Go Girl, Go!
So by now, we’ve all heard, seen, ranted, and raved about Patricia Arquette’s rally cry for women this past Oscar Sunday. The Boyhood starlet finally got to add a famed golden statuette to her already impressive shelf of acting accolades and after thanking a vast variety of people including her fellow nominees, her parents, her boyfriend, and “favorite painter” Eric White, the Academy’s newly appointed Best Supporting Actress eased right into a poignant bit about gender equality.
“TO EVERY WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH, TO EVERY TAXPAYER AND CITIZEN OF THIS NATION, WE HAVE FOUGHT FOR EVERYBODY ELSE’S EQUAL RIGHTS. IT’S OUR TIME TO HAVE WAGE EQUALITY ONCE AND FOR ALL, AND EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
It was short, it was sweet, and unsurprisingly, it resonated with women in the audience and women at home– women everywhere. It brought Meryl Streep to her feet, it caused Jennifer Lopez to shout in delight. It was truly a phenomenal occurrence that outshine any other tweet-worthy moment from this year’s star-studded Hollywood ceremony.
Backstage in the press room, Arquette delved even deeper:
“It’s time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t,” she said. “It’s time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”
Yes, it is our time. Now. It has and probably should have been starting a long (long) time ago. As a nation, we’ve come so far in terms of race, sex, religion, you name it. Yet besides successfully combatting a few political, social, and cultural inequalities over the years, nothing entirely spectacular has occurred in the name of women’s rights since the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment– and that was ninety-five years ago. Progress? I think not.
To this day, a wage gap still exists and needs desperately to be closed. According to the White House, full-time working women earn just 77% of what their male counterparts earn. Thanks to the recent Sony hack, we are similarly reminded (time and time again) of the discrepancies between male and female salaries that occur even in such a ‘liberal’ industry as film and television. Let’s just state the obvious: systematic gender discrimination is engrained in our society. And that needs to change.
So thank you, Ms. Arquette for your proverbial message, for your wise words. As a woman in the entertainment industry, as a woman in America, as a woman in general… I wholeheartedly agree.
Our. Time. Has. Come. Enough said.