It’s getting close to the holidays, the time of year when toy manufacturers can guarantee big sales. It’s also a time of year when we’re exposed to a lot more toy advertising. Toys have traditionally been a bastion of stereotypes and gender role reinforcement and this year is no different. The easy bake oven is a really great example of this. It comes in pink and purple (traditionally ‘girly’ colours) and sends the subtle message “get good at being in the kitchen from a young age ladies, it’s where you belong.”
It’s really a terrible toy. Not because of what it is, but because of how it’s presented. Not only does it do wrong by girls it does wrong by boys. It sends women the message that the traditional female gender roles are the ideal and tells boys that cooking is for girls and if they want to cook it’s going to have to be with pink icing.
An eighth grade girl who’s four year old brother loves to bake and wants an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas sent a letter and video message to the toy manufacturers responsible for the toy in question:
Once again, the youth of today are giving us all hope for the future of humanity.