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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, 13-year-old convinces Hasbro to create a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven

Dear Daughters,

When 13-year-old McKenna Pope found a gender stereotype staring her right in the eyes, she stared right back at it. McKenna’s four-year-old brother, Gavyn, asked for an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. When they went shopping for one, McKenna was disappointed to find that not only did the ovens come in only in pink and purple – societal decided “girl” colors – there were also no pictures of boys on the product package. McKenna felt that this sent a clear message – “women cook, men work”.

McKenna states that she has “always been adamantly against anything that promotes specific roles in society for men and women” and wanted her brother to know that “it’s not ‘wrong’ for him to want to be a chef”. So she started an online petition that drew more than 45,000 signatures in a matter of days. Top chefs supported her campaign to have Hasbro offer the Easy Bake oven in more gender-neutral colors and also to include both boys and girls in their advertising campaigns and on product packaging.

And it was successful! On Monday, December 18, 2012, McKenna and her family met with Hasbro executives in the Pawtucket, Rhode Island headquarters who showed her design prototypes for gender-neutral Easy-Bake ovens – soon to be available in silver, black and blue.

Hasbro’s chief marketing officer, John Frascotti, pointed out that the Easy Bake Oven, first launched over 30 years ago, has been available in many different color schemes over the years – including green, yellow and silver. He acknowledges that the Easy Bake Oven is a product that is played with by both boys and girls and that they will continue to sell the existing model, along with the 2013 gender neutral design – which is to include boys on its packaging.

As we have learned from Lexi Peters before this, you don’t have to be a grown-up to change things, dear daughters.

One Comment

  1. Hearing people call in about this topic on the radio was a shocking reminder of how necessary your site, and the other recommended sites on your links page, still are.

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