Analyzing George Bernard Shaw’s Portrayal of Women in the Light of Postfeminist Theory

  • Dr. Shahid Abbas Lecturer in English, University of Sargodha
  • Dr. Ijaz Asghar Assistant Professor, University of Sargodha
  • Qamar Hussain Lecturer in English, University of Sargodha
Keywords: Bernard Shaw, Postfeminism, Islam, Representation of Women


The paper aims at investigating the critical opinions about Bernard Shaw’s ambivalent relation to feminism. In this regard, the researchers highlight the emerging role of postfeminism and its overlapping elements with the Islamic portrayal of womanhood. Shaw differs from his predecessors drastically – he portrays independent female characters as compared to the invisible and submissive females of the past. Thus, one of the striking features of Shaw’s drama is the depiction of liberated women. The Shavian women do not consider men folk as their rivals. There is a shift from powerless to empowered women in academia. The researchers find out that there is an ideological conflict between feminism and Islam but as far as postfeminism is concerned, there is none. Rather, postfeminism propagates and supports the Islamic concept of womanhood thoroughly. It is also worth noting that feminist ideas and ideology have greatly dented the social and political fabric of mankind and human civilization in general. Whereas, postfeminism propagates in favor of maintaining a balanced position for womanhood in life which is a balance between social and individual life, and a balance between professional and family life. The purpose of this article is to promote a better understanding of the status of women in Islam and its overlapping and common areas with postfeminism, that is, God has equated female folk at par with their male folk. The research is significant as it challenges the western notion of women in Islam and dispels the erroneous notions of suppression of women in Islam. The prime finding of this research is that postfeminism proclaims equal footing for men and women in life, as enshrined in the Holy Quran.  Further, the researchers lament that just because of myopic-minded people, the world is not making any progress intellectually. The researchers recommend that there is a dire need to promote liberal intellectuals like Shaw who harbor no bias against Islam and Muslims to maintain peace and order in the world.