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

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,723 ratings  ·  489 reviews
For readers of White Fragility, White Tears/Brown Scars is an explosive book of history and cultural criticism that argues that white feminism, from Australia to Zimbabwe to the United States, has been 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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Catapult (first published September 3rd 2019)
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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 ·  2,723 ratings  ·  489 reviews

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Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I fluctuate between rating this 4 or 5 stars, but will go ahead and bump this to 5 because we need more race and feminism discussions that specifically focus on Indigenous and Middle Eastern women, especially from a non-US perspective. The book is insightful, concise, and comprehensive, blending both historical contexts for how these power dynamics came to be along with modern-day examples of the ways white women oppress or shut the door on women of color. It also does a great job at explaining ...more
Joel Rochester
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Non-white women as the object of the white male power fantasy, it seems, are simply expected to sacrifice themselves.”

Hamad's White Tears/Brown Scars depicts poignantly the effects white feminism has had on women of colour. It is a book that I would consider required reading, along with other books that discuss white feminism's link to white supremacy and the oppression of women of colour. This has also been recommended as reading for the StopAsianHate and other anti-racist movements, as th
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read on race and racism

Author Ruby Hamad wrote this book primarily for women of color, but it is also a book every white person should read, especially those of us who call ourselves feminists. Extremely insightful and comprehensive. It's White Fragility plus a whole lot more.

While I recommend this to all white people, I warn you: it's not the easiest book to read. It WILL put you in your place and call you out. You WILL feel uncomfortable. You might even get angry. Th
~ 5 stars ~
"Whether angry or calm, shouting or pleading, women of color are always perceived as aggressors."

Phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal.

This book is all I could have asked for. If anyone is looking for a book on Intersectional Feminism, I highly recommend this. It was very educational.

This book specifically focuses on White Feminism, and how White Feminism has hurt women of color throughout history . How we are expected to act or be and how White women have further contributed
Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received a copy of this book as part of's ALC program.

4.5 stars

This was well written and informative. I picked this up after some conversation on TikTok following a trend where white women were fake crying and then "turning it off." While it started as a harmless acting trend, these conversations about the history of white tears was exactly right. And Hamad's work spells out why, in a comprehensive way.

The one weakness of this book doubles as a strength. Hamad is writing from a speci
M.  Reads Books and Fics
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book all white women should read, especially those who have that special brand of white feminism that makes me want to scream. Feminism is supposed to be intersectional and i think this book does amazing to show how and why it needs to be. Plus, it is one of the best anti racism books I have read in awhile. This is a book that showcases how white women have been aiding and abetting white supremacy for a long time with their stupid white feminism ideas and complicity.

This book touches
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auslit
Going in for a re-read of this 🔥🔥🔥 text—will share thoughts again once I finish 🙏 (Feb 2021)

“Colonialism rigged the game against all colonised women by reducing them to caricatures that were at once desirable and disgusting, conveniently allowing white men to both sexually abuse them and render them beneath sexual abuse.”

“White women were the beneficiaries of a status higher than that of people of colour but subordinate to white men, and it is this very status that enabled colonialism to succeed
Paris (parisperusing)
“The crimes of white supremacy have not gone unrecorded. They are etched into the bodies of brown and black people the world over. Our scars, past and present, physical and emotional, bear witness to the violence white men and women insisted they were not inflicting. … white people will eventually have to reckon with the true horror of their own brutal history. Frances Harper’s challenge rings as clear in its truth now as ever, whether white women are ready to face it or not. For women of color ...more
Terri Badger-Ellzey
As a black woman living in a racist everyday life I found so much commonality in this book. I was first introduced to this author like many others when I google searches topics on white women fragility and this came up and I used a phrase to send to my white female boss for how she would never see my side of any incident involving white women and I was made to feel like I did something wrong because I was immediately made to be the aggressor interesting the way language is used in these cases by ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Intersectional Feminism is where it's at sis! I will never get tired of saying this! ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2021
Another one for the 2021 favourites list. RTC.
David Wineberg
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
With all the fuss over “Karens”, those insufferably vile American white women whose bigotry surpasses the worst of the all-male white supremacist alt right, it is very timely that Ruby Hamad is releasing her book White Tears/Brown Scars. Its thesis is that white women use tears as a first line weapon to deflect from their racism. This is a new angle for me; I’d never heard of it before. And certainly never seen it myself. It is as fascinating as it is horrifying.

Hamad, and a couple of dozen wome
Book 70 of 2021

4.5 stars rounded up

A must read! I learnt so much from this book wow. It is so intersectional, and talks about the danger of white women's refusal to acknowledge their privilege.

Let me start by saying my review can't even begin to cover the very many important topics covered and explored by Ruby Hamad in this book. I enjoyed it a lot and I think everyone should read this book for themselves because there is so much for them.

So many topics were covered in this book, both in modern
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
White Tears/Brown Scars is an explosive book of history and cultural criticism that argues that white feminism, from Australia to Zimbabwe to the United States, has been a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against black and indigenous women, and women of colour. 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 Te ...more
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredibly ambitious in its examination of white feminism and white tears through so many historical accounts, current events and pop culture in recent years as well as personal stories from women of colour and it was executed brilliantly. Such an important and valuable read with a truly powerful end. I would highly recommend this book to anybody but for any white women who also consider themselves feminists this is an essential read.
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2021
yeah i need everyone to read this book
lark benobi
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, czech
I love Ruby Hamad for this attempt to navigate the knotty nexus of gender, race, and feminism. I felt more like I was talking with a friend than I was reading a manifesto. That approach has pros and cons.

It reminded me of the reading experience I have with Richard Dawkins. With both of these authors I feel they are making assumptions about what’s obvious to them—that everyone already knows this thing they’re talking about—and in other cases they overexplain what really does feel obvious. I just
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is quite the expansion on Hamad's viral article, "How White Women Use Strategic Tears To Avoid Accountability, and I'm so glad she decided to trace the history of the divide between white women and women of color. It's one thing to witness or experience white women's weaponizations and even understand why they consistently align themselves with a white hetero-patriarchy that ultimately won't save them, but it's helpful to also have a historical context for why these racial dynamics exi ...more
Mar 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audiobooks
This book hit me like a ton of bricks. Everyone should read it.
☁️ priya ☁️
“Concepts like the definition of racism itself, arrived at over generations of painstaking scholarship, research and experience, are stubbornly brushed aside in favour of ‘the dictionary definition’.”

“When we talk about ‘white people’, we are not really talking about skin colour but about those who most benefit from whiteness. When we talk about ‘people of colour’ we talk about those who are excluded. I continue to have misgivings about the terms—due to the proximity of ‘people of colour’ to ‘c
Jessica Haider
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Catapult Press for the review copy!

Ruby Hamad had a moment of panic when an article she wrote for The Guardian went viral. The article was about white women's tears and how they are often used as a weapon in white feminism against people of color. She shut down her Twitter account briefly out of fear of being attacked. She brought her account back online in order to stand behind her work.

In this, her first book, Hamad expands on the ideas from her essay and talks about white femini
Kara Babcock
Although I would have picked this up on my own once I heard about it, I sought out and read White Tears/Brown Scars as a part of an antiracist book club that I joined for the month of June. Comprising mostly educators in Ontario, the book club’s organizer picked this book because our profession is predominantly white women, so white tears are a problem. As a white women, I’m a part of that problem, even if I’m not the one crying. As the subtitle of this book implies, white tears are but one mani ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Misse Jones
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
How is it that we have been so conditioned to prioritize the emotional comfort of white people? Why does the sight of a white woman crying provoke such placatory responses, even in a context such as this where people have every reason to be seared, upset, and even angry?

In White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color, Ruby Hamad does a phenomenal job creating a space to discuss the weaponizing of white women’s tears. Using historical evidence and anecdotal support, Hamad ma
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting and well-written. I really appreciated the focus on Middle Eastern and Indigenous women, as most of the books I've read on this topic focus more on Black women or WOC in general. ...more
Elizabeth Schroeder
The last book I read in 2020 ended up to be the best and most powerful.

Ruby Hamad's deeply penetrating, no-holding-back book is the perfect read for progressive, white, cisgender women who have FINALLY committed to anti-racism work, and erroneously think they are "woke." And I write that as a progressive, white, cisgender woman who gets that I will forever be waking up, because there is still so much I have yet to unlearn while I am learning.

What is different about this book, aside from the long
Megan O'Hara
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
pulls absolutely no punches. about a 50/50 mix of events and ideas i knew about and obviously ones I didn't but it was interesting throughout. thoroughly and deftly analyzes whiteness and colonialism as at relates to gender and I learned a good bit of Australian aboriginal history that i will forget like everything else I read ha ha ! overall a very *edifying* 🥸 read friends ...more
Casey the Reader
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
Thanks to Catapult for the free copy of this book.

Taking us from the slave era, when white women fought in court to keep 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.

If you've read the basic-level antiracism books, WHITE TEARS/BROWN
Cynthia Mary
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very well written book that draws attention to the challenges faced by Women of Color and the extent to which white supremacy affects their lives. Ruby Hamad has spared no words here.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you are only going to read one book on racism, make it this one.
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When it comes to whiling away the dog days of summer, nothing is better than a good book. Or two. Or three. Let’s say ten! We’re getting...
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“White women can oscillate between their gender and their race, between being the oppressed and the oppressor. Women of color are never permitted to exist outside of these constraints: we are both women and people of color and we are always seen and treated as such.” 12 likes
“Women of color are rarely given the benefit of the doubt and even more rarely considered worthy of sympathy and support. If we are angry it is because we are bullies, if we are crying it is because we are indulging in the cult of victimhood, if we are poised it is because we lack emotion, if we are emotional it is because we are less rational human and more primitive animal.” 7 likes
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