Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015
Actress Patricia Arquette continued her rallying call for equal pay Tuesday night at the UN Women’s Planet 50-50 by 2030 event, which commemorated 20 year anniversary of the historic World Conference on Women in Beijing. She was one of many women to take the stage and call for gender equality on a roster that included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Melinda Gates, to name a few.)
During her Tuesday speech, Arquette doubled down on her call for pay equality and took steps to correct her previous comments, making sure to include all women in the quest for equal incomes.
Of course there were still a few foibles. Arquette started on shaking footing, seemingly unused to the advocacy platform that so many politicians are used to holding, and at the international event, geared towards tackling women’s rights on a global scale, Arquette chose to focus solely on the United States. However, as the speech built to a crescendo, it was hard to ignore Arquette’s passion, power and how important it was that she even chose to stand up. Excerpts from the speech are below.
Arquette began by addressing critics who took issue with her speaking out for wage equality due to her successful acting career and material wealth.
“I want to tell you, as a child there were times where I lived below the poverty line, literally not having shoes to wear that fit me….If I told you that I was a single mother at 20, who lived with my baby in a converted garage, and that I was afraid for my baby’s nutrition while nursing because I could only afford to eat macaroni and cheese mixed with water for weeks, so I could afford diapers that would also be true.
“But truer still is that my past hardships are irrelevant to why I’m here. I’m not a longstanding activist. I’m not an academic, but there’s something that I am that compels me to speak out. And it’s not because I’m an actor or a women. It’s simply the fact that I am a human. I am an American. I see what is happening to women in America.”