I think I can ignore these gender-crazed “scholars” when they denounce Thomas the Tank. But do read the article about it, because the whole thing is quite humourous, starting with the lede:
A researcher has blown the whistle [Editor’s Note: Toot, Toot! All aboard! Now nowhere in the article does it indicate that the whistle-blowing researchers said that. But I can imagine that if you are gender-dissecting Thomas the Tank and need motivation, that might be one way to get some. Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, chugga chugga–TOOT, TOOT!] on Thomas the Tank Engine, saying the classic series was pushing “conservative political ideology” on to kids.
As a side note, I have learned that the Little Engine that Could and Thomas the Tank are not related. Not even cousins. Interesting. Further musings lead me to believe that The Little Engine that Could is also foisting conservative ideology on children. And then I wonder: was the research grant not large enough to flesh out important details like this? Hmmmm.
Brigitte is no expert on which children’s tank engine is more misogynist than the others: But she did like this piece. Especially:
The ridiculous part (not that the whole Thomas-as-misogynist thing isn’t more than a little ridiculous in itself) is that the professor in question, Shauna Hilton, has a three-year-old daughter who loves Thomas. Hilton — a political scientist at the University of Alberta, Augustana — seems to be of the view that it’s good that her daughter watches the show and plays with Thomas trains and toys. She just thinks it’s important that she talks to her daughter about the episodes and points out the ways in which they are sexist, anachronistic and potentially damaging. Oh, Mommy, what fun!
For some reason, I saw a connection between the above and this piece about how the British government is considering a ban on parents who smoke in front of their children to protect the little ones against the, um, well, obviously to guard against the, ah, something or other having to do with parents who may, you never know, indulge in habits that aren’t government-approved.
Is it me, or are people worried about the wrong things?