Jessica Kennedy, Staff Writer
On Monday, toy-making company Hasbro released a promo for a new version of their game, Monopoly. In this version of the game, the board is centered around inventions made by female entrepreneurs rather than real estate properties. Hasbro explained the new version was “created to inspire everyone, young and old, as it spotlights women who have challenged the status quo.”
Upon releasing a video about the game on their YouTube channel, Hasbro described the game by saying, “From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating and space station batteries, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories – all invented by women.” Instead of buying properties like “Boardwalk” and “Illinois Avenue,” Ms. Monopoly has its players investing stock into female-made inventions.
To help send their message of supporting women inventors, Hasbro showed three young women in their Ms. Monopoly video who are inspirations to the game. These young women include 16-year-old Ava, who is forming a way to detect the amount of harmful dyes in soft drinks and candies, 13-year-old Gitanjali, who invented a device to detect lead levels in drinking water, and 16-year-old Sophia, who is working on an invention to detect sinkholes before they form and cause damage. Hasbro gave these girls a first-edition copy of the game and $20,580, the same amount of money players start with in the board game. Hasbro’s message to young women is to use the money for their inventions so they can be successful and end up like the women featured in the game.
As another change to the traditional Monopoly game, women will receive a head start over men. Though feminism is typically defined as equality between all genders, when players pass go in Ms. Monopoly female players will receive $240, while men will continue to get the standard $200. This payment gap is supposed to play towards the real-world employee wage gap where women typically earn $0.79 to a man’s $1. Hasbro intends for the game to “celebrate women trailblazers,” but has sparked a controversy.
Since women are receiving more advantages than men in the new game, some people are arguing that the inequality is making women seem as though they cannot succeed without being given extra advantages. In the fight for gender equality, some replies to the company’s release tweet say that Ms. Monopoly is counterintuitive to what feminists have been working hard to gain for so long. Some are saying the best way to solve the wage gap is to end wage gaps and erase all forms of sexism.
By saying women need an advantage in the game implies that men are smarter and at a better intellectual advantage to win the original game than women are. To truly show Hasbro’s stance on feminisam, Ms. Monopoly game would be better off keeping the women-made invention squares but ditching the unfair rules.