Many celebrities attended the Oscars last Sunday. During the evening, Patricia Arquette won the award for best supporting actress for her role in “Boyhood.”
After thanking those who made it possible for her Oscar win, she concluded her victory speech with a feminist homage.
“To every woman who gave birth, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all,” turning her speech into a battle cry for wage equality for other women around the country. She stated repeatedly that equal pay should be the next big thing.
Arquette’s speech brought approving cheers from actresses Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep, and included a round of applause from the crowd. She did not stop after she left the stage and continued to speak about the importance of equal pay in the press room after receiving her award.
While her heart was in the right place, she has received much controversy for her speech both on stage and back stage. Critics have claimed that her comments were insensitive, implying that the rights of white women were more important than those of women of color.
But in her acceptance speech when Patricia Arquette said “women,” she was including all women. Race is not something that should solely define who a person is, same for sexual orientation.
By using the word “women,” Arquette saved time during her speech to focus on the bigger picture, which was wage equality. She could have spent time listing off the types of women, but this would have taken more time than she was allowed.
Just like when someone says the pronoun “he” in a sentence, that person can include both men and women in his statement without having to take extra time to state “men and women.” Choosing to be conscious when speaking should not cause a social media uproar.
According to the White House, full-time working women earn only 77 percent of what their male counterparts were earning. Female lawyers make 82 percent of what their male peers earn, female physicians 77 percent and female financial specialists 66 percent.
This wage gap has affected all women, both white and of color. We need to remember that these comparisons that are being made is of a limited use, because men tend to work at jobs with higher pay and work more hours each week than their female peers.
Women should be given equal pay. If women are allowed to have the same rights as men and are being considered equal to men, why are women not receiving equal pay?
One of the biggest things that the feminist movement has accomplished was being able to obtain the right to vote.
It will take more than a speech from an actress to make change. While women may not be able to have equal pay, at least we can wear pants. Yes, women were denied the comfort of pants for hundreds of years. So, thank you feminists for fighting for gender equality.