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White Tears/Brown Scars

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  37 reviews
When white people cry foul it is often people of colour who suffer. White tears have a potency that silences racial minorities. White Tears/Brown Scars blows open the inconvenient truth that when it comes to race, white entitlement is too often masked by victimhood. Never is this more obvious than the dealings between women of colour and white women. What happens when ...more
Published September 3rd 2019 by Melbourne University Publishing
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Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auslit
A really well researched and thought-provoking read - I found the depth and breadth of the content covered to be really thorough and give a global and Australian-specific commentary on these topics. The content leans on the academic side so I definitely recommend reading and digesting this collection of essays slowly so you can let the discussions really settle with you.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a ground breaking book. Ruby Hamad is the raisin girl telling the cornflake girls how it is. It's very rare for an original book to be published which articulates a social issue which many have experienced and observed, yet very few have been able to identify and call out.
Sampi Martoo
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book shed so much light on my own experiences that I haven’t been able to put into words myself.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched, and carefully argued, this is the kind of book we will miss from a 'new direction' Melbourne University Press, as White Tears/Brown Scars gives voice to perspectives academia doesn't well facilitate or publish. Hamad argues that the construction of womanhood is fundamentally racialised, with White womanhood operating as a central part of White Supremacy - including White Feminism. The distress and defensiveness deployed by White people challenged on racist behaviours work in ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is well-researched, clearly written and a must-read.

I appreciated the focus on Australia within a global context, I learnt things about the ways white women actively participated in our history that I hadn't known. Ruby Hamad is rigorous in her analysis, open about her own experiences and rightly centres the experiences of Indigenous women.

I don't think it matters how far along you are in the process unlearning white supremacy, a book like this will contribute greatly if you are
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very well researched and written book. Ruby Hamad eloquently describes the reasons why women of colour suffer from today's Western culture which was built on white supremacy. She uses global real life examples to support her arguments as well as digging into the history of colonization. An important read for any person with a progressive mind wanting a world with more equality and prosperity.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Searing writing and rigorous analysis and just such a good read. Brilliant work - brava, Ms Hamad!

This deserves to be read by everyone - especially us white ladies. We can and must do better.
Shannon McLeod
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm only 70 pages in but this is so interesting. I've already learnt a lot about historical bias and the undercurrents that still exist today. I'm thinking back to moments in my life where the 'angry blak/brown woman' narrative has been put upon me and my blak/brown sisters in so-called Australia. I think this is a must read book for everyone who wants to understand more about people and how we interact with each other in society.
Jan 05, 2020 added it
This is incredibly well written, I couldn't stop reading. If you choose to read this, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, take a breath and know that it's OK to feel that way. But don't let the discomfort stop you from reading deeply and asking yourself what are the ways in which you can actually do better. Because we all can, and it's by listening to smart, articulate people like Ruby Hamad, who have put a great deal of thought and research into these areas, on top of her lived experience, ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent breakdown of how women of colour are treated so poorly (historically, and now), particularly in relation to (and _by_) white women, but also society generally. It's certainly given me a far better understanding of it all.

And yes, it does cover a lot of heavy material - I can only imagine the impact for any women of colour reading it! - but even with the content, I found it quite easy to get through. The depth provided is maybe slightly deeper than required, but then, I
Judith M Price
Excellent collection of *essays exploring themes of white privilege and how we use our privilege - even in ways that we may not be aware of. Peels off layers of the mysticism of racist socialisation. Deeply introspective about my own participation in the systemic racism in my country (Australia) and elsewhere in the colonised world. Ruby Hamad was fearless in her denunciation of the white sisterhood and how we have failed brown and black women over and over again and still are. Number one ...more
Jennifer Neal
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I hardly ever read books twice, but this one I will probably read a third and fourth time. This book is a game-changer in the same way that Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” was. Ruby has taken an issue with which WoC have battled since the beginning of time and contextualized it beautifully (cathartically) in the modern age. I especially love her social media anecdotes, because they’re so relatable regardless of your job or role in society—the pile on ...more
Jackie Mcmillan
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Feminism that thinks it can look at gender in isolation is never going to be able to meet our needs,” said Ruby Hamad at a talk I attended. Her book actually goes much further and stows how feminism doesn’t meet the needs of white women either if we expect it to feel with sexual assault perpetrated by white men. We cannot get where any of women want to go unless we take an intersectional approach to race and gender. Hamad makes a compelling case for changing feminism to serve us all better.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'White people assign themselves all the virtues they deny us - goodness, morality, intelligence, civilisation, innocence - and will viciously defend this innocence against anyone who dares to challenge it. But, as academic Sara Salem noted, this innocence is not defensible and is not even innocent: 'To remain innocent means to remain ignorant; and this is a wilful, active process, not an accidental, passive one.''

This book is a collection of academic essays that Ruby Hamad was encouraged to
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. Just wow.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to be present for the Ruby Hamad session at the Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival after which I bought the book. If you are open to what this well researched and written book says and shows, it will change you...and for the better. Truth telling.
Naomi Arnold
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yeppoon-library
A must-read for all white women.
Koraly Dimitriadis
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a Greek-Cypriot woman born and living in Australia, I found this book comforting and necessary. There were many 'head-nodding' moments. This book is rich with research, intelligent, yet the language is so accessible. Ruby doesn't speak down to the reader like she's king of the world and knows it all in boring academic language, she speaks like she is having a cup of tea with you, and I love that. She welcomes you in. Sometimes as a reader you think the arguments are a bit far fetched, and ...more
Rachel Hills
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pat Cook
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could write with such clarity and force. Hamad's book is an intellectual and cultural reckoning.
Jessie Taylor
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read for anybody - especially white women - who aspire to achieve genuine meaningful allyship with women of colour. A confronting and shocking read in places, but argued with such logic and insight that the truth of the author’s observations can only be accepted and agreed to (no matter how unpalatable that truth might be). A challenge to us all. The fact that the author has paid dearly and suffered terribly in the aftermath of publishing this book only goes to illustrate its ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an important and brilliantly written book. Like for so many other WoC, Ruby Hamad has powerfully articulated what I have felt but not been able to put words to. She has not pandered or diluted her argument for white ego's sake which is so refreshing (and necessary) to read in our white dominated mediascape. This book makes me feel seen, while also prompting me to reflect on my own proximity to power as an East Asian person. So grateful to Ruby Hamad for writing this book, I have learnt so ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Important read for all white women....unfortunately I feel the white women who will read this are the ones that are already aware of their role in colonisation and racism
I would love every white woman who is offended by this title to pick it up and read it with an open mind. We can't talk about intersectional Feminism until we confront they ways we as white women have contributed to individual and systematic racism.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In 2018, journalist Ruby Hamad published an article titled ‘How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour’. What followed was a flood of hate, abuse and threats. What it didn’t do was silence this remarkable woman.

White Tears/Brown Scars expands on the theories in the article and delves deeper into the reasons behind this abuse of power by white women, which women of colour pay the price for time and time again.

This is an enlightening, eye opening and essential read.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is fantastic articulation of the Black and Brown woman's experience, offering an abundance of plausible references and insights. I would highly recommend this book for any reader interested in intersectional politics and for all POC's out there, that have and continue to be gaslit by their white counterparts, in various settings.
Kat H
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a white woman. I think this is important to note because I think this book needs to be read by white people, particularly white women, and even more specifically white "feminist" women. I recommend it to everyone I can. I am a feminist and I think that white women need to stop talking and actually start listening to and actively supporting women of colour. Buy this book. Read it. Share it with your friends.
Hamza Azam
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible piece of work engaging in how race is ever more prevalent in society. It offers a deep insight into how we are all involved in racism and how it affects some more than others. A book that can be reread without losing its meaning and content.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Hamad is able to put so many unarticulated thoughts and experiences into words, even ones you sometimes don't fully understand what it is you're going through. She goes through the historical and sociological aspects of the issue which is incredible.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Essential reading
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