What Patricia Arquette Said Back Stage, Will Carry More Weight in the Fight For Women’s Rights Than Anything She Could Have Said During The Oscars.

I have to admit that I didn’t see Patricia Arquette’s live speech on Oscar night this year, but I did see the meme of her speech on Facebook first thing the next morning and I did repost it on both my business Facebook page and on my our Instagram.  And in an effort to stay up on the trend, I also decided to post her backstage comments within the comments of my Instagram post, with out giving it a good enough read.

By mid-day I saw the heat Patricia was receiving, and almost in the way you quickly bail on your friend at a party who has said something out loud you know just isn’t right, I deleted her entire meme and comment off of our Instagram page entirely. 

By the evening, I regretted deleting the post, one because I felt her first statement was so necessary and so right on, and two because instead of deleting her backstage quote from our page and pretending like it never happened –I wished I had taken the time to address what she did say.  This is when I realized that what Patricia Arquette had said in her second, backstage quote – actually inspired more of an important conversation than her original, awe inspiring, crowd raising, night at the Oscars speech.

At Baby Caravan, we have been coaching women returning back into the work force after maternity leave for the past few years. The women who attend this class come from all walks of life; all different background and the new families they have formed follow no particular standard.  The one thing everyone has in common is that they are women returning back into the workforce with a new set of standards and new priorities.  

Our classes have been filled with women retuning to all different types of work, all different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, biracial families, single mothers and same sex couples.  But the work is always the same.  It’s about emotionally supporting these women.  Reminding women that they are good enough, that they deserve a career, that they deserve to make as much money as everyone else and that they aren’t abandoning their child by going back to work. 

I have never met Patricia Arquette, and I don’t pretend to know what she was thinking or feeling when she made the unfortunate comment on Sunday night that came out sounding as if gay women and women of color were not included in the national fight for women’s rights. But the conversation that has unfolded over the past few days is one I feel is way more important than any one-liner from a Hollywood celebrity on a night dedicated to an industry run by rich white men. 

It’s the point that, if we as women are going to be picking up the proverbial mic and delivering powerful statements in front of millions of people.  And our hope is to motivate the women of America to fight for the rights they are entitled to under our Constitution.  If we aren’t including every single type of woman that inhabits this country in that statement – then we shouldn’t be picking up the mic at all.  Because the truth is, if we aren’t talking about EVERY woman, black, white, gay, transgender, Asian or Hispanic, than we aren’t really talking about equality.

Jen Mayer