My Favorite Netflix Documentaries About Women 2016

Here’s a list of the Netflix documentaries on women’s issues that I’ve watched. These first six are my favorite, fantastic and highly recommended.

*If you prefer to watch a video than read; scroll to the end to watch my YouTube video.

  1. Miss Representation

“The media is so powerful and it’s messages are everywhere. It sells the idea that girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in their capacity as leaders. Boys learn that their success is tied to dominance, power, and aggression. We must value people as whole human beings, not gendered stereotypes.” From the website

Here are some statistics that the documentary mentioned:

  • 53% of 13-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies
  • 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies
  • 65% of women and girls have an eating disorder
  • 17% of teens engage in cutting and self-injurious behavior
  • Rates of depression among girls and women have doubled between 2000 and 2010


From the company that made Miss Representation, The Mask You Live In is the boys’ equivalent. It’s really good too.

In That Gal… Who Was in That Thing: That Guy 2, actresses talk about their personal lives and balancing family responsibilities with being a professional actor. I list this one because it addresses some of the same issues.

  1. The Women’s List

The Women’s List is a set of intimate interviews with 15 women, all trailblazers in their respective fields. The interviews touch on a range of topics including addiction, being a mother, their own mothers, their childhood, careers, politics, advice to girls, miscarriages, the “have it all” myth, and amazing moments in their lives. You will laugh and cry. There is a variety of ages, professions, and ethnicities. I LOVED it!

  1. The True Cost

This one is about the fast fashion industry and the consequences of buying into it. Girls of all ages should watch this because we are the buyers and we are the targets of fast fashion and need to know the implications of our choices.

You can find the graph I used in the video here:

Harvard Business Review’s article “The Female Economy”: 

  1. The Hunting Ground

The Hunting Ground is about the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States and the failure of college administrations to deal with it adequately.  It’s shocking and disturbing to hear not only their rape stories but the college administrators’ responses when they were told.

  1. Mission Blue

Mission Blue interviews Sylvia Earle on her life and work, and the state of the oceans. She has had an astounding career and influence on her field, marine biology.

  1. Brave Miss World

Brave Miss World tells the story of Miss Israel, who was abducted, stabbed, and raped at age 18, six weeks before representing her country in the Miss World competition. When, to her shock, she was crowned the winner, she vowed to do something about rape.

After watching these, you’ll need to watch something happy!

Twinsters – Just a happy, amazing story.  It will make you smile and cry happy tears. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that there is good in the world.

MaidentripLaura Dekker, a 14-year-old sailor, sets out on a two-year voyage to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone. But it’s about sooo much more than that. She finds herself, her family, her place in the world, and analyzes her relationship with her peers, which was always awkward because she never bought into their definition of what is cool and how she should be. I really enjoyed it and while I still would never want to sail around the world it, was inspiring.

A Ballerina’s Tale Misty Copeland becomes the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre.They discuss why that is such an amazing feat, and the impact it had on African Americans, all girls of color, and the future of ballet.

I must confess, it did not make me want to put my girl in ballet class. I might be crucified for saying this, but it just looks to me to be an unhealthy activity for both the body and the mind.

History Lesson!

The Ascent of Woman – From the movie’s website: “A groundbreaking four-part documentary series originally created for BBC2 in the UK that charts the role of women in society over the course of 10,000 years.”

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry – On the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971.   

What Happened, Miss Simone? – A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the “High Priestess of Soul.” – From IMDB website

Three documentaries that are hard to watch!

Hot Girls Wanted – “A first-ever look at the realities of the professional “amateur” porn world and the steady stream of 18-to-19-year old girls entering into it.” From the website

“More people visit porn sites each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined! Amateur porn sites are becoming more and more popular.” From the movie

Tricked – “Considers the evolving sex trafficking landscape as seen by the main players: the exploited, the pimps, the johns that fuel the business, and the cops who fight to stop it.” From IMDB

Sexybaby – “An ex adult film star, a 12-year-old-girl, and a 22-year-old who yearns for “normal” private parts are chronicled in this thought-provoking documentary about how porn, social media and pop culture affect women and girls.” From the website


After Tiller – “Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, there are only four American doctors left who openly provide third-trimester abortions.” From the website

Just wanted to mention…

First Comes Love – Single at age 41, Nina, the filmmaker and narrator, decides to have a baby on her own and films the whole process.

Girl Rising – No longer on Netflix. 🙁 The stories of nine girls from developing countries overcoming great obstacles to obtain an education and change their fates.

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