By Allison Nekola – Co-Editor-in-Chief
The recent Academy Awards drew in 36.6 million total viewers according to TV Guide, leaving me to believe there were many members of the Lasell community who also tuned in. The glamorous pre-show and musical performances usually compete for the best moments of the night, but both were upstaged when Patricia Arquette took the stage to accept her award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the film “Boyhood.”
The speech started off normally, with many thanks dedicated to her family, cast members, producers, and other predictable peers. Just as I was about to write this off as another boring speech from an overpaid celebrity, Arquette grabbed my attention.
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she said. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” My jaw dropped as I felt the adrenaline take its course through my body. The camera cut to Meryl Streep chanting and cheering, showcasing to the world what I and many others felt inside.
As a woman getting ready to emerge into the professional business world, wage equality is an issue I’m constantly faced with. I fear my abilities will be overlooked because of my gender, that a less qualified subject will get a better position than me because they are male.
I also worry that when performing the same tasks and taking care of the same responsibilities as my male counterpart, he will make more money than I will. I’m sure there are many other women on campus who have this concern as well, especially because the ratio of women on campus is higher than the men.
Women’s equality has become a popular theme in media lately. Actress Emma Watson has also been an advocate for gender equality. She helped launch the UN Women campaign called HeForShe.
The organization calls for men and boys to actively engage in gender equality advocation. I think HeForShe is an amazing opportunity to show that the fight for gender equality is not men versus women. It should be men and women working together to rid the United States of this type of discrimination.
I hope this ignites change and encourages women to stand up for what they deserve. The United States has gone through many changes, every decade giving purpose to a new issue.
It is time for all women to come together and take a stand against the discrimination we face, in the professional world as well as everyday existence. Women are strong. There are no limits to what we can do, from bearing the children who grow up to be leaders of countries, to becoming those leaders ourselves. It is also time for men to join women in this fight and try to make this country better.
I look forward to a future where we are all equal and do not have to worry about being overlooked just because our anatomy is different.