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Teen girl petitions Hasbro to market Easy Bake Oven also to boys

Her effort was prompted by cooking attempts by 4-year-old brother. Petition drive for boys to also be placed on Easy Bake boxes has gathered 18,000 signatures.

December 04, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

What to get a little boy for Christmas that isn't the usual toy car set, video game or sports item? One fresh-faced activist suggests an Easy Bake Oven.

McKenna Pope, 13, is petitioning toy maker Hasbro Inc. to stop marketing the kitchen set to only young girls. She's asking for images of boys to also be placed on Easy Bake boxes.

On Hasbro's website, the Easy Bake brand is included under Cooking & Baking Games for Girls.

The Garfield, N.J., eighth-grader, moved to action by her 4-year-old brother's attempts to cook on top of a lamp's light bulb, has already scored nearly 18,000 signatures on her petition on Change.org.

On the petition, McKenna writes that she found the lack of packaging or promotional materials featuring boys to be "quite appalling." The girlie purple and pink colors used on Easy Bake ovens didn't help either.

"I feel that this sends a clear message: women cook, men work," she wrote. "I want my brother to know that it's not 'wrong' for him to want to be a chef."

As McKenna points out, many of the top figures in the culinary industry are men — Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, among many others.

To really pound her point home, Pope uploaded a video in which she goads her brother into explaining the trouble with wanting an Easy Bake Oven (he also hopes for a dinosaur).

"Only girls play with it," he says as he tries to bake cookies.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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