Easy-Bake Oven goes gender-neutral

Good for Hasbro.  We’d wrote two weeks ago about a 13 year old girl who had issues with Hasbro’s sexist marketing of its iconic Easy-Bake Oven.

Well, Hasbro has listened, and they’ll be releasing gender-neutral Easy-Bake Ovens in the coming months.

As a boy who likes to cook, and used an Easy-Bake Oven as a child in the 60s, I say hallelujah.

Part of the problem was that they were only marketing the thing to girls, no boys ever appeared in the ads. From my earlier post:

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

Well, now it’s going to be boys too.  And that’s a good thing.

The Chicago Trib has the latest:

McKenna Pope, 13, of Garfield, N.J., got more than 40,000 signatures on her online petition at Change.org and the support of celebrity chefs including Bobby Flay, who backed her call for Hasbro to make a gender-neutral oven and to include boys in the ads.

She was prompted to start the petition after shopping for an Easy-Bake as a Christmas present for her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, and finding them only in purple and pink.

For those who think this is silly, Chris in Paris earlier raised a good point about sexism in profesional cooking circles:

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?

And here is McKenna’s amazing video she did appealing to Hasbro:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • ezpz

    Where y’be? Hope you’re well.
    Miss ‘seeing’ you around.

  • hollywoodstein

    I suppose now would be a bad time to refrain Stephen Colbert’s line, ” I don’t see color.”

  • hollywoodstein

    Sorry if the “some exposure” line came off as snotty. Believe me it is not all glamour. I was merely trying to keep some degree of privacy as to my role.

  • hollywoodstein

    Karmanot you’re the best, no snarking. I actually have two of her books.

  • hollywoodstein

    I treat people as individuals.
    I just fired a group of black men for being lazy. Now given the history and cultural context of the United States, some would view that as a racist statement exemplifying the stereotype of shiftlessness. And it is a loaded statement since it is a potentially racist statement.
    But in the instant case these individual men were always late, often drunk or high, were not productive workers, took unauthorized smoke breaks, did not respond to repeated warnings, etc. They were judged on their individual merits and deserved to be fired and were. One of the men accused me of racism. I reminded him that I was the one who hired him in the first place, and then I recounted the reasons for his firing. Regardless, of race. In fact truth be told I try to hire affirmatively from economically disadvantaged communities and it costs me thousands in false starts.
    Now one could argue 400 years of oppression, bad education, lack of opportunity, lack of role models, etc. could lead to this behavior. And you would be right. But the bottom line there was a job to do, and it wasn’t getting done by these individuals. I try to contribute in other ways to fix social injustice.
    My point is that women and minorities will not be completely free until they can be judged as individuals without the cultural baggage projected on them. A man should have an equal right to be lazy and shiftless whether he is black or white, just as a man should have an equal right not to be prejudged because of his race.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    In touch with your inner troll I see.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Dude whatever you are on—-don’t bring it to A-blog.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Digging your hole even deeper,

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Perhaps you are unaware of the venerable Dione Lucas.

  • hollywoodstein

    Dear Reader in Colorado,
    Here’s an olive branch. We’ve been bad guests on someone elses blog. Whatever points we may have been trying to make have been lost, and we’ve polluted an otherwise worthwhile thread.
    I’ll try to be less provocative. Perhaps you can too?
    There are bigger fish to fry.

  • hauksdottir

    There is a rather decent play called “Humble Boy” about a beekeeper’s son. In it, you’ll learn that there are all sorts of things that can be done with an urn full of ashes.

    I’m glad that you’ve out-lived him.

  • hollywoodstein

    Sorry for the direction this thread took. I was trying to relate some experiences in one industry to prompt a discussion of gender and race that may have proven fruitful. That did not happen. So apologies to all.

  • hollywoodstein

    Lol, ok.

  • hollywoodstein

    If you can calm down and stop projecting you will see that I am a one world one love kind of person who suscribes to the plasticity of human potential. I do not suscribe to any of the prejudices you suscribe to me. I do not think Jews make better bankers, though I know some Jews who do. I do not think blacks make better basketball players, though I know some blacks who do. I do not think women make better nurturers, though I know some women who do. I do not think gays make better hairdressers, though…
    So you see a reader in Colorado, we agree.

  • hollywoodstein

    I see the dim bulb has gone on and you have rehabilitated your slurs against various professions.

  • olandp

    “But, when *I* think of a gay man, I think of a MAN. YOU seem to think
    of a hairdresser, or a waiter. I am just aware of those things you
    think of.”

    Does that mean that I’m not a man because I am a hairdresser, and you think of a gay man as a MAN? Exactly who is the racist and homophobe? And while we are on the subject, I don’t know any Jewish waiters (wonder what that means?)

  • A reader in Colorado

    I will NOT step back, sir. Or ma’am. Read the posts in their entirety. I may go away for a time, but I will not ever step back from some bigot like this. I believe this blog does not wish to support racism and homophobia. If I am mistaken, I am mistaken, but I have record of that, if so.

    Read, please. I may or may not address this bigot again, but I will NOT withdraw any charge I have made.

    If you wish to support this kind of bigotry and are unhappy with me saying what it is, ban me. But I will NOT back down.

  • Moderator3

    No one wants to ban you, but you need to step back.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I defy Americablog’s moderators to ban me based on me openly calling you an asshole and a nasty bigot. which I do so do now.. I up the stakes. I call you these things based on this thread where you demonstrate being these things. Let Americablog ban me if I am just making trouble in this case.

  • Moderator3

    Will you and Hollywoodstein kiss and make up? If that doesn’t work, please ignore one another.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Your words, your quotes, the groups you described .. in this instance “African Americans”. My panties are unbunched, all anyone has to do is read the words you wrote. You are a racist.

  • Moderator3

    Will you and A Reader in Colorado kiss and make up? I raised two children who bickered less.

  • rmthunter

    I grew up in an equal-opportunity family: when my mom went back to work, my sister and I both learned to cook, out of necessity. (As it turned out, I’m a much better cook than she is — or than my mom was.) My dad had always taken a turn at cooking, usually Sunday dinner.

    This story pointed out to me that “innovative marketing” has come to mean a new way of appealing to the same old stereotypes. Good for McKenna Pope — kids like her give me hope for the future.

  • hollywoodstein

    Please proceed A reader in Colorado.

  • A reader in Colorado

    LOL, stupid comeback. You said Jews make great bankers. Any Jewish person would know what that facile generalization means.

    Of course Jewish people can be great bankers. Just as gay people can make great waiters.

    The fact is,; you made those as “positive generalizations” not realizing that those are as bigoted as “negative generalizations”.

    There is nothing wrong, for example, with a gay man being a great hairdresser. It is an honorable profession and a wonderful goal. But being a gay man does not AUTOMATICALLY mean one is a hairdresser. And any gay man would know exactly what I mean.

    And there is nothing wrong with a Jewish person being a great banker.

    The problem, is you associated types with professions.

    I am a gay man, and happen to be working to being a great BOWLER. And who already is a pretty fair programmer and logician.

    But, when *I* think of a gay man, I think of a MAN. YOU seem to think of a hairdresser, or a waiter. I am just aware of those things you think of.

    When *I* think of a Jewish person, I think of a Jewish person. I don’t think of a banker. I can think of a Jewish person who has nothing to do with, and doesn’t even understand the financial system or banking.

    You can blame those stereotypes you think of on me. Or you can pass them off as jokes. But they were your words.

  • hollywoodstein

    I’ve finished you. I’m done here. Goodnight.
    Well, I guess that settles it.
    by that logic, you win then. I’ll lick my wounds.

  • hollywoodstein

    a programmer in Colorado
    You are an impressive piece of work.
    carry on.

  • hollywoodstein

    Wow, just wow.

  • hollywoodstein

    threatening? You are a drama queen.

  • hollywoodstein

    I am not surprised you failed as a waiter. It is a much harder and intellectually challenging job than logician and programmer. For that matter, so is hairdresser.

  • hollywoodstein

    Wow, all this from a little girls petition. My brother was gifted one of these in the seventies. Was it female only marketed back then?

  • hollywoodstein

    You really do lack the irony gene. do you think Jews are incapable of being great bankers.. or are you more of a bigot than you’ve advertized.

  • hollywoodstein

    Thank you!

  • A reader in Colorado

    And, no doubt. Being a waiter takes a great deal of physical stamina.

    But, I’m done with you, guy, heh. You probably have no idea how thoroughly you exposed your racism and bigotry through this interaction, I am not popular, but you are done.

    And I’ve finished you.

  • hollywoodstein

    TReally?

  • hollywoodstein

    Realy?

  • hollywoodstein

    You prolly had a better chance of succeeding at 15 than 48. Idiot.

  • hollywoodstein

    BTW, a gourmet palate can be taught to an extent, but as in many things there are some who seem to be naturals. This is even more so in the wine world than the foodie world. Foodies need to know the balance btwn sweet and acid, etc. But in wine it takes about 12-15 years to acheive worldwide competence.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I failed as a waiter when I was 15. I am now 48. Idiot.

  • hollywoodstein

    I am not surprised you failed as a waiter. It is a much harder and intellectually challenging job than logician and programmer. For that matter, so is hairdresser.

  • hollywoodstein

    Monkeys? Really?
    No, the dozens of individuals I encountered did not learn the material probably because they were not incentivized to learn the material not because they lacked the ability to learn the material. It was this indifference that I found interesting, and I was trying to provoke reasoned discussion on why this might be so. Admittedly, to be a top waiter at a top restaurant and make top money requires a Phd level of knowledge of the history of food, of every ingredient in every dish and of wine and spirits as well. So it is not for everyone.
    If you have never witnessed women use their wiles in the workplace to get what they want, you don’t know enough women. If you’ve never known African Americans to game the system which has oppressed them for more than 400 years you aren’t African American.
    Just because one observes that a large group of people does not operate optimally in reference to the dominant culture doesn’t mean one is racist.
    When black coaches can fail as miserably as white coaches and get rehired to coach then maybe we will be closer to where we need to be.
    Until then, a self important programmer in Colorado, you need to unbunch your panties.

  • A reader in Colorado

    “Jews make great bankers” I rest my case. If you weren’t a bigoted idiot, you wouldn’t have walked into that one.

    And some of “your best friends are no doubt, women, or black people, or gays”. That insulates you from anything else you might ever have said.

    They are all your best friends.

  • hollywoodstein

    I am not surprised you failed as a waiter. It is a much harder and intellectually challenging job than logician and programmer. For that matter, so is hairdresser.

  • hollywoodstein

    Jews make great bankers. Some of my best friends are Jewish bankers. Although they tend to be more Jew-ish than Jewish. I suppose you bring that up trying to be hurtful since my avatar has stein in its name.

  • A reader in Colorado

    You said gay men make the best waiters. If it was a joke, it was an egg amongst at least three other “jokes”. One about gay men, one about black people and one about women. I wasn’t the one who stereotyped gay men in a certain profession.

  • hollywoodstein

    You, the gay man who thinks gay hairdressers are a stereotypical embarassment, and not as worthy as programmers and soldiers are putting words in my mouth. If you had a hint of the hipster-ironic gene you would realize the gays make the best waiters was a joke about a stereotype.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Wow. Soulless and psychopathic. What does that mean to you, hollywoodstein? Are you next going to call me up with an audio recording?

  • A reader in Colorado

    <blockquote?Now I once had a female housemate who didn't know how to boil water on a stove. She could max it out in a microwave, but I had to show her that water needs to be higher than medium to boil on a stove. She chalked it up to her mother's feminsim, and her own desire to be comfortable enough to eat out all the time. So there's that.

  • hollywoodstein

    I would love to interact with you, to learn from you and teach you what I know.

    I would love to hear your schnitzel (OMG, please, teach me!!!!) And teach you what I know.

    I would die to have you teach me what you know ;) I LOVE SCHNITZEL! There is never any limit on learning to cook! :D

  • A reader in Colorado

    “It puts the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again”.

  • hollywoodstein

    Ok, I didn’t have to.

  • hollywoodstein

    What, I didn’t say anything.

  • hollywoodstein

    I would love to interact with you, to learn from you and teach you what I know.

    I would love to hear your schnitzel (OMG, please, teach me!!!!) And teach you what I know.

    I would die to have you teach me what you know ;) I LOVE SCHNITZEL! There is never any limit on learning to cook! :D
    a reader in Colorado

  • hollywoodstein

    Unless, one is attracted to Daniel Craig. And who isn’t?

  • hollywoodstein

    Macallan 18 yr. Scotch. Isn’t that what the new Bond drinks? That’s not gay.

  • hollywoodstein

    Okay brown liquor. That’s quicker.

  • hollywoodstein

    Okay now i’m just baiting you. Let me drink to catch up. Hmmm, chardonnay, is that gay?

  • hollywoodstein

    As an aside, there was a fine dining restaurant in New York that was widely recognized as having the best service in the country for a number of years that was staffed entirely by gay men. Management (gay) found out they had a ” gay problem” when a straight man feigned being gay in order to get hired not because he had to, but because they had a stable staff with little turnover and so had gained a reputation on the street for having a gay mafia running the show who only hired gays.

    The overall excellence of many gays at the highest levels of the service industry has led to the industry joke that of course gays make the best waiters. There is some speculation that being gay in America results in a social intelligence that makes some gays especially good waiters. I just think some are attracted to the late night lifestyle, good money, and sex, and the cream rises to the top.

  • hollywoodstein

    What the hell are you? What kind of a**hole bigot are you? Priceless.
    I suppose in your world, in my world gay men are only waiters, good advice givers on sitcoms, and hairdressers. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    Although, I think that means you are stereotyping me.
    Also too, from what I’m told there are some pretty fierce gay hairdressers out there who are proud of what they do. It’s a shame they aren’t as important as programmers and soldiers. It’s a shame they are hurting the cause by reinforcing negative stereotypes. Maybe you should tell them they are stereotyping themselves, and other gay men, especially a reader in Colorado.
    Unless it’s you who are doing the stereotyping.

  • A reader in Colorado

    See above. And my point stands.

    You are LAZY. Your generalizations, as evinced by your own quotes, are STUPID and are evidence of non-thinking stereotypes.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Oh, fuck the hell off. Your generalizing about groups of people doesn’t work any better if you are black, green, or from mars, or if you even share the same sex, sexual orientation or skin color as the people you are talking about.

    You are posting opinions about GROUPS OF PEOPLE as if they have a CHARACTERISTIC they all share.

    Black people can’t be trained to have a gourmet palate? WTF? Gay men make the best WAITERS? WTF?

    The problem with you and anyone like you is your intellectual laziness and your lazy grouping of people into groups you know NOTHING about.

    I tried being a waiter. I sucked at it. I’m a gay man. But I’m a hell of a logician and troubleshooter.

    Gays make the best WAITERS? What were you trying to say? Those were your words, asshole.

  • A reader in Colorado

    No, stereotyping people is an insult in my world.

    What the hell are you? Gay men are WAITERS to you? The best waiters are gay men???? What the hell is wrong with you? How you do know the “best waiters are gay men”? What kind of asshole bigot are you?

    Maybe the best SOLDIERS are gay men?

    Aravosis is a blogger. I’m a programmer. Gay men who we’ve been talking about recently are soldiers.

    Maybe straight men are better waiters than gay men.

    Are you next going to say that gay men make the best HAIRDRESSERS!

    To hell with you!

  • hollywoodstein

    Slightly off topic but one of my favorite scenes from the Herculean turn out effort that defeated Romney was a group of students from the atheist student alliance and a lgbt organization loading an eighty year old black woman in a wheelchair into a van at a historically African American church being used as a staging ground. The pastor, known to be anti gay, vehemently objected to the students wearing their atheist and gay slogan tee shirts. He was beset by a group of women from his own flock (wearing their stereotypically easter sunday finest hats) who shut him down, and shooed in back into the church to sulk. Money quote, ” Go crawl back under your rock.”
    America the beautiful.

  • hollywoodstein

    Women and minorities and lgbt won’t be truly free until they can behave as badly as white men and not have a big deal made of it either way.

  • hollywoodstein

    Perhaps the real racism is inherent in your assumption that I cannot make these comments and be a minority myself.

  • hollywoodstein

    Is being a waiter an insult in your world? Some waiters make six figures.

  • hollywoodstein

    I prefer to believe there was some cultural element involved where poor performance was the result of not taking the training seriously due to either the subject matter was not considered worthwhile or the fact it was made known that mastering the material was not necessary for advancement. I thought I had conveyed that the experience was anecdotal and not scientific or indicative of biological determinism. If one were racist one could conclude otherwise, and sadly there were those that did. But it is a true experience at a certain time in America in an insular sub culture.

    Racist pos and GTH, Hmmm, I thought I was the only one on here who drinks too much while posting. Perhaps you should talk to my partner, or maybe the hundreds, yes hundreds, of African Americans and Latinos I helped get to the polls this election. If I’m a racist I am a confused self hating racist who has spent decades campaigning for minorities, women, and lgbt rights.

  • hollywoodstein

    erm… gay men make the best programmers!

  • A reader in Colorado

    And gay men. We all know gay men make the best waiters.

    Fuck you.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Nasty,

  • Max_1

    Dear Gordon Ramsay,

    Call Hasbro. There’s a design opportunity just waiting for a male chef’s touch…

  • hollywoodstein

    And the self promoters on teevee are not the best chefs. The best chefs are rarely on teevee.

  • hollywoodstein

    And gay men. We all know gay men make the best waiters.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I would love to interact with you, to learn from you and teach you what I know.

    I would love to hear your schnitzel (OMG, please, teach me!!!!) And teach you what I know.

    I would die to have you teach me what you know ;) I LOVE SCHNITZEL! There is never any limit on learning to cook! :D

  • hollywoodstein

    Except mom. Mom rocked.

  • hollywoodstein

    I have some exposure to the fine dining world. There is no question that there is sexism in European kitchens. There is also no question that there was sexism when American restaurants trying to emulate their European brethren. But that was back in the day when it was thought a screaming head chef made the food taste better. Unfortunately, a lot of American chefs took the European psychopath artiste as their model often substituting outbursts for talent. There was even a time when a chef would stage a screaming fit for the benefit of a kitchen tour. Nowadays screaming chefs are seen as unfortunate, overwhelmed hacks more suited to a reality show than the creation of art. The last enfant terrible chef in the US was probably Trotter, and most of his screaming was because he hated the fact his waiters made so much tip money off of HIS food.
    The top, top five star kitchens are now run like the bridge of an aircraft carrier with intense focus, and purpose, with raised voices kept to the minimum necessary for efficiency. The job is physically and mentally demanding enough without adding the distraction of gratuitous yelling.
    Now here is where I get in trouble. I know many top restaurants are actually sensitive to the charge of sexism and racism and instituted in house affirmative action programs to rectify any imbalances, both with the staff in the front of the house and with the cooks in the back of the house. All of them sought to recruit and train minorities and women for all positions. Almost all of them ran into difficulty and almost immediately had to lower standards, and give allowances not afforded to men.
    I wondered how much of this was cultural. Is the socio-economic slice of these demographics that applied somehow unusually culturally unprepared for these jobs which combine a blend of physical labor, talent, and social skills.
    I saw many women bat their lashes and ask for help pushing a cart with ten pound bags of sugar where men were expected to lug over a thousand pounds of flour, fifty pound bags at a time. Women would complain about carpal tunnel and refuse to work while at the same station men who had had surgery for carpal tunnel performed to the end their shift till they could not use their arms and hands to drive home so they had gotten a flat near work.
    Were women somehow culturally unprepared for work in a production kitchen, did the kitchen put up subtle barriers to their success, were womens bodies somehow not as capable of performing the thousands of chopping, dicing, and stirring motions than men’s bodies.
    I saw upper middle class African American candidates who were mentored, trained, given paper summaries, tasted and tutored on what a black truffle is and the different kinds of caviar and the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux and then miss it on a test and then claim the test was culturally biased.
    More than a few women and minorities threatened lawsuits despite failing at every stage of the game, and were given jobs. The sample size was large and geographically diverse. I never really unpacked everything that was going on, though for the record I am down on the side of cultural explanations, apart from some physical element for women.
    Now I once had a female housemate who didn’t know how to boil water on a stove. She could max it out in a microwave, but I had to show her that water needs to be higher than medium to boil on a stove.
    She chalked it up to her mother’s feminsim, and her own desire to be comfortable enough to eat out all the time. So there’s that.
    And I’ve met my share of great female chefs. No, not just culturally constrained pastry chefs or butter and cream Paula Deen. But they’ve been few and truth be told my favorite high end chefs have all been men. Sorry Alice.

  • Phil

    When I was 8 or 9 years old, I made pudding for us. My dad smacked me around for that as it was “not something boys do” and sissy stuff. Never mind that I was supposed to cook for my brother and sister – apparently it had limitations which were never explained to me and didn’t include desserts. Today I can do a lot in the kitchen. And I don’t have to worry about about that old buzzard anymore. My family is happy with my skills.

    Never tried some of those things you mention, but I make a wicked schnitzel, to-die-for egg pancakes, dumplings, and some really great holiday meals, etc. Dad just sits in an urn until I can figure out what do with him…..

    :

  • A reader in Colorado

    Or like authentic ethnic cuisines. It’s usually nothing like American representations of those cuisines.

    Learn how to make genuine falafel, for example. Another recommendation is lamb shawarma.

    Try making hummus. or, I’ve made baklava.

  • OtterQueen

    Haven’t they been working on a gender neutral version for about a year and a half now?

  • Phil

    That sounds all too familiar. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’d say let him do it and let DCFS figure it out and let the parents try to explain it to them!

  • A reader in Colorado

    Certain gourmet things ARE cool, though, and not expensive, if you know how. I can make canapes, and deviled eggs, things like seared duck breast, certain kinds of sushi/sashimi. It’s not anything REAL fancy but it is a party with the right ingredients, and far, far less than it would take to actually buy those things.

  • A reader in Colorado

    LOL. My brother jumped off the roof, without my permission or agreement, on the thought I would be forced to catch him. When he broke his f*ing leg, doing what I expressly forbade him to do, I was punished for my causing his breaking of his leg.

    And no, I didn’t move to catch him in my arms, a hurtling 70-100 pound mass. So I hear ya ;)

  • Phil

    Me too. Also had to learn do laundry, and clean house – at age 8. Our oven required matches to light it. I got to play with matches……

  • A reader in Colorado

    When I was 10 years old I had to use a real stove to cook for my brother and myself. We were latchkey kids.

  • Phil

    It sounds dumb, but after 30+ years of being the primary cook in the family, and for a few years when I was a kid, this is sooo cool. I don’t do “gourmet,” but I do the stuff that actually nourishes a family day to day, and I try to (and actually do) do it well. This would have been REAL helpful when I was a kid, in terms of developing usable, real-world life skills.

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