Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Manufacturer
Santa’s elves will be working overtime on McKenna Pope’s wish list this year. The 13-year-old from Garfield, New Jersey, wants an Easy-Bake Oven for her 4-year-old brother... and a shift in gender politics.
“My little brother has always loved cooking,” McKenna explains via an online petition, according to the New York Daily News. And for Christmas, he only asked for two things -- a dinosaur and an Easy-Bake Oven. But McKenna and her parents believe the toy’s traditional “girly” hues and lack of boys in on the box play into an old-school stereotype: “women cook, men work.”
So, she’s asking the bigwigs at Hasbro (the toy’s manufacturer) to ditch the girls-only packaging and advertising campaigns, and offer the oven in non-gender-specific colors with her petition through Change.org. “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.”
Last year, after the popular toy got its pretty purple makeover, iVillage contacted Hasbro to find out why they didn’t opt for a neutral color. Their response claimed that culinary-minded boys like McKenna’s brother aren’t the majority: "Through the years, based on both market research and buying patterns, we have seen that the primary interest in the Easy-Bake Oven comes from girls. Clearly, we believe the Easy-Bake Oven is a great product that can provide lots of enjoyment for both girls and boys ages 8 and up. However, as a mass marketer and manufacturer, good business dictates that we carefully manage our marketing expenditures, and in the case of the Easy-Bake Oven, this translates into concentrating our primary efforts on girls."
Um, that theory sounds a little half-baked to us...