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

Catapult. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781948226745. pap. $16.95. SOC SCI
Journalist Hamad’s debut focuses on racism within feminist movements. Providing historical context for how feminism and racism have developed over time, the author argues that white feminists often reinforce racism by victimizing themselves in conflicts with people of color and seeking to maintain and advance their own privileges. Much of the book explores the history of colonialism and the ways in which white women actively participated in the oppression of people of color. The author also offers commentary on modern events that show how patterns in white women’s harmful behavior toward women of color continue today. Just a few of the many topics covered include Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign, sexualization in the era of slavery, the history of the angry Black woman stereotype, and illustrative incidents in pop culture. At times, the book’s structure is difficult to follow, but, overall, the author is direct and draws strong connections between historical situations and today’s political climate.
VERDICT Despite covering a great deal of content, the message and intent behind the text remain clear. Readers engaged with issues of race and feminism in Western countries will find this a powerful read.

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