A photo of Patricia Arquette gives her acceptance speech after being awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress on February 23, 2015.
Arquette passionately said, "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America." This line provoked a strong response from females in the audience, especially from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez who applauded her plea.
This response was to be expected, for women are still receiving significant lower pay than men. On average, women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. African American women earn on average 64 cents for every dollar a white man earns. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 and said that "much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity - for the average woman worker earns only 60 percent of the average wage for men." Since 1963, America has only made slight changes to this unequal ratio. Fifty-two years later, women only make 18 more cents for every dollar a man makes, when the ratio should be equal. Clearly, this issue needs more awareness if it takes over 50 years just for women to earn 18 extra cents.
Patricia Arquette used her freedom of speech this Sunday night, and I think it was entirely appropriate. The Oscars were seen by 34.6 million people on Sunday. By advertising her views to millions of people, Arquette spread awareness of the issue regarding inequality in pay. After winning an Oscar, she had a choice of what she could say, and she chose to highlight a huge issue America is having today that needs to be solved.
What do you think of Patricia Arquette's Oscar acceptance speech?