When McKenna Pope’s 4 year old brother asked for an Easy-Bake Oven, her and her parents were surprised at what they had found. Even at the age of 13, McKenna was taken aback by the obvious gender stereotyping on the packaging of the Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven. The casing was completely tailored to girls, from the pink and purple colors to the lack of boys on the box.
Rightfully so, McKenna didn’t want her brother to feel awkward about wanting an Easy-Bake Oven that is so obviously targeted to young girls instead of boys. I mean, why can’t boys cook and bake too? There are plenty of famous male chefs these days! So she decided to take matters into her own hands. She created a petition on Change.org in hopes of downgrading the very obvious gender roles depicted on the product. She stated in her petition plea that she wants her “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.”
McKenna just may get her wish too. The petition has been picking up steam, with more than 40,000 signatures and a surplus of comments in support of her argument. One commenter wrote, “I loved my easy-bake oven when I was a boy and I love cooking today. all boys should have access to the kitchen. and it’s never too early to let them have that access.” Amen, my friend, amen.
Will you see gender-neutral Easy-Bake Ovens on the shelves soon for the little one in your life? Maybe. The landslide of signatures has not gone unnoticed at Hasbro, and she is now set to meet with executives on Monday. Go McKenna!