Patricia Arquette Defends Gender Equality Remarks Against Post-Oscars Backlash

Patricia Arquette, who yesterday won critical acclaim in the form of a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Boyhood and Meryl Streep acclaim for a rousing acceptance speech, has today been forced to defend comments made backstage that would at first appear to indicate she believed the LGBT community and people of colour should fight for gender and wage equality in much the same way women have long championed their causes. Apparently eschewing any notion that the three can often be mutually inclusive, or that one person could inhabit facets of all three identities.

Responding to a question from Network Ten’s Angela Bishop regarding Streep’s ebullient reaction, Arquette proceeded to elaborate on the topic of her acceptance speech with the following remarks:
“It’s time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t. One of those superior court justices said two years ago in a law speech at a university that we don’t have equal rights for women in America and we don’t because when they wrote Constitution, they didn’t intend it for women. So the truth is even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface there are huge issues at play that really do affect women. 

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 colour that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.
It’s that last part which hasn’t gone unnoticed by popular culture’s amorphous Greek Chorus, Twitter; the ‘backlash’ perhaps best exemplified by Australia-bound writer Roxane Gay (you can read more scathing reactions to Arquette’s remarks here via Mashable).
Arquette has since been moved to clarify her comments this morning – comments made under what must’ve been a great deal of pressure and with the kind of adrenalin coursing through her veins that only comes when you’re awarded the highest accolade at the zenith of your profession and you’re lucking if you don’t break down into an inarticulate, blubbering mess as a result. 

Really though, in all seriousness, if we’ve learned anything from Boyhood it’s that life is really hard, you can’t always do or say the right thing at the right time and that we’re all just trying to do our best; then, failing that, you should experiment with substances in the desert.

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