Book Review - Ruby Hamad wrote this book to tell us how mainstream feminism ignores and harms women of color.
Hamad tells us how white women tend to use their tears strategically to disarm women of color. This technique consists of crying when a woman of color contradicts them or refuses to be disrespected. Hamad gets to the heart of the matter by illustrating her remarks using professional situations.
Non-white women are more harshly treated and find themselves being reprimanded for behaviors that will never their counterpart in any trouble. White women and men will be rewarded for being pushy, challengers or intense. Numerous testimonies have shown that human resources will naturally side with white women even if they are at fault. The minority are often accused of creating an unhealthy work environment or of being aggressive because they refuse, for example, to have their hair touched or because they express simple disagreement.
This image of the damsel in distress associated with white women literally makes the lives of minorities hell, as evidenced by the viral videos where the “Karen” bursts into tears to pass for the victim. People of color are not allowed to feel a spectrum of complex emotions because they are always assigned a role of colonized mass or savages that must be civilized or saved by the white savior.
Feminists have long excluded non-white women from joining the movement. Under cover of patriarchy and white supremacy, these women have made their struggle a way to maintain these institutions while they amass as many rights as possible and in preview. White women like to present themselves as “saviors” of non-white women because they are perceived as oppressed and victims… We see this in France with the difficulty with which feminists exclude women wearing the hijab. They actively make them symbols of oppression to be liberated from the yoke of men. These types of images remind us that feminism was first and foremost created to flatter white women and their supposed advance in the world by appropriating femininity and imposing it on other women. Intersectional feminists are seen as traitors who do not accept liberation as understood by white feminism. It is even a betrayal to question the intentions of a white woman and to mention their complicity, collusion, connivance with dominant white men.
It feels great to be a white woman! The affirmative actions in the USA have been a real springboard for white women, who have benefited massively and much more than all the rest of the minorities. It's simple: those who do not applaud the appointment of a white woman to a management position are sexist and against progress. However, we see that appointing white women to managerial positions does nothing to help the social advancement of other minorities. White women won't share their place in society and in the exclusive “white men club”. Their presence at those high positions allow the system to be the same and even more discriminatory.
Hamad tells us how many people related to an article she had previously published on white women tears. Many thanked her for putting their experiences and the cause of their torment into words. Some women of color thought they had a disorder that kept them from being happy. However, by reading this book, we understand that succeeding in a system that stigmatizes us, belittles us and above all that is not made for us, is Herculean. White women have never been more powerful and they cling to this reality by refusing to recognize their unfair advantage in society. They will not hesitate to humiliate you if you go against them. White women demand the solidarity of all women otherwise they will showcase their tears to make you feel guilty and to appear as the damsel in distress to be rescued.
White women appropriate all the virtues they deny to others, such as: kindness, intelligence, civilization, innocence, morality... These women take pleasure in a chosen ignorance of the oppression they subject to others.
In all this craze, speak up and be an ally as much as you can. Don't let a white woman tears fool you and make you emotional instead of rational. Ask yourself, if those tears aren't just another distraction to refuse to deal with systemic issues?