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Video: Patricia Arquette's Amazing Oscar Speech Calling For Wage Equality

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Patricia Arquette won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, and she took the opportunity onstage (with a powerless Oscars orchestra) to stump for wage equality in a righteous, feminist speech:

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.

She might've been bested for the award, but Meryl Streep was all about Patty's speech (along with J. Lo):

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Arquette also gave a shoutout to her charity GiveLove.org, which works to bring ecological sanitation to in the developing world.

Update (9:15): Backstage in the press room, Arquette took a few questions about her speech.

on whether she saw Meryl Streep's reaction


I hugged her afterwards. She's the queen of all actresses, patron saint of actresses. So, it's amazing, but it is time for us. It is time for women. Equal means equal. And the truth is, the older women get, the less money they make. The more children... the highest percentage of children living in poverty are female‑headed households. And it's inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don't [have them]. One of those Superior Court justices said two years ago in a—in a law speech at a university—we don't have equal rights for women in America and we don't because when they wrote the Constitution, they didn't intend it for women. So, 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 are applied that really do affect women. And it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now.

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on whether working women should also be more assertive in the workplace in demanding equal pay
Again, I think we need federal laws that are comprehensive; in different states, they have altogether thrown out the [Voting Rights Act]. People think we have equal rights; we won't until we pass a Constitutional amendment in the United States of America where we pass the Equal Rights Act once and for all and women have equal rights in America we won't have anything changed. I'm wearing a dress my best friend designed. We have been best friends since we were 7 and 8 years old. I think she was the first person who ever said to me, what do you want to be when we grow up? We were standing next to her Barbie Dream House. I made fun of her because she played with a Barbie and my mom wouldn't let us have Barbies. She said, what do you want to be? And I said I want to be an actor. What do you want to be? She said, I want to be in fashion. And she became a great fashion designer and she designed my gown, so it's like wearing love. And we started an organization, GiveLove.org. And instead of getting a manicure, which I was supposed to do this morning for that dreaded Mani Cam, I ended up trying to pull pictures because we started a sweepstakes this morning for our charity to do ecological sanitation in the world.

Now when I saw Harry Belafonte's picture up there, I remembered my mom. She was an Equal Rights activist, she worked for civil rights. And this is who I am. This is the whole who I am. I love my business, I love acting and I love being a human being on earth and I want to help. I never saw this moment in me winning an Academy Award. I never even thought I would be nominated and I was okay with that. But you know what I did see? I saw many things that have come true in my life, and one of them was helping thousands and thousands of people, and I have, and I will, and I will help millions of people. Thank you.