Oh Patricia, you were so impressive in the TV series, Medium, using that brilliant psychic sense of yours to catch the bad guys while running intellectual circles around your hapless team members. You were magnificent to watch and had come such a long way since Nightmare on Elm Street 3. So what the heck happened during your Oscar acceptance speech? Did the shiny glare from the little golden man statue catch you off guard? Or perhaps you started the after party a little early, say on the limo ride over?
Let’s back up. Being a Patricia Arquette fan, I felt excited when she got the Oscar nod and eagerly waited for her acceptance speech. She looked both beautiful and honestly bewildered to have won the film industry’s top prize and the moment was endearing to watch, sweet even. Then she made her ridiculous statements about equal rights and wage equality for women and woosh, my gooey, happy thoughts disappeared, replaced by a strong desire to blow chunks all over my TV screen.
Don’t get me wrong, if she had been talking about repressed countries like Iran where a woman can be hung for adultery after being raped, or in India where 300,000-600,000 female babies are aborted yearly due to their perceived poor value I’d have been out of my seat right along with Meryl Streep, fist pumping away while shouting a hearty “you go girl”!
Unfortunately she wasn’t and when 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!” I cringed. Honestly, I was embarrassed for her. How could a woman whose risen to the top of her game in a notoriously cut throat industry and whose net worth is estimated at 24 million dollars stand up there and complain about pay inequality?
Granted I’m sure she wasn’t referencing her particular situation but really, doe she not know that laws against wage discrimination have been on the books since 1963 and that the “pay gap” myth has been thoroughly debunked? This has been shown over and over and over again. And what in God’s name was she talking about with that equal rights for women business? I’m a woman living in America and I have the same rights as men do, as does Patricia Arquette, as does every woman in the country.
It was galling really until I remembered that a lot of otherwise smart women also believe this poisoned narrative about the U.S. and it made me sad how badly it’s infected our culture and how poorly “first world feminism” is serving us. I wrote about this in an earlier post, saying….
“We hear this sentiment often as part of the War on Women strategy cynically conceived by lawmakers to make women believe they are victims of a structural sexism that keeps them down and the only way out is by voting a certain way.
How does this help anybody other than politicians fishing for votes? Drilling in to someone’s head over and over that the world is hopelessly tilted against them does nothing to encourage that person to look at themselves and how they can better their situation. Instead it creates a victimhood/savior mentality that steers people towards dependence on others and a bitter sort of entitlement that they are owed something.
Boiling down complicated issues to political talking points like this is so divisive as it pits one group against another (in this case men and women). For example on equal pay, you commonly hear that women make 23% less than men for the same work. Sounds crappy and unfair right? Yet if you dig in to the studies, as this Forbes.com article does , you’ll see many factors are involved like women cutting back on hours after giving birth and men choosing higher paying career majors like math and science rather than the humanities and education paths women tend to follow. Take these things out of the equation and the pay gap shrinks dramatically and when comparing single childless women to single childless men it almost disappears.”
Look I believe some women are discriminated against in the working world but feel the alarmism about it is way out of proportion to the amount of people this actually affects and there are plenty of legal paths open already to fighting it. The last thing we need are more laws/regulations which will actually make things tougher for women. We are already empowered now ladies, with full access to rights other generations fought so hard to give us. Stop letting others define you as a victim and just concentrate on enhancing your own life. You’ll be amazed how far this gets you.
So Patricia, I look forward to watching Boyhood, the film that brought you the Oscar but I think I will skip your next speech.