Between the Easy-Bake and Top Chef

What happens between the Easy-Bake Oven and the professional kitchen? Think Progress wants to know:

Thirteen year old Mckenna Pope’s little brother loves to cook. But when he watches the commercials for a product he’s hoping to get for Christmas — the Easy Bake Oven — he only sees girls playing with the toy. Because of that, he believes that “only girls play with it.”

Pope is hoping to change that perception with a video and a petition. She is asking Hasboro — maker of the Easy Bake Oven — to start putting boys in their commercials, so that her little brother sees it’s okay for boys to cook.

Okay, so the story so far: it’s a classic left-wing cliche about “gender norms.” Girls are told to bake and clean; boys are told to fight and earn. (And yes, this still is 2012. We haven’t gone back to 1974, when “Free to Be You and Me” was on every record player.)

But here’s what I’d say to young McKenna Pope, who seems so exercised about her brother’s disinclination to cook: Relax, little girl. When it comes to professional chefs, that industry is, like, totally male dominated.

And liberals are mad about that, too. From New York Magazine:

We live in a golden age of chefs. Between your Batalis and Bouluds, your Vongerichtens and Riperts, your Masas and Morimotos, New York is bubbling over with cooking legends who not only practice world-class gastronomy but also manage to turn themselves into global gajillion-dollar megabrands. So here’s a question: Where are all the women? Despite the fact that women make up the vast majority of home cooks, and despite four-plus decades of modern feminism, women still run just a small percentage of top kitchens in New York and elsewhere. Never mind the Rachael Rays and Nigella Lawsons of the world. They’re TV personalities, not chefs. They don’t turn out hundreds of meals a night on a hot, high-stress line at one of the country’s most esteemed and critically scrutinized restaurants.

But how do those guys even know they want to cook if Hasbro, the maker of the Easy-Bake Oven, tells them it’s something that only girls do? 

Unless — brace yourselves — all of this talk about which toys promote which behavior is just a lot of archaic liberal nonsense. Can’t be that, right?