ONTD Political

13-Year-Old Girl Asks Easy Bake Oven To End Sexist Ads

9:45 am - 12/04/2012
13-Year-Old Girl Asks Easy Bake Oven To End Sexist Ads: ‘I Want My Brother To Know That It’s Not Wrong’ To Cook

Thirteen year old Mckenna Pope’s little brother loves to cook. But when he watches the commercials for a product he’s hoping to get for Christmas — the Easy Bake Oven — he only sees girls playing with the toy. Because of that, he believes that “only girls play with it.”

Pope is hoping to change that perception with a video and a petition. She is asking Hasboro — maker of the Easy Bake Oven — to start putting boys in their commercials, so that her little brother sees it’s okay for boys to cook:

[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.

Watch her appeal:



For a 13-year-old, Pope’s assessment is incredibly on-message with what experts understand about the link between confidence and gender stereotypes. Societal reinforcement of traditional gender roles can lead children to doubt their own ability, as evidenced by girls’ lack of confidence in mathematics based on their parents’ enforcement of gender stereotypes.

Pope’s petition has gathered over 18,000 signatures so far.

The Source - The Petition

OP: You go girl! I've sort of been mulling this over for the past couple years. I think I had one of these but we went through the mixes too fast. My nephew, though, loves to cook and I've been planning on buying one for him this Christmas.

As for stereotypes, I have to admit, as a woman, my lack of confidence in mathematics have nothing to do with gender stereotypes and everything to do with never understanding anything about three numbers: one, many, too many.

I'm not too sure about the tags.
miriamele 4th-Dec-2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
Man, I'm SO GLAD that the internet exists for intelligent, creative people to use and take advantage of. I wonder what causes I may have more fully supported at that age if I had the audience to speak to.
angelofdeath275 4th-Dec-2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
but but shes a dumb little kid brainwashed by angry feminists
furrygreen 4th-Dec-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
Sh! Don't blow our cover!
lux_roark 4th-Dec-2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
My 5 year old wants an Easy Bake Oven this year. I've been trying to convince him that it's more fun with a real oven, because the food actually comes out edible.
ameliorate 4th-Dec-2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
I have never understood cooking as a female activity. We all eat and many of the famous chefs are male...
chu_hi 4th-Dec-2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
It's because our brains are small, and we can't do much else. And men need to be taken care of.
onyx_obsidian 5th-Dec-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
The point is that many people view domestic cooking as a woman's job, and professional cooking as a chef, to be a man's. I saw many comments on this about how the majority of chefs are men anyway. It's long been a sore point.
marsbareater12 5th-Dec-2012 02:10 am (UTC)
To add onto this somewhat - the one of the main philosophies in the hospitality field is "cooks cook, chefs create" which follows to "anyone can be a cook, but it takes something special to be a chef".
thelilyqueen 5th-Dec-2012 01:08 am (UTC)
I think the origin goes something like this... *really* cooking was a time-consuming and exhausting process when basically everything was prepared from scratch, a cook had to know how to manage a fire or coal or wood-burning oven, etc. and women were more likely to be home to see to very young children. So they got the job. Technology advanced, expectations didn't.

As for male chefs, well, the fact they're chefs makes them something 'above' the average person trying to get dinner on the table. Men can do a traditionally female thing (cook, give advice on childcare, etc.) with minimal backlash if they place themselves as an authority in the field (a chef, a child psychologist/pediatrician).
encircleme 5th-Dec-2012 08:11 am (UTC)
MOST of the famous chefs are male, MOST accomplished successful chefs are male, most professional kitchen staff is male.

most professional kitchen staff is also misogynsitic as all hell and one of the contributing factors to why I left that industry.
miischelle 4th-Dec-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
I want to be this girl when I grow up.
johnjie 4th-Dec-2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Good on this girl for standing up against sexism and for her little brother :3
tabaqui 4th-Dec-2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
It's funny how 'women cook', but for a long time, only men could be 'real chefs'. WTFever, guys.

Signed the petition, of course - good on her!
rhysande 5th-Dec-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
I think a toaster oven that could also be used for baking would be a better choice, but I doubt it would have as much appeal for a small child. Signed the petition, though.
beoweasel 5th-Dec-2012 02:03 am (UTC)
I wanted an easy-bake oven as a kid. Mostly because I wanted to bake the shit out of cookies and little cakes and what not to stuff myself silly.

But I never got one. Of course, now I'm older and lazy.
astridmyrna 5th-Dec-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Signed!
jettakd 5th-Dec-2012 03:19 am (UTC)
It always pisses me off that men are taught cooking is only for women. It's not. Every competent adult who is capable of cooking, should know how to cook. I'm going to teach all my future kids how to cook regardless of gender, jsut cause they will invariably need to know!
anjak_j 5th-Dec-2012 03:48 am (UTC)
Agreed. In fact, I think basic cookery should be part of a wider 'life skills' course that teaches kids all the things they need to be able to do to manage their own household - chores, cooking, finances and budgeting... I could go on. Considering I've known people in their twenties who've no idea how to do something as simple as iron a shirt or boil an egg - I shit you not - I think it's long overdue that this stuff be taught in schools.
azora_mysta 18th-Dec-2012 05:48 am (UTC)
It was in my schools. In junior high we had something called 'home ec' that taught cooking and sewing, and in high school we had a 9th grade seminar that taught budgeting and writing checks. It should be more common though.

That was only ten years ago, and I fear it's already disappearing more with the standardized test obsession.
anjak_j 18th-Dec-2012 12:37 pm (UTC)
We have Home Economics here in the UK too - though it is usually an elective class after Year Nine - our grade level for 13 and 14 year-old students. I can't speak for all UK schools, but in the one I attended, HE was split into two categories - HE: Food Tech (cookery and related things such as food hygiene) and HE: Child Development. Sewing was taught as part of another class that also fell under the Tech/Art banner - Textiles. Whilst these classes are common, it has been my observation that they don't always teach the basics needed for everyday life.

As to money and budgeting, there have been campaigns going on for some time in the UK to have schools properly educate kids in personal finance.

I see the obsession with standardised testing that is sweeping through schools and it really angers me. I don't particularly see exams/testing as a good way of judging anyone's skills in a subject, and learning by rote just to fulfil a test score isn't really teaching at all. I never finished college and therefore didn't get the qualifications I intended to, but I learnt a lot from just being at those classes.
romp 5th-Dec-2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Hell, yes. Both of our boys know how to cook; the 20-something now asks his other mom (the one who cooks) to show him how to make a different dish every time he visits. But, yes, it's only humane to teach someone how to provide themselves with healthy, affordable food.
the_physicist 5th-Dec-2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
i'd do the same... except it might be better for me to find someone who can actually cook to teach potential future kids. i did find my boyfriend's lack of cooking skills hilarious though.

me: "Here's the garlic crusher. While I go do something outside of the kitchen, can you crush some garlic into the sauce?"

him: "Sure!"

*comes back to find little white flakes on the sauce*

me: "... you did peel the cloves first, right?!"

him: "Huh? What do you mean?"

Edited at 2012-12-05 12:05 pm (UTC)
atheistkathleen 5th-Dec-2012 03:33 am (UTC)
aw that's sweet
anjak_j 5th-Dec-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
I've never understood the sexism surrounding cooking - especially not when the ratio of boys to girls in my home economics classes was 1:1. And that was more than fifteen years ago...
unclesamonmars 5th-Dec-2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Good on her. Commercials seriously enrage me because they're often so sexist, racist, and wtf nowadays I don't understand how someone OK'd some of their ideas.

But, I just want to add though, there aren't many people that are going to tell the boy he's wrong for wanting to be a professional chef due to his gender because honestly most chefs and cooks are men, and the industry is a real boy's club. I honestly never want to work in a kitchen again because of all the sexual harassment I've seen and personally endured.
a_phoenixdragon 5th-Dec-2012 05:01 am (UTC)
Out of the mouths of babes...

Why are children always so much clearer and concise with their beliefs? This is brilliant!
romp 5th-Dec-2012 05:18 am (UTC)
It helps that they seem to all value fairness above all.
caitiecait 5th-Dec-2012 08:03 am (UTC)
This kid is awesome!

But I wish Hasbro would stop misleading kids into thinking that Easy Bake Ovens make something other than inedible paste.
abee 5th-Dec-2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
MOTHERFUCKING SIGNED.
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