In case you missed the Oscars last night, here’s a run down of the important things that happened: it was the whitest Oscars since 1998 and yet another white feminist stuck her foot in her mouth. Patricia Arquette, won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in Boyhood. Now, we didn’t see the movie, so we’re not going to comment on it. What we are going to talk about though is her extended acceptance speech backstage.
The quote pictured above seems harmless right? Wait! There’s more.
We told you she put her foot in her mouth. Does someone have documentation of these white women, Patricia Arquette specifically or even Meryl Streep and JLO who heralded her for mentioning women’s equality on stage, fighting for us? I’m sorry, but for as long as I can remember, mainstream White feminism has erased women of color and LGBTQ women.
We do not owe you anything. Our fights are not the same.
Particia Arquette made specific references to women’s wage equality and her speech would have you think “women” means ALL women – don’t be fooled. Here are the facts, when taken from a report created by the AAUW compared to non-hispanic White men:
- White women are paid 78% of what white men make
- Asian American women are paid 90% of what white men make
- American Indian and Alaskan Native women are paid 59% of what white men make
- Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women are paid 65% of what white men make
- African American or Black women are paid 64% of what white men make
- Hispanic or Latina women are paid 54% of what white men make
So, yes, it does suck that white women are paid less than their male counterparts. But, women of color experience wage inequity at even higher rates. We’re not here to play the oppression olympics game but does Patricia Arquette know this? How inept can she be to ask women of color and LGBTQ women to “fight for us.” We do not owe you anything. We could be partners in the struggle to all get free, but women of color and LGBTQ women are not going to cape for white women. You do not get to go first and if you do reach the promise land of “women’s equality” it will not and should not be on the backs of women of color and LGBTQ women.
We are not going to fight for people who rarely, if ever fight for us. I don’t quite understand how white feminists can ignore the experiences of women of color and LGBTQ women at every juncture, but I’m tired of it.
You do not speak for us. You are not the leaders of our movement to get free. But please know, we will get there, with or without your help. Because, its 2015 and it’s time that solidarity is for everyone, not just white women.