13 y.o. launches petition against Easy-Bake Oven for marketing only to girls

Easy-Bake Oven, sexist?  A 13 year old girl says yes, and she’s asking Hasbro to stop.

As someone who loves to cook, does all of the cooking at home, and who has enjoyed cooking since I was a kid, I would say most definitely, yes – the Easy-Bake Oven’s marketing is sexist (see a sampling below).

Just as it’s sexist to dissuade young girls from math, it’s completely sexist to suggest cooking is not for young boys.  And that’s what Easy-Bake Oven’s entire marketing scheme is about – girls, to the exclusion of boys.

Why Are Most Celebrity Chefs Men?

What makes all of this a strange topic is that in the world of “top chefs” in the restaurant business, there’s also a heavy dose of sexism against women. Most of the big name chefs are men, though fortunately there are more women who are getting the respect that they deserve. Even in the context of sexism, cooking is odd since it discourages one sex or another depending on age (it’s okay for men to cook but not boys, and women’s place is in the kitchen unless it’s a really big famous kitchen).

What’s so complicated about being a boy or a girl, a man or a woman and wanting to cook without regard to your gender?

Easy-Bake Oven is Marketed at Girls Exclusively

Google “Easy-Bake Oven” – the description is about girls:

And go to the Easy-Bake Oven Web site – no boys to be found, but this little girl is everywhere:

easy-bake oven

Then I went over to Amazon to check out the Easy-Bake Oven collection of products.  The only gender shown on the packages are girls and women. These are only a handful:
easy-bake oveneasy-bake oveneasy-bake oven

easy-bake oveneasy-bake oven

While women were traditionally the primary cooks at home, that is hardly the case in many households these days. Reinforcing old stereotypes is old school, and we really need these companies to catch up with the modern world.

NOTE FROM JOHN: I used love to love playing with my sisters’ Easy-Bake Oven when I was a kid.  And I still love to cook and bake today (might be making some pumpkin chocolate chip bread later tonight in fact, in my non-sexist GE oven).  Easy-Bake Oven is sexist, and it’s weird that Hasbro is still focusing exclusively on girls in this day and age.

It’s Time for Hasbro to Liberate the Easy-Bake Oven

Whether or not you want to sign the petition or contact Hasbro (the manufacturer) directly, is your choice. Personally I won’t even look on the Change.org site until they stop playing both sides for profit but I appreciate what the young girl is doing to bring about positive change. Good for her!

Speaking of spunky young girls, remember Riley, from last Christmas, who was beside herself that the toys store try to push girls to buy pink toys and boys to buy blue:


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Butch1

    Being on the basketball and football teams required one to take a shower. ;-)

  • Butch1

    When I was growing up field hockey was considered the girl’s sport and answer to the “boy’s” ice hockey. We didn’t have soccer back in the 50s and 60s yet when I was growing up.

  • Butch1

    Interesting that they don’t seem to trust kids with chemicals anymore. ;-)

  • Butch1

    LOL!

  • Ariel

    So does anyone else realize that “in 2002, a version for boys was introduced, the ‘Queasy Bake Cookerator’”? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy-Bake_Oven

    My brother had it. It’s not like Hasbro hasn’t tried to make a boy version. Has anyone thought maybe it wasn’t a big ticket item? Also, who says a boy can’t play with an Easy Bake oven? Aren’t people that think that way being sexist themselves? Just saying, it’s kind of a lost cause. If you want your son to play with an Easy Bake oven, then stop being so biased to the colors pink and purple. Just because our minds have been molded to associate those colors as being “just for girls” doesn’t mean boy can’t like them too.

  • Sweetie

    And, given the growing obesity rate, the smell is going to be even more of a problem. I guess they’ll have to use even more aluminum deodorant which will kill whatever brain cells they’re supposed to be using.

  • Sweetie

    “All I know is that they don’t think you have to take a shower afterward,
    both to save time and to not force any kid to possibly see any other
    kid naked.”

    That’s just what teachers need, sweaty smelly prudes. And, that’s just what we need in our society, stinky people with body image problems.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    lol

  • Bluestocking

    Interestingly enough, during the period of time when I lived in England as a child back in the 70′s, I had two children’s cookbooks — both of which, I’m happy to say, were very egalitarian. One didn’t have any pictures of girls or boys at all and featured cartoon drawings of a dog and cat — the other was a Magic Roundabout cookbook which showed all of the characters (both males and females) making something. Why, I wonder, do Americans in particular insist on remaining stuck in the past when it comes to gender roles?

  • Bluestocking

    Good for her! Just the other day, I was lamenting (well, more like complaining about) the fact that the popular culture — scratch that, our culture in general — still continues to insist on sending women the message practically from the time we’re in our cribs that our primary aspiration should be to find a husband and make babies (i.e., be Happy Homemakers and please others instead of ourselves without ever questioning whether this is what we really want or what is suited for us). It’s all about the message…

    It’s slowly beginning to change, yes, and I know that thousands of years of human tradition (or habit) can’t really be expected to change overnight…but one of the reasons why I object to things like this is because I think it actually helps encourage girls to focus on other people instead of themselves and expect that this will make them happy, only to feel disappointed when it doesn’t and they wonder what went wrong.

    Of course, our culture sells guys a similar bill of goods because they’re told they have to be play rough and be tough…with the message that if they don’t want to do that, they’re not “real men” (even though a real “real man” knows that are times when being tough is a good thing and times when it’s not).

  • Jim Olson

    Amen. I will never forgive John Piccuto at the Randolph, MA school system for the torment he inflicted upon me for three years of Jr. High School and two years in High School. He was a sadist who was only interested in the kids who exhibited athletic ability in “real sports”. To this day I loathe participating in any kind of athletic activity. He humiliated me one day because I was sick and could not run the mile. He made me do it anyway. I puked on his shoes and had a week of detention.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    True, but I loved wrestling and losing.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ain’t it the truth. I loved cowboys, ignored the Indians, learned to bake cookies from Betty Crocker, would only eat asparagus tips, and loved to eat quiche by the age of ten and it made me gay. I’m am sooooo grateful for liberal conditioning.

  • Jim Olson

    Haven’t they banned the Eazy-Bake oven because it might be dangerous for children?

  • emjayay

    I believe there have been kid cookbooks around for many years that go beyond Betty Crocker.

  • emjayay

    Also in today’s news, there’s now some kind of Barbie construction stuff (pink I believe) and some kind of girl-oriented Legos. Apparently both are in part because some fathers are doing some toy shopping these days and playing with their girl kids, not just the boy kids. Hasbro marketing seems to be way behind – it seems out of it to not at least throw a boy into the mix. Kind of standing in the background, ready to put out a fire or eat the cookies after the girls make them.

  • emjayay

    Back in the olden days general gym classes were pretty much run by coach type guys who cared nothing about fitness or for that matter kids, but only for having winning sports teams and teaching PE to make a paycheck. Grown up versions of high school bullies. Often no particular instruction – that was saved for the actual team members. Hopefully today at least some PE programs, where they still exist, are about fitness and health, and teaching and including everyone.
    Any parents out there who know what’s actually going on in PE class? All I know is that they don’t think you have to take a shower afterward, both to save time and to not force any kid to possibly see any other kid naked.

  • jncc

    This is sooooo stupid.

    Any child that is interested in cooking or baking, should be taught to cook or bake.

    Easy bake ovens teach children exactly one thing: how to make crappy food out of a box.

    Children deserve better.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Riley says it like it is — love that kid. And the Easy Bake Oven is just the low-hanging fruit of sexist marketing of toys to girls and boys.

  • Phil

    Yup, for years afterwards, it was books, clothes, TV Magic Cards, etc. Finally, and as a joke, my dad bought me a chemistry set when I was 26. My husband threw it into the backyard on Christmas night and told me I’d best just enjoy the new Tappan gas range he’d bought me for Christmas – but there were no Barbie dolls to be found. Alas.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I really liked volleyball, it was one of the only sports in gym I did like. God, American high school gym classes are a disaster. The damage those classes do to kids lasts a lifetime.

  • Sweetie

    This is like volleyball and a bunch of other things in American culture. Apparently volleyball is a sport for girls, even though we have a men’s Olympic team. I guess they sprout out of the ground or are dropped, as adults, by storks every four years?

    I loved volleyball and it pissed me off to no end that the only time I got to play it was in “Advanced Gym”. Practically every guy in my high school who took advanced gym loved volleyball, by the way.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL oh god that’s funny!

  • Phil

    My sister got a Suzy Homemaker oven (same principle). We dismembered Barbie and put her in. It nearly caused the fire department to come and was thrown out the day after Christmas. I think we’d been watching too much of the Addams Family.

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