Three cheers for 13-year-old McKenna Pope of New Jersey, who has launched a petition to eliminate gender stereotyping in Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Ovens.
So far, she’s garnered nearly 19,000 signatures.
Pope’s 4-year-old brother, Gavyn, wants to be a cook, but Easy-Bake products make it clear that boys aren’t really welcome— even the Easy-Bake website is subtitled “Cooking & Baking Games for Girls.”
As Pope explains:
My little brother has always loved cooking. Being in the kitchen is his favorite out-of-school activity, and he yearns to have the opportunity to cook on his own, or at least with limited help.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into his room to find him ‘cooking’ tortillas by placing them on top of his lamp’s light bulb! Obviously, this is not a very safe way for him to be a chef. So when he asked Santa for his very own Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, produced by the Hasbro company, for me to help him be the cook he’s always wanted to be, my parents and I were immediately convinced it was the truly perfect present.
However, we soon found it quite appalling that boys are not featured in packaging or promotional materials for Easy Bake Ovens—this toy my brother’s always dreamed about. And the oven comes in gender-specific hues: purple and pink.
I feel that this sends a clear message: women cook, men work.
I want my brother to know that it’s not ‘wrong’ for him to want to be a chef. That it’s okay to go against what society believes to be appropriate.
This isn’t a complicated order, Hasbro: Putting some boys in your commercial would be a good start.