07 April 2015

Dinah: Stop Me

Genesis 34

Stop me, he said,
if I go too far,
and that put me at ease
for I thought that I could,
knew well my boundaries -
I'm a principled girl.

Stop me, he said,
if I go too far.
He held me,
and I let him.
He kissed me,
and I let him.
Was it not innocent?

Stop me, he said,
but I never wanted to -
it felt too beautiful -
and I always thought:
When it comes to it
I'll say no.

Stop me, he said,
and I gave in to his kisses,
and I gave in to his touch,
and I knew that I should stop him,
but I never wanted to.
Stop me, he said -
Don't stop, said I.

Stop me, o Lord,
I'm going too far -
Stop me, o Lord,
I cannot say no.
How can I say no
when my body screams YES?
Stop me,
stop me,
stop me -
I've gone too far.


[29. November 2012]

Written with Dinah in mind a bit... also as a sort of "reply" to my other poem, "Say No".
The Dinah story is traditionally interpreted as a rape - other interpretations though (e.g. in the novel The Red Tent by Anita Diamant) suppose the possibility that Dinah was in love with Shechem and wasn't being forced to anything.

My earliest memory of the Dinah story is my parents citing her as an example of why you shouldn't talk to strangers / get into a stranger's car / etc. XD

I wrote this one after hearing someone tell me that a guy told her to "say stop when I go too far" - which of course didn't work. We might tell ourselves we'll say no. We might be certain that we want to say no. But will we be able to? I get the impression that many guys expect the girl to set the boundaries and keep control. But it's a bit unfair to expect her to be the only one keeping a control. What if she can't?

My personal impression is that giving in is far easier than it may seem. So don't trust yourself to say no when the moment comes. Don't put yourself into a dangerous / tempting situation in the first place.

And: it's not only the girl's problem. I think in a relationship one needs to help each other in this area. Both need to keep watchful of themselves and not expect the other to be the controlling instance and stop them. Girls aren't necessarily more controlled than guys, despite common opinion.

Picture by Joseph Noel Paton... not really of Dinah of course, but there aren't really any good pictures of her... ;-; After my thesis I might try to revive my art skills...

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