on the woman with the issue of blood: a requiem for white women's tears.

By Shantell Hinton//

for years, she had been bleeding.
unable to heal.
named for her condition, the discharge between her legs paralleled her status in community.
spewed out from an orifice and holding a significant stench.
she was never seen as human.
only as a hemorrhage on the fabric of society.

yet, in one moment.
after years of failed attempts to be seen and cared for.
this woman came to a clot in the crowd.
where the flow of people had gathered around a man.
a man whose clothing could ebb her disparity.
bravely, she reached to His hem.
power absorbed her dis-ease.
she had been healed.

i wish more women knew who they were.
or knew their condition at least.
that they are not mary nor martha.
nor dorcas.
nor phoebe.
but that they, too, are the woman with the issue of blood.
that their fragility and woundedness.
bleeds on everyone around them.

for i have been in too many situations.
where she has looked to me to be a balm.
after she’s bled her pain upon me.
smeared her blood upon my garments.
riddled me with her guilt.
and stabbed me with her wounded aggressions.
how am i supposed to help you heal, when your condition causes me harm?
why am i your savior, when your ontology has been killing me since i left the Motherland?

black women.
are not your living sacrifice.
we are not your play things to cast your soiled belongings upon.
our hair is not the garment that you can touch without permission to be made whole.
our skin is not the towel to dry your tears.
we are not your jesus.
and your bleeding has got to stop.
not because we don’t understand your pain.
not because being unseen is foreign to us.
not because we are too concerned with our own healing.
no, white woman.
you must stop pressing into the crowd.
because you choose to bleed on us.
with bile fermented by your fathers - watered by the frequency of your tears.
and, you refuse to even acknowledge that you’ve taken off your bandage.
infecting us all with the same dysentery we are trying to get rid of.

for years, you have been bleeding.
unable to heal.
yet, your virtue has been built upon my “uncleanliness”.
your tears believed as truth while my worth has been a lie.
and, as you wear the stench of this hypocrisy like lingerie.
dawning your blood-stained banner.
i pray you find jesus before you find me.
bc my wholeness is not yours.
white woman.
and your feelings are no longer my concern.

//Rev. Shantell Hinton, M.Div, currently serves as the Assistant Chaplain at Vanderbilt University and is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School. Shantell received a Bachelor of Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University. She has worked bi-vocationally as an Process Control Engineer and Worship Coordinator for her church. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Her research/interests include the intersections of activism and public theology, pastoral care, creating liturgy, and freelance writing.