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Top 9 Feminist Shows to Stream This Summer

It’s finally summer, which means we could (and probably should) be outside enjoying the nice weather. Instead of getting in touch with the great outdoors, every once in a while we just want to kick back and relax in our cozy bed…and binge entire seasons of shows on your favorite streaming site. Here are some of our favorite feminist shows that will not only entertain but also empower you this summer.


1. Harlots

Margaret Wells, brothel-running businesswoman and East London native, must compete with Lydia Quigley, her old foe, to move up in the world and save her two daughters from having to repeat her mistakes. Be prepared for scandal, slaps, and 1700’s London. 


2. Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, in which Offred must survive in a dystopian society where women are seen as reproductive objects and must produce children for the high-ranking officials. Be prepared for the color red, inner monologues, and terrifying scenes of oppression. (Find our article on “5 Things You Should Know about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ here.


3. The Bold Type

Premiering on Freeform on July 11, the show is based on the life of Joanna Coles. Cosmopolitan’s Editor-in-Chief. Three newly hired young women at a rising magazine must figure out how to navigate New York and a new life. Be prepared for feminist quotes, cutting-edge fashion outfits, and ambition.


4. Ugly Betty

Fresh out of college, Betty Suarez is trying to find a job in magazine publishing—a goal she must accomplish quickly, or give up on her dream in order to help her working-class Hispanic family pay the rent. When Betty is unexpectedly hired as the personal assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Mode, the top fashion magazine at Meade Publications, she must navigate the world of high fashion…with no sense of fashion and a boss who wants her to fail. Be prepared for bold makeup, humorous one-liners, and a lot of plot twists.


5. Good Girls Revolt

Inspired by the real-life Newsweek lawsuit, where 40 women researchers sued the company for the right to have official bylines and article rights, Good Girls Revolt is based on the memoir of Lynn Povich, one of the women who helped win women the right to write. Patti, Cindy and Jane have to face the misogyny of their workplace while also trying to forge their own paths. Be prepared for Led Zepplin songs, real-life 60’s news issues, and journalism scenes.


6. The White Queen

Elizabeth Woodville (possible witch, definite beauty) falls in love with Edward the Fourth, the future king who has just captured the crown in a bloody battle of the War of the Roses. The only problem: her family and Edward’s are on different sides of the War of the Roses, and his advisor wants Elizabeth, (basically a commoner) out of the picture. Be prepared for royal scandal, English accents, and witchcraft.


7. Outlander

After she time-travels to the middle of a Scottish war, Claire Randall must figure out how to get back to the 1940’s even as she begins to fall in love with her new life, and fight (or embrace) her feelings for Jamie, the man who local villagers want her to marry. Be prepared for kilts, beautiful Scottish landscapes, and Stonehenge.  


8. Girlboss

Based on Sophia Amoruso’s bestselling memoir Girlboss, the series (executively-produced and written by women) shows the rise of Sophia from a little bit of a totally broke, dumpster-diving mess into the CEO of Nasty Gal, a multimillion dollar company built from Amoruso’s EBay business. Be prepared for killer vintage clothing, humor, and a relatable look at life in your 20’s.  


9. 10 Things I Hate About You

In a 90’s movie retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Bianca and Kat Stratford are modern day high school students—and sisters. Kat is the ultra-smart, ultra-anti-conformist older sister, and Bianca is the younger, popular sister who can’t date until Kat does, thanks to their overprotective father. When a new student develops a crush on Bianca, he tries to convince Patrick Verona, the town’s local delinquent, to date Kat. Be prepared for Feminine Mystique references, Australian accents, and sneakily added lines from Shakespeare’s plays.


If you’re looking for your new favorite show, you don’t have far to look. Get your fellow girl bosses together and get ready for a summer full of empowering female leads!

Photo Credit: 1

Gabrielle Barone is a freshman at Penn State, majoring in Print and Digital Journalism. In addition to HerCampus Penn State, she also writes for Penn State's newspaper, The Daily Collegian, and blogs for the scholarship website Collegexpress. She loves anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it, and reads way too much historical fiction.
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