Contemplating "White Woman's Tears"

From Abagond:
It ("White Woman's Tears") is built on a set of White American ideas about race, listed here in no particular order:

* It works best when these two stereotypes can be applied:

       o The Sapphire stereotype - black women as mean, angry and disagreeable
       o The Pure White Woman stereotype - white women as these special, delicate creatures who need to be protected at all costs. It is what drives the Missing White Woman Syndrome – and, in the old days, lynchings.

* The r-word: to be called a “racist”, however gently and indirectly, is a terrible, upsetting thing for white people – far worse than, you know, being a racist.

* White people and their feelings are the centre of the known universe.

* Hearts of stone: meanwhile whites seem to have a very, very hard time putting themselves in the shoes of people of colour.

* Moral blindness: white people think they are Basically Good, therefore if someone points out something bad about them it must be out of hatred.

* White solidarity: whites are afraid to stand up against racism, particularly when they are with other whites. Also, they do not like it when you call other whites racists – they seem to take it personally for some reason.

All these things work together to help create the scene laid out above. It is why it works best for young, good-looking white women and why black women’s tears have nowhere the same effect in a white setting.

In my own experience White American women are by far the hardest to talk to about racism. Even if you get past all their defences and they believe what you are saying, they act like they are going to cry. So you either stop or you push on and are made to look mean and heartless.

White women, the delicate creatures that they are, 
attend a lynching in Indiana, 1930.
Thanks again, Abagond!!!


  1. I wish I could go back in time as a godly being and save those poor men from their fate. Oh, how much I'd love to wipe off the smug smiles from those bloody awful men and women.

  2. I recommend any white person who wants to know why they can't say the N word be sent to to view some lynching photography until they are cured of their willful ignorance.

  3. Have never experienced it and i hope i never do cause i am not the most patient person when it comes to idiots.

  4. Elle,

    Damn you're lucky. Experiencing WWT is a truly vomitacious experience.

  5. WWT have been coming up a lot again lately in blogsville, huh? I can't say that I've used mine. Where I came from crying made you look like a weak, sad, sack of shit. BUT that's not to say I didn't do other deflective things if I got called on something I said. I'm hoping other white people realize that we all have this defense mechanism to immediately reject that we've done something wrong without even thinking for a second that the accuser is correct.

    When WWT aren't being employed we usually resort to White Women's Indignation. WWI involves the skipping of hurt feelings from being called racist to denying the possibility of such a thing. We become offended by the suggestion and have a book of Biblical proportions about how we cannot possibly be racist. The "I can't Be Racist Because..." Encyclopedia is as mythical and fabled as WWT. This has pretty much been the replacement for my own WWT.

  6. @ Victoria

    When WWT aren't being employed we usually resort to White Women's Indignation.

    *raises eyebrow* I smell a guest post....


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