Hasbro has announced Ms. Monopoly, a “feminist” version of the classic board game that gives female players extra money and bonuses.
According to its tagline, Ms. Monopoly is “the first game where women make more than men.” Instead of all players receiving $200 when they pass Go, any women playing will get an extra $40 on top of that. Women also start out with $1900 in the bank, while men only receiver $1500. Hasbro said in a press release that the game was created to “celebrate women trailblazers”:
Hitting shelves in mid-September, Ms. Monopoly gives new meaning to the franchise, as properties are replaced by groundbreaking inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history and instead of building houses, you build business headquarters. From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating and modern shapewear, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories – all created by women.
MEET MS. MONOPOLY! Mr. Monopoly's niece, a self-made investment guru, is here to celebrate women trailblazers and update a few things. It’s about time! pic.twitter.com/ETSBK7TtWj
— Hasbro (@Hasbro) September 10, 2019
While the intentions may have been noble, the result is a mess and has come under fire from people all across the political spectrum. Writing in The New Yorker, Mary Pilon argued that “tout[ing] its new title as empowering to women, while ignoring a woman’s role in creating the game, was, at best, hypocritical,” and at worst, “only reinforces the false, misogynistic, and all-too-common belief that Monopoly is, then and now, purely a man’s game”:
Women have complained of being drowned out, overlooked, and ignored for centuries… Ms. Monopoly underscores an effort by Madison Avenue to champion feminism as a branding gimmick rather than make tangible change… If Hasbro is serious about women’s empowerment, perhaps the company could start by admitting that a woman invented Monopoly in the first place.
Conservative commentators were also not appreciative of the game:
"Ms. Monopoly:" Extra cash when you pass go. And instead of a Get Out of Jail card, women get to play Put 'Em In Jail cards with false #MeToo allegations against men…then collect multi-million-dollar civil suits & book deals. https://t.co/MbNZLTB8Rh
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) September 10, 2019
Too bad the only people playing this version will single women with lots of cats.
— Mrs.Liberty (@LibertyJen) September 10, 2019
Thank you @Hasbro for MS MONOPOLY. Woman need this kind of head start in order to help them to feel empowered.
Now we just need MS CHESS, where the Queen lounges about at the back of the board while the King runs around doing all the hard work for a change. https://t.co/JnuIUQzzvl
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 10, 2019
Hasbro is perpetuating victimhood through a board game.
They’re instilling in young girls that society views them ‘less than’.
The pay gap comes from PERSONAL CHOICES made by women.
…… and they’re calling this game ‘female empowerment’ https://t.co/Tzaqaf0n2t
— Lisa Britton (@LisaBritton) September 10, 2019
Ms. Monopoly, because Hasbro thinks that in the context of a board game, women need an unfair advantage to be able to succeed.
when you try so hard not to be sexist that you end up being super sexist. https://t.co/CQbaTTalsO
— cuestar (@CuestarVideos) September 11, 2019
This is not the first time that Hasbro has courted controversy with their Monopoly editions. Last month, they released “Monopoly: Socialism,” with its tagline of “winning is for capitalists!”
I bought a copy of Hasbro's mean-spirited and woefully ill-informed "MONOPOLY: SOCIALISM" board game so you don't have to – a thread 1/ pic.twitter.com/YhZWDjkAnj
— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) August 21, 2019
In 2018, they released the tongue-in-cheek “Monopoly for Millennials,” which made fun of stereotypical millennial behaviours, like avocado toast and veganism.