Quick Hit: McKenna Pope’s crusade for gender neutral advertising of Easy Bake Ovens

13 -year-old McKenna Pope is seeking to break the gender paradigm in advertising, starting a petition to get Hasbro, the maker of the Easy Bake Oven to redesign its product packaging and advertising to include boys. Sparked by her little brother’s love to “cook,” Pope responded to her brother’s questioning why the commercial only features girls playing with the oven.

In Pope’s video appeal to support her petition to Hasbro, she asks: “Is this really the message we want to send to our youth? I thought as a society, that we have moved far past that. But no, we continue to force the stereotype that men don’t cook, they work.”

Pope’s petition has over just under 24,000 supporters.

If men can grow up to become chefs, why is that we still have a culture that holds fixed gender roles in games children play? In Pope’s estimation, we are a lot more enlightened, evolved actually, than Hasbro believes.  Top Toy  has already blazed the trail for Hasbro to follow. This is the most wonderful time of the year to break these stereotypes.


SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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