Entertainment

Patricia Arquette calls for renewed fight for women's rights

The Oscar-winner spoke to The Big Issue.

Patricia Arquette has called for a renewed fight for women’s rights in the face of pay inequality and abortion laws.

The actress has said she faced unwanted “sexual energy” as a teenager, and issues facing women remained “subterranean” for years.

Arquette has said opposition to women’s rights is now out in the open, and must be challenged.

The Oscar-winning star has said legislation introduced in the US could see the regression of gender equality.

Speaking to The Big Issue, she said: “We’re watching women’s rights, as far as abortion, get rolled back incredibly quickly in America. Even in cases of rape and incest, in some states, abortion is being made illegal.

“I think we are seeing, in plain sight, a big struggle between women’s rights and women’s equality and the resistance to that. It’s being played out right in front of us.

“For many years, it was very subterranean. It was still happening but everyone was acting like everything was fine.

“Now it’s right in your face and you’re having to look at it. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We have to keep fighting.”

Arquette said she has been the subject of unwanted sexual attention during her life, and as a young teenager the sexual intent of men around her was disturbing.

She said: “At 16, I was struggling with being a girl in the world and feeling like I always had to defend myself from this sexual energy being put on me. It was a very creepy feeling.

“I didn’t want to feel that energy coming from men.”

The full interview with Arquette can be read in The Big Issue, out today.

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