Madeline Howard

Building your own corporate, media, or fashion empire can be exhausting.  That’s why there comes a time in every bSmart woman’s week when she just wants to take a break from work and unwind with some much needed TV.  She turns on the screen, but realizes that she doesn’t want to completely lose her mind in brain-numbing reality television or the latest Food Network competition.  Instead, she wants to watch something where she can physically relax, but also entertain the always-active feminist conscience in the back of her mind.  So she turns to her Netflix account, where she knows that an abundance of female-empowering options are only a click away.  


Watch 'The Crown' on Netflix here!

Here’s what she may be watching:


Some of the most well-received feminist documentaries are available to watch on Netflix.  They cover a wide range of female-centered topics and give a bSmart woman some major issues to focus on helping as she strives for world domination.  The Hunting Ground explores the nature of sexual assault on college campuses, more specifically the failure of many universities to properly address such incidents.  While it is on the intense side, it’s still a must-see for bSmart viewers.  Miss Representation, like bSmart, examines (and critiques) the way in which media negatively portrays women and limits their ability to recognize self-efficacy.  In partnership with Miss Representation is The Mask You Live In, which scrutinizes the American culture of hypermasculinity and the destructive manner in which we raise young men in this country.  Mask would be especially informative for bSmart women who are also mothers raising young boys or bSmart women who work in a field that directly concerns young people.

TV Shows

While there are many binge-worthy shows circulating the live-streaming scene as of late, there are a few that would be of particular interest to a bSmart viewer searching for a series with a feminist undertone.  New to Netflix is Girlboss, a show that loosely repaints the story of Nasty Gal creator Sophia Amoruso’s rise to fame and internet-shopping success.  Audiences watch Amoruso suffer through financial troubles as a young twenty-something, giving greater insight into how she started her business from essentially nothing.  There are also old seasons of How to Get Away with Murder, the show that features actress Viola Davis as a powerful and unstoppable lawyer that navigates the way for her law students as they find themselves in troubling situations.  This show would especially satisfy bSmart women who are also lovers of Shonda Rhimes and her other classic creations.  Set in a different time period than Girlboss and How to Get Away with Murder is The Crown, which depicts the life of Queen Elizabeth II, who rose to power at a young age and at a pivotal moment in global history.


While the selection of feminist movies on Netflix is arguably smaller than its other categories, there are still a few solid choices in the films: 10 Things I Hate About You, Queen of Katwe, and Southside With You.  10 Things is an adaption of the Shakespearean play, The Taming of the Shrew.  It features a high school teen whose independent mindset is perceived as aggressive by the male members of the student body.  Queen of Katwe is a newer film released by Disney that is based on a true story about a young girl from Uganda who becomes skilled at chess, which brings forth many hopeful opportunities for her future.  Southside tells the story of how Barack and Michelle Obama met while both doing work in Chicago.  For those bSmart women missing the inspiring nature of our former president, this movie may be right for you.


These documentaries cover a range of topics to help the bSmart woman as she strives for world domination.


These Netflix shows will surely add some stimulating relaxation to any hard-working, bSmart woman’s day.  Next time you want to take a break, try out one of these female-empowering options and find yourself inspired and ready to get back to work as soon as the screen turns black. 


Madeline is a student-athlete at New York University studying English Literature and Journalism. Given her school’s location in Manhattan, Madeline loves to explore the city and document her various adventures on her blog, You can also find her wandering around  bookstores searching for her next read and sipping an iced coffee. For a more holistic view of her creative and professional style, check out her portfolio website,


Comments (3)

  1. Angelina Eimannsberger

10 Things I Hate About You and Southside with you are amazing recs I have heard mixed things about The Crown, will check it out

  1. Smitha Devadas

Wow, what a great post... I am going to get started right away. I personally enjoyed watching The Crown. So much ground to cover. Thanks a lot for this Madeline. More power to the "female-empowering options that are one click away"

  1. Meagan Hooper

Loved The Crown and Miss Representation! Need to watch The Mask You Live In and Hunting Ground! Thanks, Maddie!

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