Mckenna Pope is joining the chorus of children calling upon Hasbro to be more gender neutral in their toys. At thirteen, Pope is pushing for Hasbro to be more boy friendly when it comes to the Easy Bake Oven. Apparently, he sees only girls playing with it and believes that it is for girls only. Her brother, it seems, loves to cook.
Pope would like to see more boys playing with these toys in the commercials. In this YouTube video, she states:
[B]oys 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 want my 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. There are, as a matter of fact, a multitude of very talented and successful male culinary geniuses, i.e. Emeril, Gordon Ramsey, etc. Unfortunately, Hasbro has made going against the societal norm that girls are the ones in the kitchen even more difficult.
Young Ms Pope has a point. While society does push the idea that women are the only ones who cook, the reality is that men cook a lot too. In some ways, the biggest obstacle has always been that women cook in the home while men cook in fancy restaurants. It is not surprising that seven out of the eight Iron Chefs, for instance, are straight men, and only one is a woman.
Hasbro is having something of an issue with gender specificity lately. Their show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is, nominally, aimed for young girls, but has drawn in fans across both genders and along many different ages.