Just heard this on the CBC, but the incredulous tone of the UK's Daily Telegraph is a bit more entertaining:
Prof. Shauna Wilton, a Canadian political scientist, recently presented an analysis of Thomas The Tank Engine, at a conference. Did you notice this? Apparently the whole thing's a sexist, classist, throwback conservative brainwashing tool. Or something:
In one episode, Thomas whistles impatiently at a police officer and is replaced with a different engine as a punishment for showing dissent.Maybe not for a boy. What's this ivory tower academic doing letting her 3-year-old daughter watch boys' television in the first place, hmm? That girl's place is in the play kitchen!
"It also represents a conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles," she said. "Any change is seen as disrupting the natural order of things."
But Prof Wilton insisted she show was not all bad...
Thomas the Tank Engine attacked for 'conservative political ideology' [telegraph.co.uk via cbc]