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Goblin Market: Standing with men instead of against men

FrigginSushi's picture

After reading the Goblin Market, I felt like there were many ways to interpret the meaning of the story, but after coming to class I did not realize just how many ways you could see the story until Prof. Dalke was listing off the list of theories people have written in response to the Goblin Market. Whether Christina Rossetti intended the audience to read it in one way or another, it’s fascinating that there are people who see it in a more separate way than the tradition feminism idea (like the idea that Lizzie’s experience represents the ills of Consumerism).

For me, I felt the bond of the sisterhood represented the bond that all women should share with each other; not necessarily in a homoerotic way as some writers have responded to the Goblin Market, but in a way that all women should trust in other women and to stand together against men who will hurt us.

Feminism should necessarily be about how females are better than males or that females should be seen higher than males in society, but more the need for equality. Both men and women can hurt. Both men and women can love. There should not be a difference. It reminds me of a quote from a plaque my mom hung in our restroom back home.

“Woman was created from the rib of man.
She was not made from his head to be above him,
nor was she made from his feet to be trampled on.
She was created out of his side to equal him,
under his arm to be protected by him
and near his heart to be loved.”

Of course the whole “be protected by him” part might not go with what I’ve said but the message is the same: women should be seen equal to men, not against him.


pejordan's picture


I really like the quotation you posted, and your post as a whole got to the heart of one of my most fundamental questions: why is there a need for feminism? Where did the original idea that men are better than women come from? Even though woman was supposedly made to equal man, she still needs to be "protected" by that because of differences in physical strength? I think much of the problem comes from, as someone else said, our definitions of what it means to be a man or a woman. Definitions can definitely clarify our perceptions, but they can complicate them as well.