Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

Womenstake, NWLC's Blog

Why You Should Pick Agent Scully for Best Female Character on TV This March Madness

Posted by Erin Longbottom, Online Outreach Associate | Posted on: March 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

Was it an oversight or government conspiracy that federal agent Dana Scully of The X-Files was left off of NWLC’s March Madness bracket? The truth is out there folks — Agent Scully deserves a fair shot at this title. Let me break it down for you:

From the beginning of the show, Scully is presented to us as a remarkable woman. The FBI (at least in the X-Files universe) is heavily male-dominated, but Scully takes it in stride. She’s never afraid to advocate for herself or her partner when it comes to defending their all-important work of revealing the government’s cover-up of UFOs.

Read more... Add new comment

C.J. For President

Posted by Mia Jacobs, Program Assistant | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 05:51 pm

In May 2006, The West Wing series finale aired to an audience of 8.1 million viewers. In the seven years of the show, characters tackled and engaged the viewers in challenges spanning the scope of American domestic and foreign policy: terrorism, gay rights, oil dependency, the war on drugs and countless global conflicts. But The West Wing also brought its audience into conversation on more personal issues, pushing us to question the definition of family, professionalism and responsibility. One of the most enduring and relevant (though often overlooked) issues The West Wing brings up is the place of women in the workplace.

Read more... Add new comment

YOLO: You Obviously Love Olivia

Posted by Brandie Temple, Well Woman's Benefit Hotline Coordinator | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 05:30 pm

The crime procedural Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (known simply as “SVU” to many) premiered in September of 1999 as a spin-off of regular Law and Order. The opening monologue has since been etched into our collective conscience, thanks in part to seemingly endless reruns and frequent marathons on cable networks (not that I’m complaining). SVU is the longest running TV drama in the U.S. and one of the few mainstream shows that deal strictly and poignantly with crimes like sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, which disproportionately affect women and girls.

Read more... Add new comment

Nyota Uhura and Her Never-Ending Mission to Promote Equity

Posted by Alicia Gurrieri, Program Assistant | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 04:43 pm

In 1966, race riots and voting rights marches pervaded the United States. Not helping the struggle for black liberation were film and television roles that rendered black characters with offensive stereotypes which perpetuated (and still perpetuate) racial inequity.  As one of the first black actors with a substantial role, Star Trek’s Nyota Uhura (portrayed by Nichelle Nichols) paved the way for many black actors and explorers to come.

Star Trek offered a revolutionary vision in which problem-solving  was motivated by inclusion, optimism, and diversity. Uhura, whose name stems from the Swahili word for freedom, promoted racial and gender equity during times of intense social maelstrom. As communications director, Uhura dedicated her work to understand differences among languages to facilitate peaceful negotiations.

Read more... Add new comment

Knope We Can: A March Madness Write-In Campaign

Posted by Amanda Hooper, Outreach Manager | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 04:00 pm

NWLC’s March Madness bracket is jam-packed with powerful women from TV shows spanning past decades, but for me there was one glaring omission: Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope.

Expertly played by real life goddess (and my imaginary best friend) Amy Poehler, Leslie Knope became America’s favorite waffle-loving public servant and spoke to a generation of young women with dreams of careers in government and politics.  Leslie is ambitious, strong, and a powerhouse but is also flawed, vulnerable at times, and human. She’s a multi-dimensional character who grows and evolves over the show’s seven seasons.

It was sad to bid Leslie farewell as Parks And Rec came to a close this February, but her influence as a TV feminist icon continues.  Here’s why she deserves to win the NWLC March Madness bracket:

Read more... Add new comment

5 Reasons Not to Let Obamacare Opponents Turn Back the Clock

Posted by Anna Benyo, Senior Health Policy Analyst | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 01:24 pm

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reached a major milestone. It’s been five years since President Obama signed the landmark law to end discriminatory insurance practices and provide more options for women to get affordable health coverage. Despite over 50 votes to repeal, defund or dismantle the ACA—and several election cycles—the ACA survived its first 5 years, mostly intact. During those years, we’ve made remarkable gains.

Here’s a quick recap of five great things the Affordable Care Act does for women:

Read more... Add new comment

"The People's Budget" Lives Up to Its Name

Posted by Julie Vogtman, Senior Counsel and Director of Income Support Policy | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 09:53 am

I’ve been writing quite a bit about the budgets from the House and Senate Budget Committees this week, and it’s all rather discouraging—especially since proposals that would have devastating consequences for low-income women and families are couched in misleading language about “expand[ing] opportunity” and “building an economy that works for all Americans.” So today I’m happy to write about the budget plan introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called “The People’s Budget.” Its sponsors say the plan “drives a full economic recovery by creating high-quality jobs and reducing family expenses,” and “creates fair tax rates for millionaires and provides needed relief to low- and middle-income families.” And guess what? It actually does!

Read more... Add new comment

Happy Fifth Birthday, ACA!

Posted by Stephanie Glover, Health Policy Fellow | Posted on: March 23, 2015 at 09:40 am

Can you believe it? The ACA is already five years old. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the law’s passage. Today, we can celebrate the law’s continued success.

It’s clear the law is working. Because of the ACA, women are protected from discriminatory health insurance practices, health coverage is more affordable and easier to obtain, and women have better access to many of the health services they need.

Read more... Add new comment