When 13-year-old Mckenna Pope asked her 4-year-old brother Gavin what he wanted for Christmas, he answered “a dinosaur and an Easy-Bake Oven.” Best Christmas list ever, right? But Mckenna soon found out that getting him a living, breathing dinosaur would be much less complicated than getting him an Easy-Bake Oven, thanks to the gender-specific way Hasbro markets the popular cooking toy. Boys, it seems, aren’t supposed to want Easy-Bake Ovens.
As Mckenna did more research, she “found it quite appalling that boys are not featured in packaging or promotional materials for Easy Bake Ovens,” and she found the implications even more disturbing: “I feel that this sends a clear message: women cook, men work.” So she decided to do something about it…
Mckenna wrote up a petition asking Hasbro to change the ways it markets and presents the Easy-Bake Oven as a toy that’s made specifically for girls. Here’s the text:
I believe your product, the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, a favorite of mine as a young child, promotes gender roles in society. Your packaging for the product and it’s promotional materials advertise baking and cooking as a solely girls hobby. Also, its’ “girls” coloration of purple and pink make it seem as though cooking is “girly”, which it is not by any means. Please, Hasbro, I urge you to include males on your packaging, and feature your product in less gender specific colors, such as red, green, or blue. I thank you so much in advance for your understanding of my concerns, and please, help our youth understand that cooking and baking is for everyone, not a specific group of people.
She also made an awesome video to strengthen her case. Seriously, this girl knows what’s up:
The petition has already gathered over 20,000 signatures and is quickly gaining momentum. ”I want my brother to know that it’s not ‘wrong’ for him to want to be a chef,” she says, “[and] that it’s okay to go against what society believes to be appropriate.” However Hasbro decides to respond, major props to Mckenna for standing up for what she believes in and trying to make the world a more equal place for boys and girls. And Gavin, we can’t wait to visit your dinosaur-themed bakery in 20 years. [Bust]