These shows will have you feeling empowered and badass in no time… More please!
A young woman claims: “Yes, I’m a feminist” and in response, a middle-aged man replies: “Oh, you must be a butch man-hating lesbian then.” Sound familiar? There’s a damaging stereotype around women who want to be seen and treated as equal to men, but TV is showing just how awesome women are.
So, we’ve put together a list of the most uplifting and empowering TV shows that every feminist needs to reminisce about or watch:
Let’s start at the beginning. Most people who watched this would’ve been too young to even understand gender – having said that, most adults don’t even understand. But the saying goes that kids are like sponges, they suck up every piece of information they hear, see or feel without even realising it. The girls watching may be young, but seeing different representations of fellow girls is perhaps even more important for that age than as an adult. These are girls that are badass crime fighters saving the world. They have flaws, they fall out, Buttercup is hot-tempered, Bubbles is bratty and Blossom is bossy but that’s what makes them normal and relatable.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
From kid to teen. Sabrina was the ultimate ordinary teenager. She may have been an awesome witch leading a very strange and exciting life, but her day-to-day is that of a normal teenager. She’s not the coolest, she’s not the prettiest, and she doesn’t ace all her exams. She proves to teenagers that it’s totally normal to get spots, it’s perfectly okay to have a bad day – and also that you will get through it – but ultimately, being a teenage girl is really bloody hard, so it’s nice to have some solidarity and relatability from a TV show.
Star Trek: The Original Series
There were lots of men, in particular white men. There were lots of aliens. There were lots of weird and wonderful worlds. So what on Earth is this show doing in a list about empowering women? Nyota Uhura. She was one of the first African American characters to be portrayed on a TV show as something other than a servant. She was also involved in one of the first ever inter-racial TV kisses, with Capitan James. T Kirk. The series may not have been hugely popular at the time, but it’s looked at now as hugely influential, and that’s massively to do with Uhura.
Ok, so this show is brilliant for so many reasons, including the cast predominantly being young and basically showing the older characters up most of the time, proving they thrive on their own. But the representation of women is one of the best that TV is offering right now. Not only is the leader a bisexual woman (Clarke), but the fiercest fighter is a woman of colour (Indra), and her protégé is yet another woman (Octavia). The main doctor is also a woman (Abigail) and not forgetting the Latinx rocket scientist, Raven who never lets her chronic pain stop her. Basically, girls rule and boys don’t really do much.
A load of women with no place to go in the world after some fame. Stick them in a ring and make them wrestle. This is the hit new Netflix show from the same creators as Orange is the New Black. Women of colour, plus-sized women, British women, American women, the show is full of diverse and flawed characters, most of which are women. Some may say the lack of men was a risky decision, and some will call bullshit. The show works, it’s entertaining, it’s hilarious, it’s sassy, it’s fun, and most importantly, everyone will find at least one woman they relate to.