Patricia Arquette: The Tireless Gender Wage Gap Activist

Fast becoming quite the gender equality activist, Patricia Arquette used her appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on March 11 to talk about an issue close to all our hearts—the gender wage gap.

Who can forget Arquette’s impassioned speech when she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood last month. She used her precious 30 seconds in front of Hollywood and the almost 40 million viewers worldwide to demand wage equality: “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” Meryl Streep and J-Lo went wild.

This came on the heels of Arquette revealing that over Boyhood‘s 12-year filming life, she wasn’t adequately paid (especially since the film raked in over $44 million worldwide despite a puny, by Hollywood standards, $4 million budget). “It’s important to me as an actor to be able to make a living, but I’m going to tell you something—I paid more money to my babysitter and my dog walker than I made on Boyhood and to be in Boyhood!” she told WENN.

But for her appearance on Letterman, Arquette didn’t just bring bold statements—she did her homework. “The reality is 40 percent of the families are female-headed, there’s millions of relationships where both parents are working—they’re all getting affected by this gender inequality,” she began. “There are 42 million women and 24 million children hovering in and out of poverty because of this.”

Arquette then went on to highlight how not only gender but also race influences pay, lamenting about how Latina women make 55 cents and African-American women make 64 cents to every white man’s dollar, respectively. “Clearly women are not being paid fairly,” she said. “At this rate… it’s going to take until 2058 [to achieve wage equality].”

“It’s just strange in 2015 that we’re living like we’re in 1915. Why women aren’t making the same wages as men is unimaginable.” Totally agree with you there, Patricia.

Watch the full segment below:



Title image source: LA Times



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