Patricia Arquette accepting her 2015 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award

While you may know Patricia Arquette from movie roles ranging from A Nightmare of Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, released in 1987, to Holes, released in 2003, it was her role in Boyhood that put her upon the Academy Award stage. Filmed from 2002 to 2012, Arquette received wide praise for her role, but it was her Academy Award acceptance speech that would lead to praise of a whole other kind. In the speech, Arquette demanded equal rights, propelling her as a prominent activist in the fight for women’s equality. Now, a little over a year later, Arquette hasn’t stopped in her plight to bring equality… and she’s bringing you with her.

Arquette is hungry for change and dedicated to making it happen. That’s why she’s asking you to sign her petition and help force lawmakers to recognize the need for an Equal Rights Amendment. In case you need a refresher, here’s a quick history lesson. Originally introduced in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. It demanded equal rights for women and as with all battles for equality, it was a controversial and highly debated amendment. The Equal Rights Amendment was sent to state legislatures for ratification in 1972 and – if you can believe it – 44 years later, it is yet to be ratified in order to be made a federal law. It’s 2016 and women face wage discrimination, lack of healthcare, fight against the right to abortion, amongst other issues. Arquette wants this to change, are you with her?

"Equal Means Equal" filmmaker Kamala Lopez and Patricia Arquette
“Equal Means Equal” filmmaker Kamala Lopez and Patricia Arquette

Arquette, filmmaker Kamala Lopez, and the Equal Rights Advocates (a women’s nonprofit) teamed together to launch a Change.org petition to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Without this amendment, rights that should be simple, such as equal pay, are left to be altered, changed, and discussed, rather than simply given. Arquette also can be seen in Lopez’s documentary, Equal Means Equal, which examines both real-life stories and precedent-setting legal cases in which women have failed to be properly equalized in the United States. Lopez reveals the truth behind the laws that claim and yet, fail, to protect women, showing the need for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

While many women and men think that females are covered by the law, the truth is that they are not. Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February (and has yet to be replaced) reminded the public,

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

He saw the problem, Arquette sees the problem, Lopez documented the problem for all to see: women deserve equal rights and we need the amendment that allows for it. The Untitled Magazine has signed the petition. Have you?

The “Equal Means Equal” Trailer

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