I want to share with you some female empowering Netflix shows that I have grown to love. However, before I get into that, here’s some context of why this is so important to me.
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, women’s 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 women’s issues.
For the first time since the rise of women’s 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 woman 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 you’re ever wondering what show to binge-watch next, here is my list of 5 female empowering Netflix shows that I highly recommend watching.
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5 Female Empowering Netflix Shows to Binge Watch Next!
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!
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 Hollow. While not an original Netflix show, they are 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 parent’s house and starting a new life in Stars Hollow. 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’s a great example of empowerment as its main characters are a nerd and single mother. In addition, the men are secondary to the show. Let’s hope the writers decide to continue the show following that insane cliff hanger ending in the revival series!
The Netflix show is based on the real-life experience of entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. She is the founder of Nasty Gal, a company that began on eBay. The series was released in April 2017 and sadly didn’t survive past its first season.
Despite the show’s short life, Amoruso’s struggles as a young adult are relatable to many women in their 20s. This is especially true if they have no sense of purpose. Amoruso stumbled upon her success by accident. She followed her instincts which resulted in her company being a $250-million-plus fashion retailer. Her story’s for people who don’t follow the traditional line of success in life. Rather, these people take the winding path to something truly unique. Does this sound like you?
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 has inspired me so much.
Anne with an E
Canada’s favourite redhead, 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. Her adopters, two unmarried siblings, had been expecting a boy. Nonetheless, Anne wins them over with her talkative and happy spirit. Furthermore, she eventually gains the hearts of everyone in Avonlea, Prince Edwards Island.
Written in 1908, Montgomery’s story is truly unique. It features a female heroine who young women could look up to. An example of shifting gender roles.
What is unique about the Netflix series is that women’s issues play a huge role in the narrative. This also understandable within the context of today’s women’s movement. 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 “that’s not the way of things”. Anne is constantly questioning why things are the way they are. Despite being a fictional character, Anne was ahead of her time and a great role model.
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 women’s 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 doesn’t 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 women’s prison.
There are many more examples of female positive Netflix shows (Jessica Jones anyone?), but these are my personal favourites.
If you have not checked them out I recommend you do! Which Netflix shows do you recommend? Please comment below!