A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
The Weekend Edition, A Beginner's Guide to Antiracism Reading Pick
"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 Washington Post
"In her debut book, journalist Ruby Hamad explores the connections between white feminism and white supremacy . . . In breaking down examples from history, as well as from her own life as an Arab woman working in Australian media, Hamad offers a haunting but powerful reading of white feminism and its lasting impacts on marginalized communities." ––Annabel Gutterman, TIME
"It’s eye-opening and necessary reading for anyone, but especially white women who consider themselves feminists." BuzzFeed
"[A] must-read." Keely Weiss, Harper's Bazaar
"Exactly the kind of book that every ally needs to read right now." Laura Hanrahan, Cosmopolitan
"Hamad offers a comprehensive look at the ways in which women of color have been dismissed by society . . . This book should be considered required reading." Lauren LeBlanc, The Observer
"[A] provocative exploration of the waysboth historic and currentthat white women have been dangerous agents of white supremacy . . . Hamad is a rigorous historical reporter and a powerful storyteller, and her work in White Tears/Brown Scars will leave readers appropriately unsettled, enraged, and urged to take action against the Amy Coopers of the world." ––Kristin Iversen, Refinery29
"Amid a sea of recent books about white women's commitment to white supremacy, White Tears/Brown Scars stands out." ––Bitch
"In this endlessly readable debut, Ruby Hamad expertly illustrates the multitude of historical and contemporary ways in which white feminism has been used as a tool of white supremacy. White feminists: READ THIS BOOK." Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine, A Best Feminist Read of the Year
”With scholarly but highly engaging prose, Hamad details white women’s roles in oppression across continents, a much-needed history lesson for those inclined to reduce racism to individual behavior . . . For readers truly interested in dismantling white supremacy, this is a must-read. An extraordinary book for anyone who wishes to pay more than lip service to truly inclusive, intersectional feminism." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An incisive book of history and cultural commentary with a wide scope." Casey Stepaniuk, Autostraddle
"White Tears/Brown Scars belongs in twenty-first-century feminist canon. It's grounded in deep historical context, yet thoroughly of the present. It makes bold intellectual arguments, but is extremely readable and grounded in human experience. If you are a white woman, it may make for uncomfortable reading: this book takes the most precise scalpel to the way that white women leverage race and gender of any book that I've read. If you are a woman of color, perhaps it will make you feel seen. If you are a man, read it for your own education! Hamad has written a truly exceptional, agenda-setting work." ―Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth
“An essential guide for those who want to be truly intersectional in their feminism. Ruby Hamad skillfully distills history, academic research, and lived experiences of women of color to create an engaging inquiry into white supremacy and the role of white women within it." ―Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past Is a Foreign Country
An exhaustive look at how White women perpetuate White supremacy at the expense of women of color.
Journalist Hamad picks up where her 2018 Guardian Australia article left off, delving into why White women’s comfort is prioritized and their tears “weaponized” to further marginalize women of color. “When challenged by a woman of color,” she writes, “a White woman will often lean into her racial privilege to turn the tables and accuse the other woman of hurting, attacking, or bullying her. This process almost always siphons the sympathy and support of any onlookers to the apparently distressed White woman, helping her avoid any accountability that may be due and leaving the woman of color out in the cold, often with no realistic option—particularly if it is a workplace interaction—but to accept blame and apologize.” Whether responding to indignities such as White women petting their hair or to loss of career opportunities, women of color are treated as aggressors when they challenge bigotry. The author painstakingly documents how, historically and contemporarily, White women function both as “damsels in distress” and as defenders of White supremacy. From slavery and lynching to forced Indigenous child removals, White women have been “co-conspirators” with White men in racism and violence, often under the guise of protecting White womanhood. With scholarly but highly engaging prose, Hamad details White women’s roles in oppression across continents, a much-needed history lesson for those inclined to reduce racism to individual behavior. The author clearly examines how this legacy of centuries of racial violence and White settler colonialism plays out today in the lives of Black, Asian, Latina, Indian, Muslim, Arab, and Indigenous women from around the world, told through their collective geopolitical histories and personal anecdotes. For readers truly interested in dismantling White supremacy, this is a must-read.
An extraordinary book for anyone who wishes to pay more than lip service to truly inclusive, intersectional feminism.