I am confused about whether George Bernard Shaw is feminist or anti-feminist in the light of his dramas, especially Pygmalion and Candida? shaw's political statements shows definitely his femisnist bend of mind, but his dramas especially pygmalion and candida do not support his femisnist stance. why there is such paradox?

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It is probably anachronistic to ask whether George Bernard Shaw was or was not a feminist.

First, as a graduate student, you will study various different forms of feminism, which differ in many important aspects. Thus, first, you can’t really answer a question like that on the graduate level without specifying which type of feminism.

More importantly, the term feminism is a late 20th century construct, invented after Shaw’s death. In his period there was an issue of women’s suffrage (which he supported) and the “woman question”, which included things like whether women should join the workforce. “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” is Shaw’s major work on the “new woman” in the workforce.

Shaw’s own views on gender were a quite idiosyncratic blend of Fabianism and vitalism, and saw gender roles as reflecting the activity of the Life Force. They really don’t fit into any neat categories.


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