Should Hate Crime Be Punished Severely: Essay

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Gender plays in multiculturalism as part of the questions discussed in the class. Sexual discrimination is a serious problem that exists in American society. I interviewed my roommate Samantha (she wanted to remain anonymous so I will use an alias) to discuss this topic, and she is half-Hispanic and half-Native American. Samantha’s parents are both from Mexico, and they moved to the States and became citizens before Samantha was born. First of all, she talks about what certain conditions have to be met for her parents to agree with her marriage and what restrictions she has to follow to agree with them. Secondly, she explains why her mother was opposed to what she wanted to do and when she decided to be majoring in Engineering. Thirdly, Samantha describes how religion affects her life and plays unequally when she talks about gender. Lastly, she describes women's hate crimes in Mexico and how that affects multiculturalism. Based on the research and the interview that I conducted, the question “multiculturalism is bad for women?” is still an ongoing dilemma in our society today.

One of the examples that shows the inequality of gender that Samantha has been through is marriage. Her mother always forced her to get married to a White man who had blue color eyes, whereas her brother could go on a date with or marry someone he loved. Her race is Hispanic, but her appearance is different from the Hispanic people that we typically think of. She has blue eyes, a lighter skin color than White people, light brown hair color, and Native American bone structure. Her mother said that she could only marry a white man with blue eyes so that she could pass their genes to her children. Samantha says it is up to her to decide whom she wants to get married, and regardless of eye color, she wants to find someone with whom she can truly love and share her life. Nevertheless, her mother thinks that it is important and an acceptable reason why Samantha should listen to her. She says her younger sister is dating someone who is Mexican, but it is okay to do so, and her mother also agrees to do so since he looks White and has a blue-greenish eye color.

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Samantha is a transfer student at UCSD and majoring in an engineering major. At first, her mother wanted Samantha to be a lawyer which was her dream job, but she could not do so because of her father's opposition. Before she transferred to UCSD, she asked Samantha to do a part-time job in a lawyer’s office during summer vacation and found out that she never wanted to become a lawyer, and this was not meant for her. In her community college, she fell in love with physics and decided to be an engineer as many of her uncles are. When Samantha told this to her parents, they were against her decision because there are few female students in engineering majors, and it is demanding work for women when getting a job. Regardless of her ability and decision, they did not want her to become an engineer just because she was a woman. Her brother, on the other hand, encouraged him to become an engineer in the future and be proud of him that he will. Another story that Samantha shares is the sport. She used to play soccer when she was young, and she enjoyed playing it. As soon as her younger brother was born, her parents stopped her playing soccer and let him continue to play. They told her it was an expensive sport and they could not afford both of them to play, so she had to quit. After that, one of her aunts wanted her to participate in a cheerleading team at her school but she refused it. Until now her aunt is displeased with the fact that she is not one of the cheerleaders, in the past, she thought Samantha was a cheerleader and when she found out that she was not, she never treated Samantha the same way as she would be if she was a cheerleader.

This goes for her younger sister also. Her major is psychology and wants to become a police officer or an agent for the FBI. Their parents are worried that she has to get involved with the military. Women soldiers are seriously exposed to sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military which is one of the most serious cases of violence involved in women’s life. Sexual harassment and sexual assault of American women in the workplace are very common. According to a 2018 report released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agencies received 7,609 sexual harassment charges. Given that many victims are unable to file complaints for various reasons, it is estimated that there will be more cases of women being sexually harassed and sexually assaulted.

One of the rules that she has to follow is religion. Her family is Catholic, and she always has been told to marry someone who is also Catholic and have a wedding ceremony at a specific church that she goes to. Her mother would not accept to have a marriage if he did not practice Catholic, but Samantha thinks that the way her mother wants is different from hers. She says as long as he can understand and feel comfortable with her religion even though he is not Catholic, she can still have a relationship and religion is not very important to consider when it comes to a marriage. It is one of the problems in our society that women are facing today. Women are not free to live their lives and one of the factors that determine our own decisions. Religion is one of the factors that oppressed women for a long time, where women are told to keep their virginity until they get married, women should be dressed in formal attire, and follow the patriarchal tradition. In the article “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?” by Susan Moller Okin, she says “—common in much of Latin America, rural South East Asia and parts of West Africa—of encouraging or even requiring a rape victim to marry the rapist. … rapists are legally exonerated if they marry or (in some cases) even offer to marry their victims”. Most men think that when women lost their virginity, they are used items, and sinful, and by marrying rapist, women can at least have their husbands with this law.

On average, 10 women are killed every day in Mexico which makes it one of the most dangerous countries in the world. There are many reasons for this hate crime, but first of all, it is mainly due to poor punishment. The prosecution makes an unfair conclusion from the stage of investigation for such reasons as corruption and lack of investigative manpower. Therefore, they are often not even prosecuted. This applies equally to hate crimes as well as the rest of the crimes in Mexico. With no fair punishment, criminals tend to ignore the law, resulting in a further increase in the crime rate. Hate crimes are not solved by the efforts of either gender alone or are improved when all members are united.

The recent hate crime towards women happened in Mexico is about a Mexican woman who claimed her husband tried to kill her and was killed by him shortly about 3 weeks after the court released her husband, which sparked a frenzy in Mexico. According to the media, a 49-year-old woman named Abril Perez was shot dead by a gunman in a car in Mexico City on the 25th. The suspect, presumed to be a hitman, has yet to be caught. The bereaved family and acquaintances claim Perez's husband may be behind it. Her husband, Garcia, was booked in January after hitting her with a baseball bat while her wife was asleep. Perez insisted he was attempted murder, and Garcia was arrested. Earlier this month, however, Garcia's bail was allowed after the court lowered the charges of domestic violence. The judge judged that Garcia had no intention of killing his wife, saying he would have killed his sleeping wife sufficiently if he had tried to kill her. Violence against women is a problem that exists widely at all levels in the U.S. and Mexico also, and women's life safety, health, and human rights dignity are seriously threatened. First, women are the main victims of domestic violence. Second, there are frequent cases of 'minority' women who are foreign immigrants or immigrants being sexually harassed and raped. Third, the problem of women in prison becoming victims of violence is serious. Gender equality is an important content of social equality and one of the key issues in realizing social processes. As women in America are not properly guaranteed rights in terms of economic sector, personal safety, and health, complaints about their social status inequality and social injustice are mounting. The serious gender discrimination situation in the U.S. has inherently aggravated a very serious inequity situation in American society, and further divided American society.

In the article, Feminicide in Mexico: An Approach through Academic, activist and Artistic Work by Martha Patricia Castañeda Salgado, the author says, “The prevailing definition of femicide is the violent murder of a woman by the very fact that she is a woman (Russell and Radford, 1992)”. It is a woman's history of violence and the recognition of women as human rights subjects. The worst types of criminals that women could suffer are sexual harassment and rape. The impact of that social, political, and legal movement was a greater understanding of violence, but it was also an explosion of expression. Two important questions are still unanswerable, what are the causes and the motivation of feminicide? Domínguez and Ravelo (2003) pointed out several factors that might impacted it, “struggles inside organized crime, gory pornography, snuff films, satanic rituals, classist abuse based on the devaluation of women’s bodies, … women’s sacrifices to satisfy a misogynist hatred, … violence itself …”. It describes there is no one certain reason to define this phenomenon, however there is a connection between the factors that pressure and oppress women. Regardless of age, ethnicity, area, race, or economic status, all women can be victims of femicide. According to Cámara de Diputados in 2005, Nayarit was considered a dangerous place to live for women compared to Ciudad Juárez. In 2014, Estado de México was recognized as the most unsafe place as it had the highest level of women deaths. It is not happening in one specific place but hate crimes have been spread from one city to another, in Mexico country as time goes by.

The problem of gender discrimination in the U.S. is serious and multifaceted. The U.S., which claims to be a guardian of human rights, has yet to approve the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, a key human rights pact, and the issue of gender discrimination in the U.S. has been worsening day by day, seriously hindering the realization of women's rights. The deep gender discrimination tradition in the United States and the abolition of the system, especially the social system, result in fundamental obstacles that the problem of gender discrimination cannot be solved efficiently. Sexual discrimination in the United States has a deep social and historical cause. The 'people' referred to in the 'Independence Declaration,' a political syllabus of the founding U.S., do not include women and blacks. American women's rights have gone through many rough twists and turns. Women's rights are an integral part of universal human rights. Women's rights and reality are important symbols of a country's human rights situation.

In conclusion, gender and multiculturalism are some of the most important issues that are happening not only in the States but everywhere where women are present. One of the examples that I conducted from my interviewee is Mexico, where a lot of gender hate crimes are rising frequently. President Donald Trump continues to build a wall to separate and prevent any illegal immigrants coming from Mexico. There are still barriers and unfairness that women are facing today in the U.S., however, more and more women from Mexico desire to immigrate while risking their lives to have a better life. It is very difficult for the U.S. government to take active steps to solve the real-life problem of gender discrimination. While women in America have made progress on the path to equal rights in each field, many existing gender discrimination issues in the United States have severely hampered the realization and development of women's rights. As the world's largest economy, and a country with important status in the current global structure and global governance system, the U.S. should show a responsible attitude in terms of eliminating gender discrimination and ensuring women's rights and play an active and constructive role.

Works Cited

    1. “Abril Pérez Sagaón: Shooting Sparks Feminist Outcry in Mexico.” BBC News, BBC, 29 Nov. 2019,
    2. EEOC Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Enforcement and Litigation Data,
    3. Martha Patricia Castañeda Salgado. “Feminicide in Mexico: An approach through academic, activist and artistic work”.
    4. Susan Moller Okin. “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?”.
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