Was Patricia Arquette's Oscar Speech Unethical or Authentic?

By: Sarah Lehberger

I ask this question because her intentions are currently under fire for the political statement that she made on stage during her acceptance speech at the 2015 Academy Awards. Is it acceptable for someone to promote their values and beliefs in a public or more social platform? Is it possible for professionals to infuse their convictions, knowledge or ideology into their own personal brands? Or should we fear the possibility of being critiqued or questioned for our integrity, ethics or intentions enough to hold ourselves back from speaking our truth?

Patricia's bold statement that demanded gender equality has been viewed as both brave and controversial by news outlets and the public. "To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights," Arquette said in her speech. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America."

So I'm curious. Have we decided as a nation that it is better to be politically correct than it is to be passionate about our beliefs? Have we made the conscious decision to be generic or just like everyone else so we don't risk being unloved? Are we so afraid of being unique (weird), that we opt out of being our true (outspoken or gutsy) selves?

Patricia took a stand and although she is being criticized for being less inclusive (once she headed back to the press room), we shouldn't overlook the fact that what she did took guts! Was it perfect? No. And you know what? That's life folks. Nothing is perfect. We simply have to try our best, and if we stumble... well, then we get to try again tomorrow. Instead of bashing Patricia or her intentions, I think it's time we start applauding her for opening up the dialog. I think it's time that we start to celebrate the spirited and fearless women who are taking risks and being brave, even if it means they are putting themselves up for scrutiny.

I don't know about you, but I am ready for women to lead the efforts in sharing their authentic selves. I want to hear women share their convictions. I want to hear us talk about our beliefs and the greatest risks that we have taken to stand by them. I want to learn about your ideology and culture. I want to know about the causes you support. I want to see how you are infusing all of these things into your life, personal brand and career? I want to see you stand tall and share all of your incredible success stories. I want to be inspired by you. I want to witness all of the change in our world.

All because she is being authentic.

Sarah Lehberger is a Fairfield County, Connecticut photographer, writer, speaker and mentor for small business owners. Sarah specializes in celebrating the spirited life of unstoppable women. @sarahlehberger