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Feminism Takes Oscars Front Seat

Though nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards made the whole thing look like a White Boys Club, the best highlights of the awards show featured women pushing back.

From Robin Roberts' red carpet interviews focusing on the work not the gown, and culminating in Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette's call for equality, women captured the social media buzz before, during and after the show.

In Arquette's 90-second acceptance speech, which got a fist pumpingly enthusiastic reaction from fellow nominee Meryl Streep, Arquette said, "To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America." The crowd in Hollywood and millions on Twitter erupted with gratitude for Arquette's words.

But the elation didn't last long. In the Oscars press room, Arquette expanded on what she only hinted at in her televised speech. She said, "It's time for women in America and all the men, all the gay men, the people of color, to fight for us now. We need federal laws that are comprehensive." Critics say her words ignore the fact that women's rights also affect people of color and those working on behalf of LGBTQ causes.

Still, there were more great moments for women last night, starting with the hashtag #askmemore, an effort to get reporters on the red carpet to take women's work in Hollywood more seriously. Rather than asking "who are you wearing" or zeroing in on nails and jewelry with the intrusive and superfluous "mani-cam," the #askmemore campaign urged the pre-show coverage to discuss, you know, the role for which the manicured actor had been nominated.

"This is a movement to say we're more than just our dresses," Reese Witherspoon explained. "We're so happy to be here and talk about the work we've done. It's hard being a woman in Hollywood or in any industry, so it's exciting for me to get to talk to other nominees about the hard work they did."

Women dominated in the documentary category. All the winners were female: Director Ellen Goosenberg Kent and producer Dana Perry won Best Documentary Short Subject for their film "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1." Director Laura Poitras won for Best Documentary for "Citizenfour," a film about Edward Snowden and the NSA. Julianne Moore won her first Oscar for her role as Alzheimer's sufferer Alice Howland in "Still Alice."

Finally, Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews performed a series of songs from "The Sound of Music" in honor of the film's 50th anniversary. Pairing those two? Show-stopping, girl power genius!

Image via Twitter

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