12 Must-See Shows Starring Women That Aren’t About ‘Finding A Man’

Why is that “finding a man” qualifier important? Because EVERY SHOW/MOVIE about a woman or targeted toward women no matter how professional or intelligent she is supposed to be is about finding love.

The implication has been and continues to be that women need to find a man in order to be complete and happy because they are just hot messes who need to be “taken care of.” From the professional women on Sex and The City to the lawyers on Ally McBeal to stupid romantic comedies and all the female action heroes who are still saved by their male counterparts at the end of the movie. It’s annoying and it wouldn’t be if there were different kinds of stories being told but for the most part there isn’t. Until fairly recently women weren’t “allowed” to be leads in TV dramas simply because people don’t take us seriously, people often can’t imagine women in positions of power because they either don’t believe we can do it or is too unfamiliar to them. Shows starring women are seen as for women, where as shows starring men are see as for everybody.

Want to know if the show you are watching is sexist? Use The Bechdel Test. Here is a list of movies which are considered “great movies” from The Shawshank Redemption to Toy Story that fail the test.

  1. It includes at least two women,
  2. who have at least one conversation,
  3. about something other than a man or men.

Sounds easy enough? LOL. It isn’t. The test was intended for film but it can work in just about any storytelling media. Most shows have at least two women although some do not. The next two parts are the most difficult. If in any story all the women talk about is men then their characters are essentially being defined by men. If the female characters are only talking to men, their characters only exist to be in service to men (like the Manic Pixie Dream Girls of Garden State and Elizabethtown). However these shows pass the test and are critically acclaimed.

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    1. james228 says:

      a definite must watch for everyone. love this blog post…

    2. Ally says:

      I like how a good majority of these shows are on HBO and Showtime.

    3. JoeC says:

      What? No Game of Thrones? Several of the main storylines revolve around strong women who aren't looking for a man.

    4. PNTPIRATE says:

      You forgot the killing . The point of the show is to "get that man" but in a different way.

    5. Bastet says:

      Unfortunately, none of these shows appeal to me.

    6. jesuschrist says:

      big surprise – they're all skinny white women! The Bechdel Test isn't a foolproof method for seeing if something is feminist. This article is badly written and weak overall.

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