I was reading a book and came across stats on hate crimes in the United States, and began thinking about the various signifiers we consider protected under hate crime legislation. It led me to this thought:
Why isn't violence against women on the basis of their gender considered a hate crime?*
I don't necessarily have an answer to this and I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. However, gender (along with race, sexual orientation, disability, etc) is protected under the equal protection clause, so it's notable that it's not included. Protecting gender under hate crimes laws would change how street harassment, sexual violence and rape cases are viewed, in my opinion.
I can certainly think of many acts of violence done specifically against women and girls because they are women and girls.
*Edit - added "on the basis of their gender" added 2/26 at 11:30 EST for clarification reasons.