With a deadpan wit way before it was cool for females to be wry or to toe the line of sexual ambiguity, Bea blazed the way for women’s lib by ignoring the social constructs of the 70s and using television as her platform on the seminal show Maude–(which lay ground for shows like Roseanne later on) by covering taboo topics such as “divorce, menopause, drug use, alcoholism, nervous breakdown and spousal abuse. A prime example, "Maude’s Dilemma”, was a two-part episode in which Maude’s character grapples with a late-life pregnancy, ultimately deciding to have an abortion.“
She continued to speak-up even after her death:
Bea Arthur left $300,000 in her will to a New York organization that aids homeless gay youth.
The Ali Fornay Center provides services to more than 1,000 each year, and is planning to buy a building to house 12 young people - and name it in honor of the ”Golden Girls“ actress.