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.