The only reason the writer can do this is because she is singling out “white” women. Let’s see her try this with any other group.

From the Cornell Daily Sun:

White Woman Tears

White women are the embodiment of the ‘Damsel in Distress’ archetype, affording them one rather uncanny superpower: the power to garner sympathy. White women use their tears to advance themselves at the expense of people of color, a concept recently coined “white woman tears.”

“White woman tears” does not refer to all tears shed by white women; everyone has legitimate reasons to cry. It refers specifically to “crying and other expressions of distress by white women as a means of weaponizing the privilege inherent in whiteness and exerting the full power of white womanhood as a class historically designated as delicate, racially superior beings in need of protection,” according to Alexandria Bennett in “White Woman Tears: These Tears Taste Like Oppression.”

As early as playground days, I can remember white girls using their tears as a weapon against me and other people of color. Casual conversations would quickly escalate into waterworks, painting me as the aggressor.

A friend had a white roommate who refused to clean up after herself. After she left a banana to rot in the fridge for six months, my friend finally worked up the nerve to gently tell her to take responsibility for repeatedly leaving a mess. The roommate erupted into tears, saying she didn’t like her tone.

While “white woman tears” are typically shed over petty, day-to-day interactions, they can also have severe repercussions for black and brown people.


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