We Heart: Mckenna Pope for Supporting Boys Who Want to Cook

When Mckenna Pope, a New Jersey eighth-grader, found her younger brother “cooking” tortillas on his lamp’s light bulb, she knew exactly what to get him for Christmas: the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven by Hasbro.

However, when she and her parents looked into purchasing one for the 4-year-old boy, they were troubled by the fact that it is promoted only as a girls’ toy. No boys are featured on the oven’s packaging and promotional materials, and its color palette is made up of gender-stereotyped pinks and purples.

Any boy interested in learning to cook would take one look at the Easy-Bake and receive the message that he probably should not desire one, because home cooking is for girls.

It’s fair to see that this pissed off McKenna–but she put her anger into activism, creating a Change.org petition asking Hasbro to include males in their packaging and promotion and pick some new gender-nonspecific colors. “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,” she writes in her petition introduction. And she urges Hasbro, “Please, help our youth understand that cooking and baking is for everyone, not a specific group of people.”

If McKenna’s petition reaches 25,000 signatures, it will be delivered to Hasbro’s CEO, Media contact, PR department and marketing officials. As of Monday, the petition had reached nearly 18,000 signatures, so she is well on her way. We salute this young feminist for acknowledging and taking steps to correct a prevalent problem in the toy industry!

If you believe that gender-specific toys limit the opportunities for children to imagine and experience anything and everything they can be–and if you want to see boys featured on Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven packaging–sign here.

Screenshot of Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven from ThinkFastToys via YouTube.

Comments

  1. Small correction. Males, not mails.

    I think this is wonderful. There are certain toys that have gender neutral colors and boys on the packaging that were “cooking” toys. I’m pretty sure it was a slurpee maker or something similar.

    But this is long overdue. It’s a toy that makes snacks! Which little kid doesn’t like snacks?

  2. MALES is misspelled in this article: “Hasbro to include mails in their packaging” should be MALES.

  3. Doesn’t Hasbro still make the Queasy Bake Oven? That was a product geared toward boys who wanted to cook by masculinizing the toy with a “gross out” theme. You put gummy worms on the cakes which had names like “dirt pie” etc. My Ex’s son wanted an oven for his fifth birthday, he went with the original Easy Bake because as he put it, the “one for boys, is kinda stupid”. We did find one that didn’t have flowers and swirls but a more modern sleek look. It was still purple, a color he was cool with. Great kid.

  4. Colour is not gender-specific. Colour does not have gender, and that box does not have any children on it of either gender. Telling our children that the product is geared toward girls because it’s purple is the same as telling girls something isn’t for them because it’s blue. This fight is ridiculous. Maybe someone could just ask for more options in colour for the oven. Wouldn’t that make more sense than saying, “My brother wants to bake, but not with your gay purple or pink ovens”.

    • I don’t think purple is a gender specific color, although it is hard for me to say the same for the color pink-which I hate and all the sissy implications thereof. ( i am a female who loves blues and greens) However, the flowers combined with the color and images (on the back of the packaging) indicates girl- wrong or right that is their target audience and that is very clear to non-ostrich types. Easy bake ovens have traditionally come in colors and designs reflecting the trends of kitchens in the time period. Like avocado, yellow, turquoise and sadly pink (oh the fifties and pink toilets). So today really we should have stainless or black options that look like actual mini ovens, not odd looking pink and purple microwaves/ toaster oven designs that Bratz dolls puked on. Ovens are not gay either by the way, although if you have been conversing with them long enough to find out sexual orientation of your appliances: you have bigger problems.

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