It's rather infuriating that, even in 2018, women are still such a small part of the movie and television industry. There still aren't enough women on screen, or behind the camera, or enough complex, diverse stories being told. Fortunately, as The Beatles once said, it's getting better all the time. Still, we as women (and men, too, frankly) need to champion those projects that
are getting it right. We need to remind titans of the industry that women-created and women-led projects do make money, and people of all genders go see them. So, on March 8, International Women's Day, make conscious viewing decisions. Whether you're streaming a TV show or a movie, try to give your attention, clicks, (and therefore money) to exemplary feminist films and TV shows.
Need some inspiration? The Bustle entertainment team has built a list of movies and TV shows that set the bar for excellent feminist content pretty darn high. Let's prove any remaining haters wrong once more about women-led and created content. As
Cate Blanchett once said: "Those of us in the industry who are perhaps still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the center, are niche experiences — they are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money."
So, let's earn these projects a little more money on Thursday, hm?
Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: "Since its premiere three and a half years ago, Jennie Urman's Jane the Virgin has consistently been one of the smartest, funniest, and most feminist shows on TV. Yes, there's romance at the center, but the real heart of the show is the friendships between Jane, Petra, Xo, and Abuela." — Rachel Simon, Movies Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: Syfy's " Wynonna Earp is based on a graphic novel, but otherwise, it's utterly unique. A racially and gender diverse cast is grounded by the central performance of Melanie Scrofano as the heir to Wyatt Earp and his family curse in this fantasy/Western hybrid. Showrunner Emily Andras steers the ship responsibly, especially with a whopper of a twist in Season 2." — Sage Young, Associate TV Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: "This movie came out in 2002, but if you haven't seen it since then or just never have, do yourself a favor and check it out. Directed by Niko Caro, this story of a pre-teen Maori girl in New Zealand is gorgeous and inspiring, a movie every woman and girl should see." — Rachel Simon, Movies Editor Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video Streaming On: Amazon Prime Why You Should Watch: This darkly funny meditation on female friendship, self-hatred, and grief is anchored by the sardonic charisma of writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who crafted the show from her one-woman play of the same name. Not only is the show one of the best depictions of the complexity of a 'relatable' female antihero in recent memory, but it's just the right length for a marathon. Stretching over just six tightly edited half-hour episodes, not a second is wasted — though by the time you finish, you might wish you had savored it all instead of joining the rest of us waiting for any bit of news about Season 2." " — Samantha Rollins, TV Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: "Co-written by and starring 2018 Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha is an authentic snapshot of what it's like to try (and fail) to conquer New York City in your 20s. There's a flawed and lovely female friendship at the core as well." — Sage Young, Associate TV Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: "As ever, I recommend Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's created and run by two women, features some of the most delightfully complex women characters I've ever seen in comedy, and ought to be studied in screenwriting classes for its sensitive, realistic depiction of mental illness." — Sage Young, Associate TV Editor Streaming On: Netflix, Hulu Why You Should Watch: I watched it on a whim — and then got " so invested, I watched the full series (yes, all six seasons) in a matter of weeks. It stars Brooke Elliott, who transforms from a seemingly shallow woman into a badass lawyer, who cares deeply about and fights on behalf of the people around her. (Oh, and there's even a multi-episode Kim Kardashian cameo.) The show is smart, feminist, fun, and reminiscent of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — another streamable female-led show I'd highly suggest checking out." — Jamie Primeau, Associate Entertainment Editor Streaming On: HBO Go/Now Why You Should Watch: " Insecure is created by, written by, and starring Issa Rae, and the majority of it's episodes have been directed by black women. On top of that, major focuses of the show include the main characters navigating their careers, including the roadblocks they hit because they're women (particularly black women), female friendships, and dealing with dating and sex issues in a really honest way." — Lia Beck, Associate Entertainment Editor Streaming On: HBO Go/Now Why You Should Watch: "I think about this movie all the time, and I'm so glad that it's streaming so everyone can go watch it immediately. Not only is the cast of this film fantastic (Kathy Bates! Mary Stuart Masterson! Mary-Louise Parker!) but the story truly stands the test of time. Based on the book by Fannie Flagg, it's the ultimate in the power of female love. And, though the movie tones down some of the more explicit lesbianism of the book, it was still a pretty ground breaking film in 1991 — and even now, when mainstream lesbian stories are few and far between. Definitely worth a watch or re-watch." — Martha Sorren, Associate TV Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: " Bring It On is a well-handled film about privilege and power, considering the white cheerleading team has been stealing, and winning with, the routine of the black cheerleading team, whose story ultimately ends up driving the film. And, the story was written by Jessica Bendinger, which puts the female power in front of and behind the camera." — Kadeen Griffiths, Entertainment Editor Streaming On: Hulu Why You Should Watch: "Yeah, sure it might be cliché at this point, but Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have created one of the best shows about young women fending for themselves in a big city. And the show has only got smarter and more insightful as the two get older, but never, ever loses its edge." — Kerensa Cadenas, Entertainment News Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: " Mulan, which was female produced and co-written, is all about individual duty vs. the role society forces us into, and how we can still follow our heart and contribute to that society in our own ways. A truly inspirational tale for women of any age." — Kadeen Griffiths, Entertainment Editor
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'
Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video Streaming On: Amazon Prime Why You Should Watch: " Gilmore Girls creator Amy-Sherman Palladino re-created her Stars Hollow magic with this charming New York City period piece. Rachel Brosnahan plays the housewife-turned-comedian with just as much quick-witted skill as Lauren Graham did as Lorelai. But the series also stands firmly on its own as just a great work by women, starring women, and for everyone." — Martha Sorren, Associate TV Editor Streaming On: HBO Go/Now Why You Should Watch: "The series was co-created and executive produced by the glorious, talented Queen of Everything, Laura Dern. For the most part, Dern's amazing performance as a 40-something woman doing all the things well-behaved women climbing the corporate ladder aren't supposed to do flew under the radar and the show was cancelled far too soon. But if you're obsessed with making Big Little Lies jokes about Amabella feeling left out or Last Jedi-inspired "flyboy" quips, and you need more Dern, Enlightened is pretty much perfect." — Kelsea Stahler, Senior Entertainment Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: "Because when I go on Netflix for a movie, I like it to be a feel-good movie. The Little Rascals was directed by a woman who also co-wrote the script, which made it one of my favorite childhood films, even more so considering it was about the He-Man Woman Haters Club learning that girls aren't 'icky' and are just as good as boys." — Kadeen Griffiths, Entertainment Editor Streaming On: Netflix Why You Should Watch: The most beautiful thing about " One Day At A Time — besides, well, everything — is how easy it is to watch. It feels like a mindless half-hour multi-camera comedy, but in reality the themes, heartfelt emotions, and deep conversations about what it's like to be an immigrant in the U.S. sneak up on you. And if that's not a draw, let me offer you this: The inimitable Rita Moreno co-stars as the Alvarez family's abuelita and she. is. flawless. Plus, the show was co-created by a woman, Gloria Calderon Kellett, and more than half of the series' episodes were also directed by women." — Kelsea Stahler, Senior Entertainment Editor
With this list in hand, make conscious viewing choices on International Women's day, yes, but also always. The more we prove that women-led and created stories
do get seen, the more we'll hopefully get.