Feminist Faves: 10 Women-Led Television Shows to Celebrate 2021

Since we appear to be in one of the dark timelines, it shouldn’t be any wonder that a lot of that good comes to us in the form of fictional media.

These 10 shows that came out this year captured my attention because of their distinctive and dynamic women characters. Most of these shows were created by women and/or employ many women as writers and directors of individual episodes. All of them feature compelling women protagonists or co-leads. 

Pushed to be Betty Draper, I Was Always More Like Don

Despite growing up in the age of Mad Men, as a child, I was more like Don Draper than his wife Betty. At 16, it was in the pages of Ms. magazine that I realized I didn’t have to be either one.

Ms. gave me my first feminist click, that moment of recognition and I had a name for what I long felt. Feminism. Like their first cover girl, any one of us could be Wonder Woman. Or a cover girl. The pages were filled with women filmmakers, athletes, sculptors, writers, lawyers and activists. In time, I discovered I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t in order to be who I was.

Keeping Score: House Passes $1.2T Infrastructure Bill; Justice Sotomayor’s Powerful Dissent on Behalf of Texas Women; Men Have Two-Thirds of News Bylines

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in in this biweekly round-up.

This week: COVID-19 pandemic reaches death toll of 5 million globally; House passes $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill; State Dept. issues first passport with “X” gender marker; Michelle Wu is first woman of color elected Boston mayor; and more.

#TimesUp: Hollywood’s Lack of Progress and Failure to Believe In All Women

Four years after #TimesUp brought public attention to the entertainment industry, calling out a widespread problem of sexual abuse, we reflect on the present state of the industry and how it continues to fail women, especially women of color.

While progress has been made—it is slow moving and lacks diversity. The entertainment industry works against women and people of color, portraying a sense of inclusivity that realistically is limited to a select few. Hollywood continues to cast doubt on their ability to deliver high value, quality media; despite the significant role women and people of color had in shaping the industry.