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At the Academy Awards last Sunday, as you might recall, Patricia Arquette took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a single mom in Boyhood. She brought the house down (and Meryl Streep to her feet) when she used her acceptance speech as an occasion to sound off on the topic of socioeconomic equality for women.

“It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women,” she declared.

Whether or not you think the Oscars are the appropriate venue for political commentary, this is not a terribly controversial position. Arquette’s real trouble came when she elaborated on her views backstage:

[…] the truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women. And it’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.

This well-intentioned, impassioned rush of words was met with an onslaught of crash-course think pieces on intersectionality, problematic pronoun use, and ill-informed celebrity activism (not to mention the usual Twitter outage, which was livid and glib in equal measures.)

Negotiating the tangle of issues at play, Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post has illustrated the proper way to respond to Arquette’s remarks with this witty flowchart-of-no-escape.

[via Washington Post]

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