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 | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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85 Responses to “Easy-Bake Oven goes gender-neutral”

  1. ezpz says:

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

  2. hollywoodstein says:

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

  3. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  4. hollywoodstein says:

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

  5. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  6. karmanot says:

    In touch with your inner troll I see.

  7. karmanot says:

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

  8. karmanot says:

    Digging your hole even deeper,

  9. karmanot says:

    Perhaps you are unaware of the venerable Dione Lucas.

  10. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  11. hauksdottir says:

    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.

  12. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  13. hollywoodstein says:

    Lol, ok.

  14. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  15. hollywoodstein says:

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

  16. olandp says:

    “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?)

  17. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  18. Moderator3 says:

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

  19. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  20. Moderator3 says:

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

  21. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  22. Moderator3 says:

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

  23. rmthunter says:

    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.

  24. hollywoodstein says:

    Please proceed A reader in Colorado.

  25. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  26. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  27. hollywoodstein says:

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

  28. hollywoodstein says:

    Wow, just wow.

  29. hollywoodstein says:

    threatening? You are a drama queen.

  30. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  31. hollywoodstein says:

    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?

  32. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  33. hollywoodstein says:

    Thank you!

  34. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  35. hollywoodstein says:

    TReally?

  36. hollywoodstein says:

    Realy?

  37. hollywoodstein says:

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

  38. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  39. A reader in Colorado says:

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

  40. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  41. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  42. A reader in Colorado says:

    “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.

  43. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  44. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  45. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  46. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  47. A reader in Colorado says:

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

  48. A reader in Colorado says:

    <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.

  49. hollywoodstein says:

    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

  50. A reader in Colorado says:

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

  51. hollywoodstein says:

    Ok, I didn’t have to.

  52. hollywoodstein says:

    What, I didn’t say anything.

  53. hollywoodstein says:

    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

  54. hollywoodstein says:

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

  55. hollywoodstein says:

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

  56. hollywoodstein says:

    Okay brown liquor. That’s quicker.

  57. hollywoodstein says:

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

  58. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  59. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  60. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  61. A reader in Colorado says:

    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.

  62. A reader in Colorado says:

    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!

  63. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  64. hollywoodstein says:

    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.

  65. hollywoodstein says:

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

  66. hollywoodstein says:

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

  67. hollywoodstein says:

    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.