On Sunday’s 87th Academy Award celebration, Patricia Arquette took the stage upon winning Best Supporting Actress for the groundbreaking film Boyhood.
The speech that followed beckoned to some 45 million viewers and over 6,000 academy members in an effort to illuminate social injustices faced by women. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
The speech was well-received by peers and fans as many expressed their admiration for Arquette on social media. However, it was a statement following the acceptance speech that has not been short of controversy.
Continuing the dialogue on wage equality in the pressroom, Arquette stated “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 fought for to fight for us now.”
Women of Color Wage Gap
The tact that marked the Boyhood actress’ words onstage seemed to have been nonexistent in the aforementioned statement. While there is indeed a wage disparity among women as compared to their male counterparts, the wage gap for women of color is worse.
Perhaps the uproar this statement has caused is due to Arquette’s exclusion of women of color and the LGBT community in the pursuit for equal rights.
No, it is not okay that en are paid, on average, 78% of what men are paid. Likewise, it is not okay for individuals within the LGBT community to be deprived of civil rights. Furthermore, economic disparity experienced by people of color is not a thing of the past either. Finally, there are women within these groups experiencing the same injustices that Patricia Arquette is calling into question.
If a conversation is to be held concerning issues of injustice, we can never exclude those suffering the most. Arquette’s statements seems to do just that and helps highlight the true underlying message; that there is still work to be done to ensure that no citizen is deprived of their unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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