Let this Kid make Cookies, dammit!

The video below was made by a 13-year-old girl who was fed up with gender stereotypes about toys, sometimes going as far as “doctors” suggesting that dolls make kids gay. Her 4-year-old brother wants to be a cook, but Hasbro, the company producing the Easy-Bake oven the little lad wants for Christmas, makes it clear that boys aren’t really supposed to use their toys. The Easy-Bake website is even subtitled  “Cooking & Baking Games for Girls.” If you want to sign her petition (which already got 24,000 signatures) you can do so here.

Hasbro: Feature boys in the packaging of the Easy-Bake Oven. Sign my petition on Change.org.

Meanwhile, in Sweden toy stores are already adapting to the changed perception of gender roles. Sweden’s largest toy chain Top Toy made clear that their toys are "gender neutral" after picturing boys holding baby dolls and banishing girls from the dolls pages of its Christmas catalogue.

"With the new gender thinking, there is nothing that is right or wrong. It’s not a boy or a girl thing, it’s a toy for children," they said. Other Swedish toy stores did the same over the last years after complaints from kids and parents alike.

Top Toy’s store in Stockholm, more pictures over here


21 thoughts on “Let this Kid make Cookies, dammit!”

  1. I’ve always been a bit surprised that a lot of toys like the easy bake oven have been marketed as gender specific and advertised with only girls using it. I remember seeing the ads on TV when I was about ten years old, and it was made by Kenner. (“It’s Kenner, it’s fun, AWK!”, the little cartoon bird said at the end of all of their ads.) Originally it was turquoise in colour, and later avocado green and harvest gold. Those are not gender specific colours but rather the popular colours of domestic kitchen appliances of the day. I suppose later on they went to feminine colours, I don’t know. I never wanted an easy bake oven ( or girl’s toys in general), but I always liked to cook. No one saw that as being unusual or feminine I don’t think. Most professional chefs are men, so actually to an extent cooking is actually mostly male gendered, I would say.

  2. I grew up in a family with four boys. Our overwhelmed Mom and Dad made sure that each of us knew how to cook. Specific to this vid, when I was 10 one of my girl cousins got an Easy-Bake oven (wasn’t it E-Z Bake?), and she tried to make cookies. I saw her ruining it, so I showed her how to do it correctly. For the rest of my childhood I was required to bake a batch of cookies when I went over there. (No choice. The girls outnumbered me).

    So I really don’t understand the gender restrictions on this product. Aren’t they alienating half their customer base?

  3. I hope you don’t mean it when you say “banishing girls from the dolls pages” gender neutrality would require both be presented, not just that we reverse everything.

    That aside: this video was cute and the article makes me happy

  4. Mine was not an EZ-Bake, but another brand, that used the same idea of baking tiny cakes and cookies over an incandescent bulb. The difference was mine looked like a tiny range and oven, and you had to open the door with the prongs of the plug. This, presumably, to prevent opening the door while the damned thing was still plugged in. Last time I was getting something out of the attic for my mother, I saw it sitting up there, covered in dust and memories.

    This little trip back in time is relevant only in that when buying that particular toy, I distinctly remember my mother picking up the EZ-Bake box, only to have my father suggest the other one, because it didn’t look so “girly.”

    Oh, the irony.

  5. My sister had the one with the incandescent bulb. It worked fairly well except the cake mixes were expensive.

  6. Before I started school, my mother bought me a large boy doll for Christmas. It was not something I had asked for and didn’t have any interest in the doll. It just sat in the corner of my room. One day I shamefully undressed the doll and found that it was not anatomically correct. When I told my parents the doll did not have a pee pee, I was severly admonished and slapped for my “dirty thoughts.” I later developed a life long fondness for boy dolls but only if they are anatomically correct which brings me to MB.

  7. My brother wanted an Easy Bake Oven so my mom got him one for Christmas I think he was 37 at the time.

  8. As an old man let me say that the gender roles weren’t that bad if you where male. I use to sit on the couch and say I am thirsty. The old man would look at my sisters and say go get your brother something to drink.

  9. OK, I’m kinda confused on this one. In all the toy stores that I have been in, I have never seen the “gender police” standing in the aisles making sure that the toy you are buying for your kid is going to the correct gender. Why don’t the parents of the little guy just go and buy him for cripes sakes, I mean how many four year olds do you see driving up to toys R us and going in and getting toys alone?

  10. This represents an outdated model. There was a time when men wouldn’t cook and would move from eating the food their mom cooked for them to eat the food their wife cooked for them. Now it’s really common for all kind of men to cook without doing it as a job. It doesn’t even have any kind of feminine connotation in most of the developed world. In fact it’s a matter of basic skills. You expect men to be able to cook decently for themselves or maybe some visits as a basic skill the same way you expect them to be able to read a map or use a phone. It’s weird that toys still follow the old outdated model this days.

  11. Petition = Signed. Video = Cute. Stereotypes = Outmoded but sadly entrenched in some places… Thanks Again, Josh!

  12. I don’t think that it is much of a problem to play with that oven, even if it’s one made for girls! I mean, I played with these myself a lot and it was a lot of fun I can tell you that.

  13. As a kid I once asked for a baby doll as christmas gift. I wanted it to be a boy, for some (obvious?) reason. My parents, though rather conservative, didn’t object to it, but I couldn’t help get aware that it was a not-so-gender-appropriate toy for a boy. Even very young I felt somehow awkward playing with it, and getting older I wouldn’t dare interact at all with it.

    I now wonder how much it may have impacted my life today, being a lonely guy, working with machines for machines, limiting to the minimum my interactions with people, and never expressing feelings. (Feeling is the F-word as they say)

  14. Uahh, This is about a war against boys ! Boys and men must be second class citizens. Sweden is very progressist because is a country that is proud of put males as second class citizens.

  15. In Australia, real men put on the apron to cook the BBQ… steak fork in one hand, beer in the other…..

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