FireMAN: London Fire Service Slams Cartoon Pig for Sexist Language

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: A boy holds a 'One Upon A Time Princess Rose' Peppa Pig toy at Hamleys on June 25, 2015 in London, England. This Peppa Pig, which will sing by having its hands held, sells for £20. The Hamleys toy shop have made their predictions for …
Rob Stothard/Getty/Twitter

The London Fire Brigade has attacked Peppa Pig, the cartoon famous with little children the world over, for referring to one of the female characters as being dressed as a “fireman.”

Once alerted by a Twitter user that in one episode of the British cartoon the narrator had said “Mummy pig is dressed as a fireman,” the 154-year-old fire service tweeted, “Come on @peppapig, we’ve not been firemen for 30 years.

“You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters. Join our #Firefightingsexism campaign.”

Peppa Pig has so far not responded to the tweets by the fire brigade about its insufficiently woke language.

London Fire Brigade launched the “#Firefightingsexism” campaign in 2017 to stop people using the term “fireman” and to use “firefighter” instead, to fight sexism.

The service’s first female commissioner, Dany Cotton, said at the time she wanted people to “shake off outdated language” for fear of discouraging women from taking up the physically demanding job, saying that London was a “complex” city which needs a “diverse selection of skills” to protect it.

The row came as a female fireman said that another staple of British pre-school children’s entertainment, cartoon Fireman Sam, and other programmes were damaging female recruitment because it showed men saving people’s lives and putting out fires.

Temporary deputy chief fire officer for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Alex Johnson said the “image of firefighters portrayed in the media and in films, which is of men rushing into burning buildings to rescue people” is putting women off joining the service.

“Children’s shows like Fireman Sam don’t help to break down stereotypes either. Most of the job is nothing like it is portrayed. We do community and youth engagement work, where we need to be seen to be representative of the population.

“Women and people from different ethnic backgrounds are simply not considering being a firefighter because they are not seeing themselves represented,” Ms Johnson said, according to The Telegraph.

London’s fire brigade later attacked media personality Piers Morgan for suggesting that women who are put off becoming a fireman because of cartoons might not have the mettle to be firemen, saying he should stop using “outdated language” and “get our name right.”

Breitbart London reported in January that a whistleblower at another firefighting service, West Midlands Fire Service, claimed that white males were expected to score higher on mechanical, verbal, and numerical reasoning tests than women or ethnic minority candidates before being allowed to go on to the physical fitness assessment.

In 2011, The Times reported that fire chiefs had lowered the requirement for fitness in entry examinations in order to “diversify the workforce and recruit and retain more women firefighters.”

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