Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood – a movie which, as far as I can tell, is about that oft-untold story of growing up as a middle class White male in suburban America – and used her acceptance speech to champion equal pay for women, which elicited a church stomp from the audience. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why Arquette’s statement was being viewed as so groundbreaking.
Equal pay for women is not an unacknowledged issue in America. We have a President who consistently acknowledges the wage gap and signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as one of his first acts of his Presidency. The phrase “Lean In” has been sprayed on social media like confetti for the past two years – to the point that Jessica Williams of The Daily Show was forced to defend her statement that she wasn’t qualified to transition into hosting the show post Jon Stewart’s retirement. And frankly, the reason why the wage gap is still so wide is largely due to the disparities for women of color. Black and Hispanic women get 64 and 56 cents on the dollar respectively – but I guess Ms. Arquette didn’t have time to point that part out.
She did have time to elaborate on her statements after the awards ceremony, however, saying the following: “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.”
Put down your #BlackLivesMatter t-shirts everyone! The fights for both Black and LGBTQ civil rights are apparently over and it’s White women’s time to shine.