‘She asked for it’

Caroline Blyth

in The Narrative of Rape in Genesis 34

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589456
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594571 | DOI:
‘She asked for it’

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This chapter focuses on the myth of rape victim precipitation, which suggests that rape victims may be to blame for their own rape. After considering the ramifications of this myth for contemporary rape survivors, the author then discusses the interpretive traditions of Genesis 34, which hold Dinah accountable for her rape by virtue of the fact that she was assaulted after she ‘went out’ (Genesis 34.1). A close examination of the Hebrew verb ‘to go out’ suggests however that the myth of victim precipitation is not given voice within the biblical traditions. It is therefore proposed that the narrator of Genesis 34 did not intend the reader to hold Dinah accountable for her violation. Consideration is also given to the contemporary testimonies of rape survivors, and their voices are used to contemplate Dinah's possible response to those interpreters who are intent on blaming her for her assault.

Keywords: rape victim precipitation; blame; rape; Dinah; Genesis 34; Hebrew; rape survivors; rape myths

Chapter.  15797 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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