Actress Patricia Arquette injected a dose of gender politics into a Oscars already riddled with racial tension, lamenting wage inequality between the sexes during her acceptance speech and driving Hollywood into throes of frenzied applause.
Taking the stage Sunday to accept the best supporting actress award for her work on the film Boyhood, Arquette used her platform to lambaste America for its backwards approach to women’s rights.
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she said. ”It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America!”
The audience roared as fellow nominee Meryl Streep took to her feet. “Yes! Yes!” she shouted, pointing passionately to the stage.
As many economists have pointed out, the “women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar” line is a fallacy. A 2009 Labor Department report found only a 5-cent disparity between men and women’s pay, chalking up any perceived variance to different career and family choices and a female tendency to value non-monetary benefits more highly than men.