What is it with monsters and men? Women? Children? Why are they so attracted to us; what could we possess that they would ever want?
Is it friendship, company, or maybe love that they seek? Or are there motives much darker than we imagined?
Have you ever read Goblin Market written by Christina Rossetti? I’m not asking simply because of my odd fascination with the creatures; there’s just something about them: something primal, feral, virile. Whenever I think of them my thoughts always stray towards their deadly attraction towards women. Perhaps I’m wrong. Has anyone ever heard of a goblin* beguiling and seducing a man?
Well . . . Yes, actually. Yes, I’m sure you have . . .
But no one ever hears of that; no one wants to hear of that. Things like that seem much more profound, more hideous when they happen to a woman**.
You know what I’m referring to. It isn’t romantic at all, this thing . . .
Sex, when used as a cudgel on a woman—as a weapon—is quite degrading, disgusting; I think I might vomit. A woman, when seen as just an object for sex—a toy—is suddenly made less human, like an object, something to be thrown away afterwards. When you read Goblin Market, you’ll see the dark intent of the goblins. It’s so subtly written, so fluent, that you may have overlooked it the first time. Read it again.
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”***
“Backwards up the mossy glen
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill cry,
“Come buy, come buy.”
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other,
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling each other,
Brother with sly brother.”***
You’ll never look at that poem the same way again. Ever. You’d think that the author was writing a cautionary tale!
(If you ever look the monster in the eye, think twice before asking: what am I?)
*Don’t worry, I know there were good goblins as well; I haven’t forgotten that monsters come in all shapes and sizes for the sake of an article. Heavens no!
**It is just as traumatizing and degrading when it happens to a man.
***Excerpts from Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti.