Ms. Monopoly

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Ms. Monopoly

Charlie Desnoyers, Staff Writer

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In Monopoly, the adored capitalist board game, everyone has a chance to make a living investing in real estate and other properties. While this game has many different themes and versions, they mostly have the same way to win and play, except for a few outliers. In this new game from Hasbro, Ms. Monopoly is combating the gender pay gap in real life by attempting to incorporate it into a version of Monopoly. The game works the same, where everyone tries to invest in varying properties, but in this family fun activity women make more than men.

The first sign of a gender pay gap is in the initial amount of money the payers receive. In the traditional game, both genders receive $1,500. With the new version, men receive the standard amount while women receive $1,900. Another way of incorporating the pay gap is when the players collect “go” and collect money. Traditionally, everyone collects $200, depending on how you play the classic. In the new version, women receive $240. Other aspects of the game have been changed too. Rather than investing in real-estate and varying properties, players can invest in products invented by women. They include chocolate chip cookies, modern shape wear, retractable dog leashes, and the ice cream maker. These properties provide interesting and new knowledge as to what women have created, and where we would be without them. While these aspects have changed, some original items have stayed the same, such as jail, taxes, and chance cards. 

While the premise behind the game was to empower women and teach men about the unfair advantages they receive, it has received mixed to negative reviews on what it is teaching our youth. Jennifer Borda, an associate professor in feminist studies has an opinion on what it should include, “A more apt version of the game would have men players face the penalties women face in the workplace”. She may be referring to women not receiving raises as often as men or being less likely to be promoted to CEO or manager level positions. Another speculation on what this could be teaching women is that they need a head-start in life to become as successful as men, which is clearly not the case. While the game has not been released to the public yet, it is pretty clear on how the game will be perceived to the general public. 

The newest version of Monopoly has some gender specific twists, to aid the female gender, seems to be an interesting game. It will definitely teach some lessons to everyone, but it is unclear if those lessons are positive or negative. While it may seem unfair from the description, the only way to know is to play the game with your friends.