Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech at the recent Oscars drew quite a bit of attention. She spoke out about pay equality in America and drew thunderous applause.
“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.”
But some chuckled at the idea that a rich woman accepting an Oscar in a designer dress would talk about pay equality.
One writer — a female — even condemned Patricia Arquette’s remarks.
“Arquette’s political grandstanding played into every ugly stereotype about ‘feminism’ being about little more than some privileged white women trying to become more privileged,” Amanda Marcotte wrote in Slate. “Her comments were bad for the cause of equal pay and for feminism.”
Since then, Patricia Arquette has spoken to a United Nations forum about why she is using her time in the spotlight to speak about this issue. It is not some “give back” pet project. She has been there.
“People have asked me why I’m doing this, and it’s true, today I’m blessed, having some material success, for which I’m extremely grateful. But I have other truths, too. If I were to tell you as a child, there were times where I lived below the poverty line, literally not having shoes to wear that fit me, that would also be true. If I told you that I was a single mother at 20, and lived with my baby in a converted garage, and that I would worry about my baby’s nutrition while nursing, because I could only afford to eat macaroni and cheese mixed with water for a week so I could afford diapers, that would also be true.”