I watched "Boyhood? and really enjoyed the movie. It is a sweet story about a boy growing up in a household after his parent's divorce. Patricia Arquette was very good as the boy's mom, but I have never really thought much about her. I knew she has won a lot of awards for her performance and I think her acceptance speeches have been just fine, until tonight.
Watching the Academy Awards, Arquette predictably won the Oscar for best supporting actress. She got up to give her speech, like she did at the other awards ceremonies. As she got to the end of the obligatory thank you's, her words began to come more rapidly. This is not what I had seen before. In a hurried fashion, trying to get the words out before the orchestra started playing, she raised her Oscar and declared, "We need to make sure that women are paid equally." She went on about pay inequity and and the struggles of female workers. Meryl Streep and other women in the crowd started clapping their hands over their heads. It was so cool.
When the movie "The Interview" was protested by North Korea, and the Sony emails were leaked, some interesting facts came out. In "American Hustle." Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale. Why? There was no explanation, but women actors typically are paid less than men, even when women such as Lawrence and Adams are major audience draws.
Our society pays women less than men, and women of color are paid considerably less than men of any color, but especially white men. Gender pay inequity is so ingrained in our society that it goes unquestioned. There is excuse after excuse, but the fact remains, women are paid less than men. Single mothers are oftentimes hard-pressed to pay their bills. I grew up in a household where my parents were divorced,. My very intelligent mother worked hard, but we hardly got by and my grandparents helped subsidize our living expenses. We could not live on my mother's wages. There is no good reason that men should be paid more than women. It has been 50 years since the the Equal Pay Act was passed outlawing pay discrimination, but women still make $.76 for every $1.00 a man makes, on average.
It was so unexpected and wonderful to hear Patricia Arquette. It's about time that women are valued monetarily, where it counts in our society. Good for Arquette!