1. Cable Girls (Netflix, 3 seasons)
Kick-ass female friendships, women pursuing their dreams no matter what, tears, laughter, romance, secrets, new life, and death… all in this fabulous Spanish series, focussing on a group of female telefonistas (telephone operators) in 1950s Madrid. One of my favourite series of all time for its ability to make me cry, laugh, and really root for the characters. Turn on the subtitles and get ready for a rollercoaster of a programme you’ll be addicted to.
2. Dear White People (Netflix, 3 seasons)
Feminism is about more than just gender equality, and Dear White People is a great example of this. This series is set in a modern-day fictitious Ivy League university, where racial tensions escalate and characters come up against repeated challenges to their identity: their race, gender, sexuality and even their economic background. You will find yourself rooting for bold, witty Sam as she slams prejudice and discrimination on her radio show, all while celebrating female friendships and better understanding her experiences from an intersectional feminist point of view.
3. Grace and Frankie (Netflix, 5 seasons)
Grace and Frankie hasn’t got nearly the attention it deserves – perhaps because it’s not your average young adult comedy. The main characters are two women in their 60s whose husbands have left them – for each other. The two women, polar opposites, find themselves accidentally thrown together in a comedic and heart-warming turn of events where they unexpectedly find they have a lot to learn from each other about life as an independent, liberated woman.
4. The Good Place (Netflix, 3 seasons)
The Good Place is different from other feminist shows because it doesn’t overtly try to be feminist – it just is. It shows instead of tells: women are simply allowed to be themselves and are judged as people, not just as women. There is also a female-presenting gender-neutral robot, a diverse and multifaceted cast, and to top it all off the series presents complex philosophical concepts packed into rollercoaster 20-minute episodes which may just present some answers to today’s chaotic world…
5. Anne with an E (Netflix, 2 seasons)
This charming period drama is based on the novel Anne of Green Gables, one of my favourites as a child. While the series gained mixed reviews from long-time lovers of the book, there’s no denying that the spirited protagonist Anne is (perhaps accidentally) feminist. From the first episode, we see her speaking up for gender inequality, and even in the toughest of moments, Anne is unapologetically herself. A more sombre series for a nice change of pace.
6. Once Upon a Time (Netflix, 7 seasons)
This re-imagining of your favourite childhood fairy tales will blow you away. Out with damsels in distress, and in with princesses who fight evil in gorgeous dresses and jeans alike, with Prince Charming at their side as a partner rather than a rescuer. The women in this series are well-rounded, so that even those who seem irredeemably evil or perfectly good turn out to have hidden depths. What’s more, the series encourages women to make their own decisions – to reject or to embrace motherhood, to wear a tiara or not, to curl up in the library to research solutions or to fight on the front lines. Couple all that with modern-day magic and you’ve got yourself a winner.
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