The Christian Feminist Guide to Netflix

Get ready to add some new shows to your list! I polled you all on Facebook and Twitter to find the Christian Feminist approved content on Netflix, and now it’s time to check out the findings. Search the categories of Drama, Documentary, and Comedy to find your new binge-fest.

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Qualifiers and Caveats

I tried to make sure that every show on the list contained references to feminism AND faith. There are tons of amazing shows with strong female characters and depictions of women’s voices, but not all of them fit this post. Also, please note that no show is perfect. There is obviously a huge lack of diversity and inclusiveness. I noticed in writing this that 99.9% of main characters listed look and act like myself, which is a good tip something is off. I have a limited scope that I’m working to enhance. Don’t see your favorite on the list? Let me know what I missed in the comments below!

Netflix

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Based on a series of detective novels, the Miss Fisher TV show is an Australian fan favorite. I watched it on a whim and soon became obsessed with the lead character Phryne Fisher and her wild ways of solving Melbourne’s grisly crimes. All the while, she fights for equality with her maid turned assistant Dorothy by her side. The best story line for me is the mild-mannered Dorothy learning to fight crime and stand up to her Catholic priest and Protestant fiancé when deciding what a woman’s place in a marriage should be. Gorgeous period costumes from the 20’s, character development off the charts, a loveable cast, and intriguing mysteries make Miss Fisher one of my all time favorite shows.

Call The Midwife

This one comes highly recommended via my social media poll. It seems you all can’t get enough of this highly acclaimed period drama. It’s often lauded for its portrayal of 1950’s London but you all seem to love it for its cast of interesting women living together as a faith community. The show is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and follows the lives of the nuns and nurses in the poverty stricken homes and hospitals of East London. After doing a bit of research, I think I’ll have to take my own advice and add this one to my queue.

Foyle’s War

Yes, I do have an obsession with period dramas. Thanks. But really, Foyle’s War may look like just another hardened male protagonist solves crime show, but that would be overlooking the fabulous Honeysuckle Rose as Sam. Not only does she have the best name, she quite literally saves the show with her heart, spunk, and ability to drive plot development. As the duo solve crime in war-torn Hastings on the coast of Britain, Sam shines with optimism as she battles being left behind in the man’s world of war and struggles to please her rector father who believes women don’t belong in the public sphere. She’s the real MVP.

NetflixBecause there’s more to Christian Feminism than putting women behind pulpits.

Forks Over Knives

Yeah, it’s about food. Bear with me. This documentary is one of the best teaching tools for understanding the impact of colonialism, greed, and violence on our diets and everyday lives. It’s what prompted me to start eating a plant based diet and take my social justice beliefs a step further. When you realize the issues with the meat industry, the McDonaldization of society, and the colonization of traditional diets is all leading to an increase in suffering, you have to take notice and act. I recommend this for anyone looking to live a life of less harm to the environment, themselves, and others. It changed my world.

Miss Representation

A classic, must-watch, and general slam dunk. Miss Representation will fuel your feminist fire as you learn about the representation of women in the media and its impacts. If you’re the one silently performing the Bechdel Test every time your friend shows you a new show (like me right now) you will love this. Filled with interesting data and feminist icons, Miss Representation is a great piece to watch alone or with a group of friends so you don’t have to catch them up when you rant about it for the rest of your days.

13th

I don’t think we can call ourselves Christian Feminists without acknowledging the issues of racial inequality in American culture. 13th is one of the best educational resources when you need an eye-opening experience to the state of racism in America. Focused on the impact of the 13th amendment and the continuation of slavery via our country’s prisons, this Netflix original documentary brings the word. Coming from a place of privilege, it’s important to educate yourself on the systems of oppression operating around you. It covers the topics your history class and sermons most likely left out, so be prepared to take some notes.

The True Cost

Another to flush out your feminism. If you’re starting to feel like these are veering away from the issue of female leadership in the church, YOU’RE RIGHT! If your feminism doesn’t take you to groups you’re not a part of then it’s not really feminism. Same for Christianity. That’s why learning about things like the garment industry and its overwhelming negative impact on women and the environment are so important. Think of it like leveling up. The True Cost is smart, compelling, and is another show that changed my life.

Netflix

What’s missing? Recommend more comedies in the comments!

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Already an incredibly popular show, Kimmy Schmidt was pretty much guaranteed a spot on this list. The entire premise is a woman was kept prisoner by a man with bad theology and then sets out on an adventure to get her life back. At that level, probably 95% of the people reading this might think it’s a show about their own lives. The show comes under justifiable fire for its stereotyping of minority group characters so do take note. I think they do better in the second season and that it’s possible to enjoy something with a critical eye.

Master of None

What’s a show about a man doing in my Christian Feminist post?! Well, I’m really only adding it for two specific episodes. In the second season, Aziz hit gold with the episode on discovering faith as a child of immigrants and the episode sharing the story of his best friend Denice as she battles coming out to her family of strong, traditional women. It’s a show that sparks discussion and one that can be surprising in its presentation.

Parks and Recreation

We love to love Leslie Knope as a symbol of empowered femininity, so I had to add Parks and Rec. If you never took the oath of a Pawnee Goddess, it’s a great time to catch up and find your womanly roar. The faith aspect is minimal in regards to the main characters, but I find plenty to comment on when it comes to the small town Indiana life the show presents. If you grew up with puritanical purity culture then you’ll love Leslie’s constant battle with the town fundamentalist over censorship issues and more.


Time to Pop the Popcorn!

Happy watching, friends. Please share your additions and amendments in the comment section below. And if you’re looking for a friend to

4 comments Add yours
  1. Interesting list. I haven’t heard of too many of these.

    About a month ago I rented “Brimstone.” It’s an extremely difficult story to watch, but it’s well worth it. Some early American religious settlers and how women were treated by some pretty extreme Calvinism.

  2. Great list! I’ve watched a number of these but my fav was Foyles War. As you noted, Sam is a fabulous character! I recommend the Australian show, Dr. Blake’s Murder Mysteries as well. Primary character is a man but there are two strong female characters as well. ?

    1. Thanks, Gail! I loooove a good mystery. Will check it out. Glad you agree on Sam. She’s highly underrated.

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