Saturday, 3 March 2018

5 Female Empowering Netflix Shows to Watch Now!



Female empowerment and self-love is an issue I hold very close to my heart. Being a woman myself, having an interest in history, and having studied it at the Bachelor level, I get irritated thinking about how gender roles and society had given women very little choice in the past. 


The suffragettes of the past and feminist movement are products of this disadvantage faced by women. While we now have more choices over the direction of our lives, womens issues are still heavily discussed for various reasons, including equality in the workforce, respect and self-love. 

A byproduct of this movement is the increase in film and television shows with strong female leads, a heavy female cast or dialogue on current womens issues. 

For the first time since the rise of womens films in the 1930s-1960s, when female characters began to break social norms, film and television are expressing a shift once again by marketing to a female audience. They are representing what it means to be a modern women and I love it! 

Young women need strong female role models to look up to, to inspire us and show us that we can take our lives in a million different directions. Film and television can provide that inspiration. Netflix is a good example as they have gained licenses and released many positive and empowering shows for a female audience. 







If your ever wondering what show to binge-watch next, here is my list of 5 female empowering Netflix shows that I highly recommend watching.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and/or make a purchase.


Cable Girls





A Netflix Spanish series originally titled Las Chicas del Cable, set in 1920s Madrid, Spain. The show follows a group of women working as switchboard operators and the difficulties they face while they try and maintain their independence from the control of men in their lives. The show is full of drama, friendship, hardship and beautiful costumes. It has made my list because it is a story of female empowerment in the 1920s, and it emphasizes the importance of gender equality. Once you get past the weirdness of the show having English dubbing, you will be hooked!

Gilmore Girls





One of my all time favourite shows, Gilmore Girls is the story of a mother (Lorelai) and daughter (Rory), their relationship with each other, their family and quirky people of Stars Hallow. While not an original Netflix show, Netflix is responsible for reviving the series with the release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Lorelai is a single mother who gave birth to Rory at the age of 16, ultimately moving out of her rich parents house and starting a new life in Stars Hallow. She starts the series managing an inn and eventually opens her own in with best friend Sookie. Rory is shown as the smart introverted girl who pursues higher education at Yale to become a journalist. The show is a great examples of female empowerment as its main characters are a nerd and single mother and the men are secondary to the show. Lets hope the writers decide to continue the show following that insane cliff hanger ending in the revival series!

Girlboss




Based on the real life experience of entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, who founded Nasty Gal, the series was released in April 2017 and sadly didn't survive past its first season. Despite the shows short life, the story of Amaruso's struggles as a young adult with no direction is relatable to many women in their early 20s (or late 20s - guilty!). We learn that she stumbled upon her success by accident and followed her instincts which resulted in her company being a $250-million-plus fashion retailer. Her story is for people who do not follow the traditional line of success in life, but who take the winding path to something truly unique. Sophia Amoruso is a great inspiration to women and an example of female empowerment as she became the CEO of her own company and followed her own path in life. I also recommend reading her book, #GIRLBOSS , which you can purchase directly from Amazon.ca - here.


Anne with an E




Canada's favourite red head, Anne with an E is based off the book series Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The series follows the life of Anne, an imaginative young orphan who accidentally finds herself in a mix up when her adopters, two unmarried siblings, had been expecting a boy. Nonetheless, Anne wins them over with her talkative and happy spirit, eventually gaining the hearts of everyone in Avonlea, Prince Edwards Island. Written in 1908, Montgomery's story is truly unique in that it features a female heroine who young women could look up to, marking a shift in gender roles.

What is unique about the Netflix series, and understandable within the context of today, is that womens issues play a huge role in the narrative. Anne isn't the typical early 20th century girl. She is not concerned with etiquette, tea parties and questions gender roles. She offers to do farm chores, despite being reminded by Marilla that "thats not the way of things" and constantly questions why things are the way they are. Despite being a fictional character, Anne was ahead of her time and a great example to girls a hundred years ago and today.



Orange is the New Black



Orange is the New Black was released on Netflix in 2013 and has just finished its 5th season. Based on Piper Kerman's memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, the series follows Piper as she is sentenced to a womens prison where she reunites with her ex, Alex Vause, who is the reason she was arrested. As Piper learns to survive in prison, issues such as corruption, drug smuggling, funding cuts, overcrowding and guard abuse are explored. The show does not shy away from issues of gender identity, sexual preferences, race and ethnicity and other issues faced by minority groups. The female characters do not hide their flaws, make mistakes and navigate life in a womens prison.


There are many more examples of female positive shows on Netflix (Jessica Jones anyone?), but these are my personal favourites. If you have not checked them out I recommend you do! Which shows do you recommend? Please comment below!


References:

http://www.vulture.com/2016/07/womens-pictures-came-to-television.html


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