Never mind unemployment, immigration issues, violence, or any other societal ills--according to Labour MP Mary Creagh, it is a "national scandal" in the United Kingdom that only 4.2 percent of train drivers are female. Creagh's solution? Thomas the Tank Engine, a popular children's book series and television show, needs more female train engines. Because equality, or something.
From The Telegraph:
Mrs Creagh said: "In the Thomas the Tank Engine books there are almost no female engines. The only female characters are an annoyance, a nuisance and in some cases a danger to the functioning of the railway.
"There is a preponderance of men in the transport industry and I am very keen to unpack some of the myths that stop women from taking up what are often highly paid and highly skilled jobs."
Daisy is the only female engine on the show.
Creagh also claimed that required mechanical comprehension tests taken by hopeful train drivers could be "discriminatory" towards women. She also said that companies should provide more flexible hours so that women with small children could work as train drivers.
Besides the fact that there are about a billion things that are more important than the gender identity of a person driving a train in the UK, blaming a children's book series on the lack of females in a profession is absolutely insane. Creagh demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of economics and how the hiring process works. There's a reason trains don't offer "flexible hours" for mothers--people need the train to go from A to B, and those hours do not always mesh with a woman's ideal work schedule. If a person is required to work a certain time of day and the applicant is unavailable to work those hours, the applicant isn't going to land the job.
Regardless of the gender of the characters she watched on a cartoon that day.