If you feel yourself needing a boost of positive energy in this exhausting political atmosphere, there's no better place to turn than art. And one of the most comforting forms of art just so happens to be TV. When you find yourself in need of some seriously progressive stories, there's no better place to look than the many feminist series on Netflix. Between the streaming giant's original content and its extensive catalog of imports and classic shows, there's no shortage of stories that feature people fighting for their rights, embracing intersectionality, exploring their sexuality, and just generally being amazing characters.
There's nothing like a show with strong feminist themes to give you a much-needed reminder that there are incredible artists out there who use their unique voices for good. From hilarious comedies from across the pond to dramas with expansive casts full of women from all walks of life, there's a show on this list that is sure to deliver the fierce, feminist storytelling you crave. While you've definitely heard of some of these shows, a few are hidden gems that you can only find with some extensive digging. Netflix is nothing if not a treasure trove of amazing TV, and thankfully, it features plenty of series that are progressive and empowering in their storytelling.
1. Dear White People
Dear White People is set at an Ivy League college and it shows what the college experience is like through the eyes of black students who take on microaggressions, dating, and cultural appropriation on their predominantly white campus — and that's just the first episode. This witty, smart series is required viewing.
2. Cable Girls
Set in Madrid in 1928, a group of women do the unthinkable and enter the workforce. As telephone operators, these friends decide to change their lives on their own terms in an era that wasn't welcoming to women who went against the norm.
Netflix’s period piece that feels especially modern is its most successful show for a reason. Not only does Bridgerton feature a diverse cast, stunning gowns and hairstyles, and provide some post-pandemic travel inspiration, it also had major feminist themes. From the outset, it’s clear that the Shondaland show knows that society works differently for women, women who don’t fit into typical beauty standards, and women who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
4. Orange Is The New Black
One of Netflix's signature shows, Orange Is the New Black remains a triumph for equality. Ageism, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, and issues of race and feminism are always at the forefront of the story.
5. Call The Midwife
Precious few shows truly discuss the intricacies of women's health issues, especially through the lens of poverty. Call the Midwife has been committed to telling the stories that make people uncomfortable for six seasons and counting.
6. Gilmore Girls
The world of mothers and daughters is beautifully rendered in this iconic series about what it means to be part of a family.
7. Jane The Virgin
Jane's story begins with a life-changing mix-up that launches you into a heartwarming tale about three generations of Latina women. It's about growing up, motherhood, love, fighting for the future you deserve, and so, so much more.
8. Sense 8
Has any show ever been as intersectional as this one? Sense 8's loving depiction of the nuances of sexuality is nothing short of groundbreaking.
Like a British Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this one season wonder features two women kicking butt and dealing with their own demons (both real and metaphorical).
Supergirl is a positive superhero show with an optimistic lead at its heart. Watching Kara defeat the bad guys without succumbing to the darkness that consumes so many of her male peers is a refreshing reminder that being a hero doesn't mean you have to be an angst machine.
11. The Letdown
In this honest, hilarious Australian dramedy (one of the best hidden-gem feminist shows on Netflix), a new mom deals with the not-so-glamorous realities of motherhood. Fortunately for her, the diverse group of fellow parents she meets in her mom group has her back.
12. One Day At A Time
A war vet mom does her best to make her home a safe haven for her kids in a comedy that incorporates social issues so naturally you'll barely notice you're learning between all the laughs.
The creator of Orange Is the New Black takes on the '80s phenomenon of women's wrestling in a comedy that features a diverse cast of underdogs.
14. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rebecca Bunch is an antihero for the ages in this funny and often heartbreaking musical comedy that puts female friendships and mental health issues at the forefront.
15. Degrassi: Next Class
The next generation of Degrassi students are more socially aware than any class that came before — and their passionate worldviews will give you insight into the forward-thinking teens of today.
16. The Queen’s Gambit
At its surface, The Queen’s Gambit is a riveting story about chess. But really, at its heart, this story is all about a young woman coming into her own, realizing her agency and place in a male-dominated sport (and developing lasting friendships with the very guys she beats along the way).
17. Queen Of The South
Teresa Mendoza is the social-climbing, badass protagonist you need in your life. Watch in awe as she crushes stereotypes on her way to the top of the organized crime ladder.
The leaders of a Memphis megachurch work hard to present the perfect picture of family bliss to the outside world, but the messy truth of their lives is so much more compelling.
19. Lady Dynamite
Maria Bamford uses her own life for inspiration in this eccentric comedy about being a comedian with bipolar disorder.
20. Anne With An E
Anne Shirley gets a feminist upgrade in this new adaptation of the beloved classic that takes on subjects like puberty and the realities of poverty with a sharper edge than its source material.
21. Wyonna Earp
A descendant of Wyatt Earp, Wynonna is fiercely protective of her family, and takes her world-saving duties seriously. This is one fantasy show that puts women and their relationships with each other at the forefront of the narrative.
22. Dead to Me
Created by a woman and starring two very funny ones, Dead to Me goes to some dark places — a perfect example of the complexities of friendship, motherhood, and, OK, sometimes covering up a crime.
23. Marvel's Jessica Jones
Jessica is an angry alcoholic and abuse survivor. Her world is a dark place, but despite everything she's been through, she can't seem to give up fighting for the little guy.
These 23 feminist Netflix shows might just restore your faith in humanity — if nothing else, they'll definitely inspire you to fight even harder to make the world a better place.
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