Actress Patricia Arquette inspired many with her acceptance speech addressing gender and pay equality at last month’s Academy Awards, but a Vancouver woman is taking Arquette’s message one step further to promote gender equality and help local women in need.
“It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women,” said Arquette in her speech, to the loud cheers from Hollywood’s elite including Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez.
“For me, what was extra awesome about that moment was Meryl Streep jumping out of her seat, cheering her on,” says Vancouverite Valerie Connelly. “I started thinking that you have these moments where great things like that are happening, and so often we just let these things die. So I thought, I’d keep the momentum going.”
Connelly says she was inspired to launch a website called patriciaismyhomegirl.com,where she is selling t-shirts with all proceeds benefiting a number of local organizations that support women, including Vancouver Rape Relief Centre.
The t-shirts say “Patricia is my homegirl” and sell for $30 a pop.
Other organizations benefiting from the initiative include Canadian Women’s Foundation, Saving Innocence and Equality Now.
“I have never done anything similar before, but the feedback has been great so far,” says Connelly. “I volunteer on my own with the Rape Relief Centre, so it was something that was dear to my heart.”