Thomas the Tank Engine started out as bedtime stories by a loving father for his son. With encouragement from the Lady of the House (am I allowed to call her a "Lady"?), the stories were written down and published in beautifully illustrated little books, well before the TV series. The original children's books accurately describe post world war British railway history, and include accounts of real incidents and events.
In an effort to sensibly use Australian taxpayers dollars, because, clearly, there was too much tax money sloshing around, Professor Shauna Wilton was funded to conduct a study. Not a study into anything sensible, you understand. That would be boring. Rather, this study has helpfully asserted that Thomas the Tank Engine demeans women. Furthermore, she has warned that "such negative messages about society subconsciously gleaned from the show may drive its young fans off the rails in later life."
And I thought they were just trains.
Research has also shown that the pollution generated by Thomas the Tank Engine has been a minor contributor to the depletion of the ozone layer and the environmental effects on the earth, compared to the pollution generated by Professor Wilton.
In reality, what Professor Wilton’s research proves (aside from the obvious proof that she wastes taxpayers money on idle rubbish) is that she has not actually watched any Thomas the Tank Engine episode or read any of the books. The female characters in Thomas are plentiful and hardworking, are no different to the other engines, and are certainly not subservient to any of the males. I can rapidly list Annie, Clarabell, Henrietta, Daisy, Mavis, Caroline, Emily, Molly, Rosie, Flora, Pip and Emma, Catherine, Isabel, Victoria, Agnes, Ruth, Jemima, Lucy, Beatrice, Cora, Ada, Jane, Gertrude, Lady, Lady Hatt, Alicia Botti, The Refreshment Lady, and Mrs Kindley. Professor Wilton’s study seems to neglect the narrow-gauge engines and rolling stock.
Unless I am missing the point that, in real life, broad-gauge engines actually do demean narrow-gauge engines and rolling stock.
Thomas the Tank Engine can now take his place with Noddy and Big Ears and their obvious gay tendencies, and that whore Sleeping Beauty, who possibly had an adulterous relationship with Tiger Woods.
I am now deeply concerned that my sons will develop patriarchal, sexist, he-man, wymyn-hating attitudes and tendencies.
On the other hand, I have just finished a (non-taxpayer-funded, so it must be useful) study on Barney, the big, purple dinosaur. Through my extensive research, I have discovered that the Barney stories only represent a minority of us in the socio-ideological stakes. This is evident by the lack of purple dinosaurs in the community, and is blatantly unfair to the all us non-purple humans. Barney should be forced to conform to our way of life, in the same way Professor Wilton expects children’s shows to fit into her own small world view.