Toy company Hasbro will release a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven at the Toy Fair in February after meeting with a thirteen year old girl who sparked an internet outrage over the toy.
McKenna Pope from Garfield, N.J. created an online petition that gathered over 40,000 signatures after she went shopping for an Easy Bake Oven for her little brother, Gavyn. Feeling that the company's stereotypically advertising and design discouraged boys from cooking, she decided to urge the company to provide more gender neutral designs and advertising. Pope even had cooking celebrities such as Bobby Flay support her petition.
"I'm sure there are a lot of kids out there like my brother who want Easy-Bake ovens but don't ask for them because they're told they're not supposed to want them," Pope told CNN. "There's a lot toys specifically marketed towards boys and girls, but guys need to learn to cook and take care of children, too."
After hearing of the petition, Hasbro invited Pope and her family to the company headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I. where they showed Pope and her brother a neutral prototype the company developed over the past 18 months featuring blue, black, and silver designs. Hasbro also showed the family design concepts featuring boys in ads for the toy.
Pope told reporters after the meeting, "I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me."
The gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven is anticipated to be available in the summer.
Media Resources: Seattle Times 12/17/12; USA Today 12/17/12; CNN 12/6/12; Change.org Petition
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .