Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man

Militant feminists have long considered playwright George Bernard Shaw as one of their own.  Perhaps Shaw is the only man of letters worthy of inclusion in the sisterhood of writers ranging from George Sand to Germaine Greer, Adrienne Rich, and Gloria Steinem. Pygmalion's professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins, at first blush is the archetype of the dominant male manipulator of class-repressed women, using a man's socio-economic ascendancy to transform a woman into his own image.  But by the end of the play, Eliza, the flower-monger, has turned the tables, declaring her independence, having manipulated the good professor by taking from him only what she needed -- the opportunity for the right time and place in asserting her own personality, intellect, and ambition. Feminist stage and screen critics have not been as kind to Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, the movie musical version of Pygmalion.  L & L's professor Higgins, portrayed to perfection by Rex Harrison, is...(Read Full Article)

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