly honest conversations about their sex and dating lives. The podcast began by Fisher and Hutchinson interviewing their exes and former flames; from there, it's branched off into various explorations about sex.
Why We're Excited: Guys We F****d approaches women's sexuality with unusual candor. Plus, it's a blast.

More from Music

R29 Original Series