One of the most frustrating aspects of this scarcity is that we know just how significant an influence powerful female, scientist role models can have on young women.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this power has come to be known as the “Scully Effect.” Named for Special Agent Dana Scully, the medical doctor and FBI agent who was one half of the investigative team on “The X-Files”, the Scully Effect accounts for the notable increase in women who pursued careers in science, medicine, and law enforcement as a result of living with Dana Scully over the nine years “The X-Files” ran on Fox.
The show has been off the air for more than a decade. Yet the character of Dana Scully remains a powerful example of how a dynamic female character whose primary pursuit is science—not romantic relationships—can have a lasting impact on our culture.
I am watching this show for the first time 20 years after it aired and I am fucking furious that in those 20 years our culture has barely even attempted to produce and celebrate female role models in the same league as Dana Scully.
"She removes her wig, her eyelashes, her makeup, never breaking eye contact with the reflection of her natural self. It’s an intimate, powerful moment television doesn’t often show: A black woman removing all the elements white supremacy tells her she has to wear to be beautiful, successful, powerful." (x)