Feminism has become quite the controversial topic over the past few years. Gender inequality has been a quiet force that has been working against women for decades. In recent years, society has begun to take a stand against this epidemic. The media, to reflect the recent societal change, has started to create more TV and movies that portray strong, empowered women. If you consider yourself to be a feminist, here are five TV shows that you need to be watching.
1. "New Girl"
The premise of "New Girl" is original and funny: a very feminine and vulnerable woman moves into a loft with three men after she breaks up with her long-term boyfriend. The guys, Nick, Schmidt and Winston, need to learn how to live with a woman in their lives that they are not looking to sleep with. They treat Jess like an equal and with respect. Jess is not afraid to stand up for herself and she knows her value and self-worth. Her female friends are just as important as her relationships with the men in the loft, and Jess' best friend Cece is a big part of the show. This show is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming and everyone will love watching Jess and the guys live their crazy lives in Los Angeles.
Key Episodes: "Jess and Julia" and "Walk of Shame"
2. "Orange is the New Black"
Have you ever seen a more diverse female cast? And in a prison, no less? These characters represent all different types of women from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as all different religions and sexualities. But since the setting is a prison, all of that is stripped away and these women relate to each other on an even playing field. It's a funny show filled with drama, love and life that anyone can relate to.
Key Episodes: Literally all of them
Where to Watch: Seasons 1 - 3 are available on Netflix, season 4 premieres on June 17
3. "30 Rock"
If there is any character that understands what it's like to be a woman living in the 21st century, it's Liz Lemon. Tina Fey portrays a woman who is working a 24/7 job as the head writer for a sketch comedy show. The focus of this show is Liz's job and the conflicts she faces in the workplace. Yes, she tries to find love throughout the course of the show, but that is never the main focus of the series. Liz is powerful, focused and not here for your gender stereotypes.
Key Episodes: "TGS Hates Women"
Where to Watch: The entire series is available on Netflix
4. "Parks and Recreation"
"Parks and Rec" is essentially the mecca of feminist TV shows. Leslie Knope is a warrior for gender equality. She essentially runs her small parks and recreation department and she pours herself into her work. Even Ron Swanson, the most masculine man on the show, once said that he doesn't "consider myself an anything -ist, but my life has been shaped by powerful women. My father once told my mother woman was made form the rib of Adam and my mom broke his jaw." You should only watch this show if you're not afraid of powerful depictions of awesome ladies.
Key Episodes: "Pawnee Goddesses" (A.K.A. the Treat Yo Self episode), "Galentine's Day," "Lucky," "Women in Garbage," "Pie-Mary"
Where to Watch: The entire series is available on Netflix and Hulu
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Everything you need to know about the series is in the theme song, the most important line being "Females are strong as hell." Kimmy has been rescued from an underground bunker where she has been held for 15 years. She re-enters the world with a seventh grade education and the desire to change the world. As Kimmy navigates New York City, she learns a lot about the world, herself and what it means to be an independent woman.
Key Episodes: "Kimmy Goes Outside!" "Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!" "Kimmy Kisses a Boy!" "Kimmy Rides a Bike!"
Where to Watch: The entire series (which is only two seasons for now) is available on Netflix
And now, to leave you with some words of empowerment from feminist queen Tina Fey ...