Time to take the pink off that oven
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
One of my favorite time-killing websites to visit, during the rare lull in my day, is www.buzzfeed.com. The site is filled with information, some trivial, some important. Let me tell you, if you’re ever in line or waiting at the dentist’s office, buzzfeed will keep you occupied and entertained for quite some time.
Recently, as I was sifting through the feeds, I noticed an interesting post about the representation of gender roles in toys. More often than not, girl toys are pink and have something to do with cooking, cleaning, or shopping. Boy toys have a much larger range with products for building, experimenting with science, sports, and robots.
I’m not trying to be feministic, but this seems out of balance, for both parties.
Who decided girls needed all of our products in pink? I think we can all agree that our society has deemed pink a semi-feminine color, but that certainly isn’t the only color that females enjoy.
A 13-year-old New Jersey girl, McKenna Pope, was recently interviewed on CNN after she started a petition to stop Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven from promoting gender roles in society.
The letter of petition states, “I believe your product, the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, a favorite of mine as a young child, promotes gender roles in society. Your packaging for the product and it’s promotional materials advertise baking and cooking as a solely girls hobby. Also, its “girls” coloration of purple and pink make it seem as though cooking is “girly”, which it is not by any means. Please, Hasbro, I urge you to include males on your packaging, and feature your product in less gender specific colors, such as red, green, or blue. I thank you so much in advance for your understanding of my concerns, and please, help our youth understand that cooking and baking is for everyone, not a specific group of people.”
Clearly the gender roles are an issue for boys as well. Something as simple as baking could potentially outcast one boy from all of the others due to both advertising and packaging.
I think my parents did a pretty good job of making sure that my sisters and I knew that no matter our interests, as long as they weren’t harmful, we would be supported. In fact, for my 12th Christmas, my parents gave me a BB gun, which would normally be assumed as a boy’s toy.
We have come so far as a society when it comes to gender roles. I feel that woman have just as many opportunities as men in today’s working world, so why are we conditioning our sons and daughters to believe otherwise with toys?
I think this is something that is easy to brush off as well with a phrase like “they’re just kids, they don’t know the difference.” But they do know the difference.
There’s nothing wrong with being domesticated, in fact I very much enjoy cooking and cleaning. Those are two activities that I am in complete control of and I take quite a bit of comfort in that. Couldn’t a male find comfort in those activities as well? Doesn’t a boy who wants to play with a Hasbro Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven deserve to play with it without feeling strange that the toy is in a girly color, another thing taken over by gender roles?
We begin learning about society at a young age. What message will you send your children?