Dec 4, 2012

(LA Times) -- What to get a little boy for Christmas that isn't the usual toy car set, video game or sports item? One fresh-faced activist suggests an Easy Bake Oven.

McKenna Pope, 13, is petitioning toy maker Hasbro Inc. to stop marketing the kitchen set to only young girls. She's asking for images of boys to also be placed on Easy Bake boxes.

On Hasbro's website, the Easy Bake brand is included under Cooking & Baking Games for Girls.

The Garfield, N.J., eighth-grader, moved to action by her 4-year-old brother's attempts to cook on top of a lamp's light bulb, has already scored nearly 18,000 signatures on her petition on Change.org.

On the petition, McKenna writes that she found the lack of packaging or promotional materials featuring boys to be "quite appalling." The girlie purple and pink colors used on Easy Bake ovens didn't help either.

Here's a snippet of what she wrote in the petition:

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 have always been adamantly against anything that promotes specific roles in society for men and women, and having grown up with toys produced by the Hasbro corporation, it truly saddens me that such a successful business would resort to conforming to society's views on what boys do and what girls do.
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. There are, as a matter of fact, a multitude of very talented and successful male culinary geniuses, i.e. Emeril, Gordon Ramsey, etc. Unfortunately, Hasbro has made going against the societal norm that girls are the ones in the kitchen even more difficult.

To really pound her point home, Pope uploaded a video in which she goads her brother into explaining the trouble with wanting an Easy Bake Oven (he also hopes for a dinosaur).

"Only girls play with it," he says as he tries to bake cookies.


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