We Heart: Hasbro, for Responding to Gender Criticism

On Monday, Hasbro announced that it will debut a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven, after McKenna Pope, an eighth-grader from New Jersey, started a petition on Change.org asking the company to feature boys on its packaging. The 13-year-old garnered support from more than 44,000 people, including celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Pope, who started the widely publicized campaign because she wanted to encourage her younger brother’s interest in cooking, met with Hasbro at their headquarters in Rhode Island to discuss the petition. During this meeting, Hasbro executives asked her opinion on a prototype of a black and silver Easy Bake Oven, which will be released in February 2013. Hasbro Vice President Julie Duffy told her that the company would feature boys on the oven’s packaging and promotional materials. McKenna reported that she was satisfied with the company’s efforts and that she approved of the design:

They really met most of or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me.

Looks like Pope’s four-year-old brother Gavyn will get his wish, after all! Thanks, Hasbro, for encouraging boys who want to cook, too–and way to go McKenna for making it all happen!

Screenshot of McKenna’s little brother Gavyn via eboscio from YouTube.

Comments

  1. This is encouraging because they listened to feedback from their customers and yet discouraging because it proves that we still live in a society that disapproves of boys playing with “pink” toys, and that parents are so worried about their boys being “girly” that we have to make silver ovens, just for them.

    • Not so much now, but when I was a young girl, I eschewed pink anything. More options for everyone is always better!

    • discoqueen says:

      As a person who identifies as female who has never in her entire life liked the color pink (even though I played with Barbies and was very “feminine” early on) I have absolutely no problem with the idea that they might offer more than one color option. Now, if a boy asked for/really wanted the pink version, and parents didn’t want to buy it for him, that would be a problem with the parents, no? Simply offering the choice for girls AND boys who don’t like pink is a net good, in my opinion.

      I’m not overjoyed that the choice is black and silver. I like blues and purples and have to live with the fact that my color choices in some things are “masculine black” and “feminine pink”. However, as this is a very standard color scheme for real ovens, it’s not objectionable to me.

    • The real joke about all of this is that Easy Bake Ovens used to be BROWN! When I was a kid I had a 2 tone brown one with orange accents. This was in the early 90s. They didn’t come out with the pink and purple one until later. The real question is why did they begin making pink ones and why are the pink ones still going to be sold? Just make the ovens look like little ovens. Kids will want to play with them because they will make them feel grown up, and they will get to eat cake- the true appeal of the toy.

  2. McKenna’s story is another example of the – cool stuff kids do – Don’t underestimate what the next generation of kids are capable of. She is just one of the kids featured on http://fingerprintprojects.com – a collection of stories about activists, entrepreneurs, innovators and philanthropists under 18.

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