International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the triumphs and successes of women overcoming diversity and making a positive change in the world.
Thankfully, Netflix, Amazon and Sky have an abundance of series and documentaries on hand for a little female education.
Whether it be trying to smash the patriarchy from the root, celebrating trans rights or fighting for a just cause, there are plenty of women in history to be thankful for changing the world bit by bit.
As a result, there are plenty of women to celebrate and emulate, with legacies that have surpassed them and have carved our world into a better and more accepting place.
Here’s just seven shows and documentaries you can find online that marks real-life women succeeding in their own way.
Becoming: Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is a groundbreaking former First Lady, with her reach, efforts and charity work far outweighing that of just being known as ‘Barack Obama’s wife’.
In Becoming, Michelle tracks her life and how it laid the groundwork to her becoming the woman we know her as now, as well as the influence she has had on women, particularly Black women, across the world.
Aiming high from a young age, Michelle talks about her balance of work and home life, and the key to her success.
It’s a pretty emotional and powerful watch, and she’s only just beginning.
Becoming is available now on Netflix.
The Crown has its controversies, but is a gripping portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign of Great Britain over the past 69 years.
While the monarchy is known for its secrecy, the show creates fictional conversations around events that are historically noted, including her marriage to Prince Philip, her decision making behind palace walls, and the immense pressure to bow to a patriarchal society despite being a reigning monarch.
Claire Foy depicted the Queen during seasons one and two, and Olivia Colman took over during three and four. Imelda Staunton will now take her place for the final seasons.
The Crown is available on Netflix.
The Life and Death of Marsha P Johnson
American activist Marsha P Johnson has become legendary in her own right thanks to her fight for LGBT rights and central role at Stonewall in 1969.
Marsha’s life was tragically cut short in 1992, when her body was found in New York’s Hudson River.
It was ruled a suicide but friends fear that she was murdered, with attacks on the gay and trans community prominent at the time. To this day, transgender people in America remain a target of hate crimes and murders simply for existing.
The Life and Death of Marsha P Johnson celebrates everything Marsha achieved in her life as unapologetically herself, those fighting for justice for her death, and the legacy that she doesn’t know she left behind.
The Life and Death Of Marsha P Johnson is available now on Netflix.
It’s A Sin
It’s A Sin is Russell T Davies’ fictionalised version of his experiences during the Aids crisis – apart from one character, who was so inspired by a real person he refused to even change the role’s name.
Lydia West played Jill Baxter, who was based on Russell’s close friend, Jill Nalder, was an activist, confidante and nurse to her friends as they all contracted HIV.
Acknowledging the support network she provided for his own circle, Russell later cast the real Jill as Jill’s mum, and in the show she’s seen protesting for financial aid for the HIV crisis.
Jill later spoke about her real experiences, and what she had to endure.
‘The response has been overwhelming and I think we all feel It’s A Sin is so important because it is real history that needs to be told,’ she said.
‘Without it, stories like this would remain in the dark.’
While It’s A Sin is not based on her in particular, her incredible real-life story inspired hundreds to Be More Jill.
It’s A Sin is available now on Channel 4.
Mrs. America focuses on the story of the Equal Rights Amendment in the US, and the feminists of the era that helped the bill pass in the 70s.
Told through portrayals of real life women including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and Shirley Chisholm, the show also shows the backlash from conservative women including Phyllis Schlafly.
The bill completely changed the political landscape and, while fictionalised, Mrs America taps into the fight for women’s voices to be heard.
Mrs America is available now on BBC iPlayer.
Battle Of The Sexes
The Battle Of The Sexes is a famed 1973 tennis match between retired men’s champ Bobby Riggs and women’s Wimbledon winner Billie Jean King – but the documentary explores so much more than that.
Billie Jean was a pioneer and feminist, and called out the unfair limitations placed on women in the sport – which unfortunately is still prevalent today, with most tournaments paying women 20% less than men in their prize pot.
That same year, Billie Jean formed the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the US Open became the first tournament to offer equal prize money.
Of her eventual victory, Billie Jean said: ‘I really wanted to inspire the younger generations to go forward and fight for equality.
‘Because every generation does have to start over, every generation does have to fight for it.’
She also unwittingly triggered discussions on abortion, and in later years came out as gay, falling in love with her doubles partner Ilana Kloss in the 80s.
The 2013 documentary paved the way for a film to be made about that match, with Emma Stone playing the iconic star.
Battle Of The Sexes is available now on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV.
This Changes Everything (2019)
Geena Davis spearheads this all-star documentary that focuses on the under-representation, pigeon-holeing and misrepresentation of women in film.
Made in light of the #MeToo movement, This Changes Everything interviews A-list stars about the treatment they received by professionals throughout their career, including criticism about their weight, looks and age, and the discrimination they faced by the men in charge.
Meryl Streep, Rashida Jones, Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Oh, all give their voices to their experience in the film industry.
Credit: Original article published here.