Patricia, Meryl, JLo, and Feminism on Oscar Night
Jason Merritt/ Kevork Djansezian/ Kevin Winter/ Frazer Harrison/ Gregg DeGuire/ Lester Cohen/ Getty Images
I did not see that coming from Patricia Arquette. I thought that, if she made a ‘statement’ in her speech, which we all knew she was going to get to do, that it would be about women, and how it’s hard to be a mother, and respecting the quiet people in your life – akin to what Simmons said, and to what Arquette has said in past interviews.
Instead, Patricia Arquette dropped the mic: “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!”
And then Meryl Streep began to cheer, and JLO beside her. Look at the two of them cheering together, like the last triumphant scene in a movie:
Then we had to take a sidebar from the timely arrival of prime time feminism in order to celebrate Meryl and JLO, the best friendship in real life or social media of our time. Look at this picture!
But you can’t read about Arquette’s quote without reading that backstage she said something kind of awkward. That it was time for all the ‘men who love women and gay people and people of colour to fight for us now’.
I understand why this phrasing is not ideal, and I suspect she meant that, “This is the next great issue that affects all of us that we all need to attack together”. Still, not great.
What I hate is that everyone now behaves as though her first sentence, about wage equality, is no longer important because she made a mistake with a later one. Why are we discounting her very valid statement that women – all women – should be able to expect wage equality with men?
The point here – the reason the JLO and Meryl moment was so great – is that we need all women to band together to demand equal pay to ever have a hope of getting it. I would rather have flawed people speak up, even with mistakes and omissions, than have no one say anything at all.