International Women's Day is here, and it's a day that has been celebrated since 1909 when women first marched in New York City for the right to vote and be considered equal. Though it's been around and observed on March 8 since 1913, it's only recently risen back in popular consciousness. So what should you do besides wear purple? Last year, there was a "day without women" to remind men how much we do. If you choose to take the day off, these shows on Netflix for International Women's Day will help you remember what feminism looks like when you return to smashing the patriarchy tomorrow.
What is a feminist show and what does feminism look like? In the simplest terms, feminism is defined as "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes." That's it. No more, no less. That means that women are as strong and equal in their characters to men. A feminist show is one where the female characters are allowed to be as fully fleshed out as the male ones. No moms and girlfriends left behind while the man adventures (or dead in the ground spurring him on). These are shows where women are front and center and fully realized as people.
Orange Is The New Black
Netflix's first major feminist show and second breakout hit after House of Cards, the story of women's lives behind bars has been running for five seasons and counting now. The last season was perhaps the most interesting, as it plays out over a very short period of time during a riot in the women's prison.
Grace & Frankie
Living legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin find themselves thrown together after decades of rivalry, only to discover their husbands have been secretly dating for twenty years. Having the patriarchal wool pulled from their eyes so late in life makes for an outstanding comedy, but one yet full of lovely emotional beats.
Margaret Atwood's other novel adaptation to come out in 2017, this story is based on the real-life events of the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery, for which Grace Marks served 30 years in prison. This show was especially timely when it arrived last fall, due to its themes of men using sex as power over women.
This fictionalized history of the first all women's wrestling TV show G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) this series has the benefit of being an 80s nostalgia trip, a sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves story, a tale of two women in a sexist industry finding themselves, and a hilarious comedy. Come for the outfits, stay for the wrestling.
One Day At A Time
If you're wondering "Isn't that a show from the 1970s?" you would be right. This update of the Norman Lear-produced family classic isn't just an instant modern day classic, it's feminist and latin focused, and downright revolutionary. It will give you all the uplifting feels of the old school traditional sitcom, in a totally modern way.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The story of a woman who escaped from a doomsday cult only to find herself trying to make it in New York City, this Tina Fey-penned comedy is as wonderful for Ellie Kemper's joyous performance as Tituss Burgess' over the top queen of a roommate. The supremely catchy theme song doesn't hurt either.
One of the few series that Netflix decided to cancel this year, this series isn't just feminist, it's also a hilarious and tender look into the world of those suffering from bipolar disorder. A reminder that in a world where men and women are truly equal, it's OK for a woman to be unlikeable.
Releasing the second season today in honor of International Women's Day, this Marvel show is produced, written, directed and stars women. A study in issues women face every day, couched in a superhero parable about one woman with great powers and great drinking abilities. Make sure to check out the great British actress Janet McTeer (OBE) who proves that Shakespearean actresses can kick ass as hard as anyone.