Volume 38, Number 2: ERA

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In March 2015 actress Patricia Arquette gave an acceptance speech at the Academy Awards for her role as a supporting actress, her remarks designed to raise awareness of the unequal status of women in the United States. To a standing ovation of women, including actresses Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, Arquette called upon “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.” Backstage, after the speech, she expanded on her comments, specifically targeting the shortcomings of the American Constitution, which she argued was written for men. She stated, “The truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface there are huge issues that really do affect women. And it’s time for all the men who love women, and gay people, and others, to fight for us now.”1 Her speech generated more public dialogue about the Equal Rights Amendment than had been seen in decades.