Culture & Entertainment

Toys and gender: I hated Easy-Bake ovens but now I take it back

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Toys and gender: I hated Easy-Bake ovens but now I take it back

One thing about Christmas is you get to look at a lot of toys. They're everywhere when you're out shopping. All of a sudden retailers you don't even associate with toys, like Shoppers Drug Mart or Winners have toys on special displays. This season I saw a lot of Easy-Bake ovens. They are purple, and there are tween girls on the packaging. I grew up in the 80s, and I recall Easy-Bake ovens being pink and oriented to girls back then (correct me if I'm wrong, I never owned one so I'm going by memory here), but I don't see any reason why they have to be gendered today. Anyhow, the Easy-Bake ovens I saw a few weeks ago looked like this: Why is this version marketed to girls? Why purple with pretty swirls on the outside of the oven? Where are the boys? Boys love baking! And I won't even get into how sexist it is to assume that baking is girls' work. Also the last time I checked, the oven in my home is gender-neutral. So anyhow, fast-forward to my researching this blog post and lo and behold, what do I find on the Hasbro Canada website? Why, it's a black Easy Bake oven! With a boy on the packaging! Good for Hasbro. It's nice to see a toy that really looks like it has a place in the modern world. First of all, it's much more realistic to have an oven that is black and metallic, cause last time I checked Maytag and KitchenAid don't make purple kitchen appliances for the North American market; and second, it's high time we all get on the bandwagon of non-gendered toys. I only ever saw purple Easy-Bake ovens in the stores, but apparently Wal-Mart carries the black one, here, as does Amazon.ca, here. Though if your home looks anything like mine does post-Christmas, it'll be a long time before you want another toy in your house. -Helen
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Toys and gender: I hated Easy-Bake ovens but now I take it back

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