Saturday, 28 December 2013

NWR Editorial: Female Characters



For nearly 30 years Thomas the Tank Engine has been criticised by many as 'sexist' due to the 'lack' of female characters. This issue is nothing new, we've all heard it before since the dawn of the television series as well as when it was just the Railway Series books itself, pre-Britt Allcroft, so it's been done to death. Recently Mary Creagh, MP of the Labor party in England for Transport, is one of the critics who had said that the show as well as the Railway Series books have a lack of female characters and is a 'national scandal', despite she finds the stories wonderful and incredibly popular. 

I will have to admit there is not enough female characters in the series in comparison towards the amount of male characters, but the ones that the Dailymail (the 'Dailyfail' as I called it since there stories are nothing but trash) and other media outlets list saying that characters like Daisy is the sole female character and they have about a few characters listed such as one, two, three or more coaches or human. I have looked up many female characters that were introduced as engines, vehicles rolling stock and humans and pretty much the numbers don't lack. Despite that there are about 67 or more male characters there are about 46 females and they're still counting as HIT Entertainment says that more are in development, this includes characters from the Sam Barlow era of the show. Here are the list of female characters: 
  1. Emily
  2. Millie
  3. Rosie
  4. Caitlin
  5. Molly
  6. Belle
  7. Old Slow Coach
  8. Flora
  9. Elizabeth
  10. Isabella
  11. Duchess of Boxford
  12. Dowager Hatt
  13. Jenny Packard
  14. Alicia Botti
  15. Madge
  16. Mrs. Percival
  17. Annie
  18. Clarabel
  19. Henrietta
  20. Elise 
  21. Isabel
  22. Dulice
  23. Alice
  24. Mirabel
  25. Victoria
  26. Agnes
  27. Ruth
  28. Lucy
  29. Jemmia 
  30. Beatrice
  31. Ada
  32. Jane
  33. Mabel
  34. Bertrude
  35. Millicent 
  36. Catherine 
  37. Daisy
  38. Mavis
  39. Pip
  40. Emma
  41. Lady
  42. Caroline
  43. Bluebell
  44. Primrose
  45. Miss Jenny
  46. Lady Hatt
So while those numbers aren't big as the male characters, it shows that the TV and Railway series in total are not lacking female characters in total, these are characters that either have a big or minor role in the stories. The numbers are still counting as more are in development. Many comments on many news outlets are opposed to the recent news some say that their daughters, in their respects, loved Thomas when they were young and they were in no way to be inspired to be a train driver. As a male I love steam engines and railways and my dream as a boy was to be a driver, but I pretty much forgot about it and just stayed as an enthusiast thanks to Thomas the Tank Engine as well as various railway documenatries. If you're female and love steam engines and want to driver one, don't think that TTTE is the start of it all, just do it. All women are allowed to driver trains if they want or not. It's a children's show and Thomas does not reflect nor focus on politics. But if she's reading this, the transport MP, I believe she needs to think more about Britain's transport rather then a childrens show's 'lack' of female characters. This'll be my last post for the year so I like to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe 2014.