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

por Ruby Hamad

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3291077,986 (4.41)2
History. Sociology. Women's Studies. Nonfiction. HTML: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.
"A stunning and thorough look at White womanhood that should be required reading for anyone who claims to be an intersectional feminist. Hamad??s controlled urgency makes the book an illuminating and poignant read. Hamad is a purveyor of such bold thinking, the only question is, are we ready to listen?" ??Rosa Boshier, The Was
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Incredibly well written and a must-read. ( )
  abhkolo | Apr 25, 2023 |
Every white person should read this ( )
  Nlandwehr | Jan 6, 2023 |
I found this to be a really interesting and eye opening book and it’s made me look at conversations happening around me in a new light. A must read! ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
this was a really excellent, and really hard read. i will need to reread it, probably more than once, to both fully understand everything she is saying and to fully absorb and allow myself to see everything (most especially the harm i'm causing) she is saying. this is a powerful book.

it reminded me of when i started activism work around gendered violence, and how everything came back to that, and how people would joke that i was no fun anymore. but that didn't change the fact that everything i was noticing was true. this book is like that. there is so much to see and realize and it pervades everything, every aspect of society, so it's just everywhere. and that's no fun but no less true for it.

there is so much to take from this book if you're open to it. it's an eye-opening read. she is writing as an australian, but she infuses so much understanding into american politics as well. it's amazing how much other people know about our country while we know next to nothing of theirs. her analysis is really interesting and valuable. i took so much from this book.

the many correlations she makes between race and gender and race and sex here are rather stunning. she frames just about everything in a way that i'd never seen before, and so i'm looking at just about everything with a new perspective and a new reference point. the lens she uses to see with has changed the way i'm seeing everything.

"...what makes the distress of while women so powerful is its association with femininity and helplessness."

"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."

"The peculiar logic of Eurocentrism was fueled by the rise of scientific racism in the nineteenth century, which regarded true differentiation of the sexes as a status that had only been achieved by the more highly evolved white Europeans. Although brown and black bodies were designated female and male, the science promoted by the American School of Evolution regarded sex difference as a racial characteristic and argued that only white European-derived people had evolved to the point of having distinctly separate male and female brains and dispositions."

"Binary sex is both function and feature of white supremacy."

"...white Europeans colonized the world on the presumption they were 'civilizing' it, but by strictly policing both race and sex, they did everything in their formidable power to ensure nonwhites were never able to penetrate the inner sanctum of white society even if they wanted to."

"White people set the standard for humanity by which they, and only they, could succeed."

"Sex work...was reviled not so much because it implied dubious ethical character as because it allowed white women a degree of independence that most could not access."

"This fiction of a white race unravels as soon as we consider that 'white' is the only racial category where any mixing automatically excludes one from the racial group."

"White people are not united by a shared ethnicity: they are united by access to institutional power."

"Whiteness is more than skin color. It is a system that privileges those racial, cultural, and religious identities that most resemble the typical characteristics associated with the white Western Europeans who created the system in their image. And this system of white supremacy is now so ingrained it can exist without white people." ( )
1 vote overlycriticalelisa | Nov 29, 2021 |
A depressing and persuasive reminder that white women were complicit in the white man's burden of slavery, imperialism, and colonialism and despite their ongoing efforts for equal rights can still benefit from and leverage systemic racism today to the detriment of BIPOC women. The writing gets a little dry as it delves through centuries of history but is still enlightening and becomes very thought-provoking as it connects those distant events to the turmoil of recent years.

In the chapter "When Tears Become Weapons" there is a segment about a Twitter storm around some comments made by writer Mary Beard that totally reminded me of the recent Kate Clanchy debacle:

"Twitter pile-ons can be so over the top that separating the wheat of legitimate critique from the chaff of abusive trolling can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility, so I have no doubt that much of the criticism leveled at Beard got unnecessarily nasty. Nonetheless, there are attacks and there is constructive criticism, and Beard seemed to make no differentiation between the two. Apologizing not for the content or the implications of her tweet but for attempting to inject 'nuance' into the discussion, she posted a teary selfie of herself, pleading, 'I'm really not the nasty colonialist you think I am . . . If you must know I am sitting here crying.'"

Here's a link to the article that was the origin of this book:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/08/how-white-women-use-strate... ( )
  villemezbrown | Sep 22, 2021 |
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History. Sociology. Women's Studies. Nonfiction. HTML: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.
"A stunning and thorough look at White womanhood that should be required reading for anyone who claims to be an intersectional feminist. Hamad??s controlled urgency makes the book an illuminating and poignant read. Hamad is a purveyor of such bold thinking, the only question is, are we ready to listen?" ??Rosa Boshier, The Was

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