According to University of Alberta political scientist Shauna Wilton, the children’s television show Thomas the Tank Engine pushes a conservative ideology and relegates female characters to the back of the train — literally. Wiltson started watching the show with her three-year-old daughter and was struck by how hierarchal the relations between characters were and by the role female characters played. “The gender roles were particularly interesting to me because I have a daughter who watches the show, and as the mother of a daughter, I want her to be watching shows with strong female characters in them. And female characters are pretty much confined to supporting roles in this show,” said Wilton. “Thomas has Annie and Clarabel. They chug along behind him and repeat what he says and cheer him on or express concern and worry if they don’t feel he’s doing the right thing.”
The full story on the cbc website is here.