UPDATE: Many is the petition that makes the news and then quickly fades into obscurity, never to change the world as it valiantly hoped. But that's not the case here. Mckenna Pope got over 45,000 signatures on her petition to Hasbro requesting a more gender-neutral version of its famous Easy-Bake Oven in the name of equality — and wouldn't you know, Hasbro actually responded!
The Miami Herald reports that Pope and her family met with Hasbro execs, who had been working on a new design for months. Mckenna and her little brother Gavyn were pleased to see a silver and blue prototype, and that the company plans to re-think its marketing campaign to include boys. Gavyn called the new Easy-Bake "awesome," and we totally agree. Hasbro claims they've been working on this for 18 months, which is great, but the coincidence is a teeny bit suspect. Not that we care — in fact, we sincerely hope they were influenced by Mckenna's thoughtful petition.
Read up on the backstory on the next page...then enjoy the rest of the day with the knowledge that yes, one person can make a difference.
Most of us can agree that despite miles of progress, gender roles are still drilled into children's heads at a very early age. There's probably no better example of that than the Easy-Bake Oven. In principle, it's a fun toy that anyone can enjoy! But sadly, the packaging and marketing is very clearly aimed at girls and girls alone — thus, reinforcing the idea that cooking is something only women should do, leaving the more important stuff like crashing plastic race cars into each other to the boys.
Fortunately, one teen girl is speaking out against all of that. At only 13 years old, Mckenna Pope is petitioning Hasbro, maker of the Easy-Bake Oven, to add boys into its commercials and package the product in a more gender-neutral manner. She realized the problem after her little brother said he wanted an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas — despite the fact that, in his words, "only girls play with them." Says Mckenna, "I thought that as a society, we had far moved past that. But no, we continue to force the stereotype that men don't cook, they work."
You can bet we're forwarding this petition to all of our friends, and we hope you'll sign, too! This is a worthy cause and, frankly, we can't believe this change didn't happen years ago, and we know a lot of hunky chefs who feel the same way!
Photo: Courtesy of Hasbro.