If people get ants in their pants over a LEGO set just for girls, why not go after the purple Easy-Bake Oven, which features girls prominently on its packaging, for promoting sexist attitudes? That is the cause an eighth grader has taken up against the makers of the toy oven, Hasbro, because she doesn’t want her little brother to think cooking is only for girls.
In her petition on Change.org (via the Daily Beast) the girl writes that her little brother loves cooking, and even tried to “cook” tortillas once by putting them on top of a light bulb. That’s when he asked Santa for an Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven. She and her parents thought that was a lovely idea, at first.
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.
Her goal is to let her brother know it’s not wrong in any way for him to want to grow up to be a chef, and she writes that the way to do that is with an Easy-Bake Oven featuring gender neutral toys and boys on its packaging. Her petition currently has almost 25,000 signatures.
There are probably also little girls out there who are rankled by the pink and purples they’re supposed to love (I absolutely loathed pink as a kid), or boys who absolutely adore those colors. How about just making multiple colors for the ovens? Then each kid can pick their favorite color and get to whipping up a tray of tiny treats.
Eighth Grader Tells Hasbro: Man Up the Easy-Bake Oven [The Daily Beast]
Hasbro: Feature boys in the packaging of the Easy-Bake Oven [Change.org]