Throughout settler-colonial history, the bodies of women have served as a battleground. Women of colour were marked as guilty and depraved so that white women––and by extension white society––could claim innocence and virtue for itself. White Tears/Brown Scars deconstructs the meaning of womanhood in the settler-colonial context.
Evolving from an opinion piece Ruby Hamad published in The Guardian, ‘How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour,’ that went unexpectedly viral across the globe, White Tears / Brown Scars is an important and powerful book. It’s the first book that attempts to deconstruct and contextualise the dynamic between white women and women of colour. While it certainly can’t provide all the answers to the problems our society cannot solve, it does synthesise enough historical context to enable us to ask the right questions to get us started.
A confronting reality check for the privileged position of the white woman.
Ruby Hamad is a Lebanese-Syrian journalist and author who was raised in Australia. Hamad’s work has appeared in Fairfax media, The Guardian, Prospect Magazine, and The New Arab. She is currently a PhD candidate in media and postcolonial studies at the University of NSW. She was a contributor to Defiant Daughters (2013).
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