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White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS Ruby Hamad details the damaging habit of white women deflecting criticism and defining their hierarchical role above Black, Indigenous, and people of color. As Hamad explains, when White Women reflexively cry when their own power is challenged, they simultaneously cede power to their subjugation by the white supremacists patriarchy while also asserting the class privileges that come with being a White Woman, therefore empowering further colonialist structures. Exploring pop culture, internet outrage, the archetypical roles society tries to wedge BIPOC women into in order to dehumanize and subjugate full advantage of  them, Hamad has written an indispensable tool for women looking to fight against their training from centuries of colonialism and capitalism but also for BIPOC looking for validation that, yes, this has happened to you too. 

— Luis


Called "powerful and provocative" by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the New York Times bestselling How to be an Antiracist, this explosive book of history and cultural criticism reveals how white feminism has been used as a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color.

Taking us from the slave era, when white women fought in court to keep "ownership" of their slaves, through the centuries of colonialism, when they offered a soft face for brutal tactics, to the modern workplace, White Tears/Brown Scars tells a charged story of white women's active participation in campaigns of oppression. It offers a long overdue validation of the experiences of women of color.

Discussing subjects as varied as The Hunger Games, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the viral BBQ Becky video, and 19th century lynchings of Mexicans in the American Southwest, Ruby Hamad undertakes a new investigation of gender and race. She shows how the division between innocent white women and racialized, sexualized women of color was created, and why this division is crucial to confront.

Along the way, there are revelatory responses to questions like: Why are white men not troubled by sexual assault on women? (See Christine Blasey Ford.) With rigor and precision, Hamad builds a powerful argument about the legacy of white superiority that we are socialized within, a reality that we must apprehend in order to fight.

About the Author

RUBY HAMAD is a journalist, author, and academic completing a Ph.D. in media studies at UNSW (Australia). Her Guardian article, 'How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Color, ' became a global flashpoint for discussions of white feminism and racism and inspired her debut book, White Tears/Brown Scars, which has received critical acclaim in her home country of Australia. Her writing has also featured in Prospect Magazine, The New Arab, and more. She splits her time between Sydney and New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781948226745
ISBN-10: 194822674X
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: October 6th, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English