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Patricia Arquette: Women’s struggles make me cry

Published 24/06/2015

Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette thinks women need to take back the word feminist.

The 47-year-old won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood earlier this year. During her speech she spoke about the need for wage equality and equal rights for women in the United States. Four months on, it’s still an issue that she is extremely passionate about, so much so that it often stops her from sleeping.

“You know what? I cry a lot at night thinking about how many women are struggling, how many kids are struggling,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “So many women are single moms, so, people will say to them, ‘lean in,’ ‘be more assertive,’ or ‘if you are too assertive, you're a b***h, you’re too aggressive.’ Women are being told these mixed messages and we know a lot of women are single moms, so, they are not in a great bargaining position to begin with.”

While Patricia’s focus is on helping improve things for women in real world jobs, she also spoke with the outlet about the disadvantage that actresses often find themselves in in Hollywood. In her opinion, the industry has always had a bias of age.

“We've just seen this with Maggie Gyllenhaal being told she’s too old at 37 to play opposite a 55-year-old man. We see it with Zoe Saldana almost getting turned down on a job because she’s pregnant,” she continued. “We are the only wealthy nation on earth that doesn't have some sort of paid maternity leave for women, as if we’re supposed to just plop our citizens out and run back to work two seconds later. It’s obscene.”

While the actress is aware it’s a huge issue that will take time to address, she does think women can do something to help towards achieving equality.

“We need to take back the word feminist,” she said. “We’re still dealing with some outmoded concept of feminism from the 70s that women are men-haters or some insanity like that. You know, that was such a bad spin.”

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