Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color” as Want to Read:
White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,350 ratings  ·  267 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
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Catapult (first published September 3rd 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,350 ratings  ·  267 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
Cindy
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
Jenna
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
...more
M.  [storme reads a lot]
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
...more
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
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
...more
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
↠Ameerah↞
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2021
Another one for the 2021 favourites list. RTC.
Mina
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
Lou
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
Oyinda
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Ashley
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
...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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Saryah
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you are only going to read one book on racism, make it this one.
Kate Grand {A Grand Romance}
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-2020, feminism
Perfect for our times. I've heard about this phenomenon myself but more in the instance of white women eclipsing a black or brown woman's grief or sadness and making it about themSELVES by crying over them instead of listening. Particularly in light of the events of the past few months. I recommend this book to everyone. ...more
Bec
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Will white women choose to keep upholding white supremacy under the guise of 'equality', or will they stand with women of colour as we edge ever closer to liberation?" ...more
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’.”

“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
...more
Susie Dumond
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book thoughtfully and thoroughly examines the ways white women's perceived vulnerability and emotions are weaponized against people of color, women in particular. With videos of white women like "BBQ Becky" going viral, it's important to unpack the history and strategy of white women's tears. This is a crucial component of understanding how white women are complicit in white supremacy, even those of us who consider ourselves progressive feminists. Hamad deftly argues that white women are re ...more
Tamyka
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A five is not high enough. I felt so seen. This book would pair well with “They Were Her Property”. This book should be required reading in 10th- 11th grade.
Stephanie Jane
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, politics
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

White Tears / Brown Scars is powerfully argued and detailed survey of how white women as a group have fought for increased rights and power for themselves, claiming successes for all women, but actually achieving progess more often than not at the expense of women of colour. Hamad looks back through several centuries of oppressive behaviours to prove her point historically and, most importantly, for all protestations to the contrary, demonstr
...more
Josephine
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars.

This was so insightful and well researched. It was quite confronting at times but I think that was the point. Really made me think about my own role in the oppression of women of colour. Just great.
Sampi Martoo
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shed so much light on my own experiences that I haven’t been able to put into words myself.
Jade
There is no way on earth that my review is going to give this book proper justice - it is a brilliant, deeply researched, extremely well-written, and important book that I would recommend to everyone.

White Tears/Brown Scars is an absolutely necessary read. Ruby Hamad has created a detailed overview of white supremacy through the ages, and how white women have not only benefited from this system of dominance, but also actively engaged in it (as much as we pretend that we have not, we all have). T
...more
Deedi Brown (DeediReads)
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.

TL;DR REVIEW:

White Tears/Brown Scars is a thoughtfully researched, convincingly argued, incredibly important book that should be required reading for white people everywhere.

For you if: You are white, especially if you are a white cisgender woman.

FULL REVIEW:

“The harms caused by the gender binary can and have filled volumes of books on their own. However, rarely has it been explicitly noted that this binary, not only marginalizes those w
...more
Karlie Schaefer
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"White people set the standard for humanity by which they, and only they, could succeed.... This is why people of color, and especially women of color, have to be at least twice as capable as white people in order to get half as far. The system was designed to make it as hard as possible for us but in such a way that white people can pretend the barriers simply do not exist."

I had a really hard time picking just one quote from this extremely important and informative book. I ended up choosing th
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic
  • Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
  • Monkey Grip
  • Talkin' Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism
  • Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • Black Futures
  • Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land
  • Bunny
  • The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
  • Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1)
  • Aftershocks
  • Just Us: An American Conversation
  • Reclaiming Her Time: The Power of Maxine Waters
  • Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1)
  • The City in the Middle of the Night
  • The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  • No Tomorrow (Killing Eve, #2)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
264 likes · 26 comments
“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.” 3 likes
“Women of color have to not only battle white patriarchy and that of their own culture, but must also contend with colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, and other forms of racism. Given white women have never had to deal with racial and colonial oppression, it is not surprising — though it is certainly regrettable — that so many of them still regard feminism as a movement purely concerned with gender, leaving racialized women to keep trying to draw their attention to the ways in which various oppressions affect our lives. Until white women reckon with this, mainstream Western feminism cannot be anything more than another iteration of white supremacy.” 2 likes
More quotes…