Feminists have a long history of beefing with mainstream media. From damaging stereotypes to unrealistic beauty standards, lack of diversity, and sexist narratives — the laundry list of issues with the representation of women on screen is troubling. It's also disappointing considering women comprise a whopping 51% of audiences. For so long we’ve craved content we could connect with — authentic female experiences and perspectives. Enter: Netflix.
When Netflix first stepped onto the scene, we were just thrilled for a way to rent DVDs without leaving the house. We had no idea that the relationship would get so serious. Fast-forward to what’s now an on-demand streaming service and cultural phenomenon where women are noticeably less absent. With 50 awards under its belt, Netflix earned much of its success by representing and building a rapport with women.
Not to be mistaken with niche outlets that solely cater to women — Lifetime, for example — Netflix does the job without losing equilibrium. The beauty of Netflix is that you can jump between a female-driven show like Jessica Jones to something entirely different like Narcos. It’s these strides toward a more gender-balanced media that make Netflix so special. Only time will tell if they’ll keep the momentum going.
During a time when the media confines women to the peripheral and clings to the myth that female-drive content isn’t profitable, let’s count the ways that Netflix raised the bar and stole our hearts.