By: Emily Sobel
Could the gender pay gap become typical banter among nine and ten-year-olds? The answer will soon unfold as toymaker Hasbro’s new game, Ms. Monopoly, hits the shelves.
This new spin on one of America’s most popular board games enhances female empowerment and equal rights for women in the workplace. The cover depicts a soft-smiling brown-haired woman wearing a gray blazer and clasping a to-go coffee cup, ready to take on the workday. The game’s new mascot, rather than the original real estate mogul “Rich Uncle Pennybags,” is an advocate who invests in female entrepreneurs. Rather than traditional investments, such as hotels and properties, Ms. Monopoly will focus on turning a profit from inventions and innovations created by women, such as chocolate chip cookies and Wifi technology.
The game’s tagline, “The first game where women make more than men,” becomes evident immediately. In contrast to reality, where women are earning 80% of what men earn for the same jobs, female players will receive $1,900 at the start of the game, compared to $1,500 for male players. Additionally, as female players pass “go,” they collect $240 rather than the standard $200 that male players receive. To reinforce the importance of supporting females, male players are rewarded for attending a women’s rally or watching a female-based superhero movie.
While the game shines a light on important issues for young children, it doesn’t come without critics. For example, the invention of Monopoly is often credited to Charles Darrow, who eventually sold the game to Hasbro. However, Elizabeth Maggie, feminist and writer, held a patent for The Landlord’s Game, which is credited to be the inspiration behind Monopoly. If Hasbro wants to celebrate female empowerment, many feel that they should’ve made an acknowledgment to Maggie’s contributions to Monopoly, but they still gave full credit to Darrow.
Additionally, according to Inc Magazine, many critics feel that the new rules suggest women can’t get ahead without a head start. Reversing the issue so that men earn less for the same job unjustly creates the same problem. While the new rules are intended to raise awareness of the gender pay gap issue, many feel this is not the right way to educate children. In the growing #MeToo movement, people are becoming more aware of women’s issues. If Ms. Monopoly can overcome its criticisms, the game will help to further work towards female empowerment at an early age.
The game is now available for pre-order at the retail price of $19.99 and will be delivered just in time for the holidays.
Photo courtesy of geektyrant.com