Disappearance and Murder of Women - Critical Thinking Example

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Boston College
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Critical thinking
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Every human being has a right to life regardless of the gender, race or social status. However, some situations lead to killings in the society which can target a certain group. The disappearance and murder of people in the society is an issue that the government and media need to carefully address and find the cause as it is a crime. Missing Women Missing News is a book that is based on sixty local women who disappeared between 1978 and 2002, and most of them were street-level sex workers in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside (Hugill, 2010). The government, as well as the media, seem to link the issue on the social and political environments of the area while there is an underlying historical past issue that could be the main reason why the women in Vancouver are disappearing and being murdered. Based on the reading, there are different issues related to the conception, construction, and production of disappearance and murder of the women as written by Hugill.

Hugill has argued that there is police negligence on the disappearance of the women as no stringent measures have been taken since the disappearance and murder cases began. The police who need to be concerned and competent in handling the issue seem reluctant and unbothered with the cases as there was no official response made on the incidents. It is unfortunate to see the disappearance and murder of sixty women, yet the government through the police fails to find the cause of the issue. Lack of concern by the police is a way of encouraging the perpetrators to go on with their actions hence a form of conception of the crime.

The women were linked to street level sex work which is a sex trade practiced to enable them to acquire necessities such as food and clothing. According to the reading, the media seems to focus its argument on the sex work being unacceptable in the society as a reason that could have led to the murder cases. They fail to fully study historical issues such as racism and political grounds that could be the reason why women are being murdered. The issue has occurred for over 20 years hence indicating that there could be a history of the crime and the media needs to look deeply into the matter to enlighten the community on it. Lack of accurate information from the media drives the wrong information about an issue and it can affect how it will be dealt with by the public or government officials (Jewkes, 2015). On the other hand, the image of sex trade portrayed about the women makes them be considered as people with bad morals and socially distinct from other women which is another reason why people are less concerned about them (Gilchrist, 2010). Lack of concern by the press is a sign of negligence on women in the society and a factor that has led to the continued killings from 1978 to 2002.

The reading has expressed Downtown Eastside as an area that supports criminality and chaos. The zone is portrayed as detestable and dangerous-hence violence and instances of murder such as those that occurred to the women being common. The political and economic patterns of the area have led to the crime issues however the government and media have focused on the crime levels in Downtown Eastside as a cause of the disappearance of the women as well as their murder. The murder of the women may have resulted from the crime levels in the city at some point however the fact that the killings focus on women who are aboriginals is beyond normal social crimes and safety needs to be offered to all women.

Discussion Questions

Are there NGOs that women can approach to protect them from racism and discrimination in the society?

Are similar murders likely to occur in todays society based on women empowerment policies?

Is the society allowed to punish street-level sex workers due to their morals?

Are there ways citizens can be compensated when the government or police neglect to investigate and act on continued murder cases that are linked?



Gilchrist, K. (2010). Newsworthy victims? Exploring differences in Canadian local press coverage of missing/murdered Aboriginal and White women. Feminist media studies, 10(4), 373-390.

Hugill, D. (2010). Missing Women, Missing News: Covering Crisis in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Winnipeg: Fernwood.

Jewkes, Y. (2015). Media and crime. Sage.


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