Hasbro, the Rhode Island-based toy maker, exploded social media on Tuesday after announcing a special edition of ‘Monopoly’, the almost century-old world-renowned board game.
In the special edition, players take the role of ‘Ms. Monopoly,’ who, according to Hasbro, is a niece of the famous Mr. Monopoly, the famous moustache- and top hat-wearing real estate mogul. While the Hasbro tweet describes her as a “self-made investment guru,” being a niece of a supposed billionaire never hurts.
Instead of buying property, Ms. Monopoly seeks to invest in “women’s inventions,” from “chocolate chip cookies” to WiFi.
Under the new rules, the biggest change finds players segregated by gender: if a male player passes ‘GO’, they earn the traditional $200 in game money, while female players will now get $240.
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
The new version of the old game has been met with staunch criticism on social media. Both male and female netizens expressed shock at how this glaring discrimination promotes gender equality, with some feminist-leaning commenters taking it as being ‘looked down upon.’
This video & message are beautiful - but why taint that message, with the gimmick of female players starting with more money than boys. They just wanted headlines - but this debate doesn’t promote the equality we should all be fighting for.— Lindsay Glazer (@LindsayGlazer) September 10, 2019
It's about time, we... what? Inject sexism into a board game? Outright state we are incapable of doing men's work so we should get more money because we have a vagina? Thanks for making a game that says I'm too delicate to handle my own and need a man to subsidize me.— The Lost One (@TheLostieLost) September 10, 2019
“I don’t want or need any hand outs at the start. We all deserve to start at the same level,” one user wrote. “In games and in life, I want to inspire by WORKING, to earn my larger salary, which I did. Don’t settle for less.”
No I don’t want or need any hand outs at the start. We all deserve to start at the same level. On family game nights, we’d call this new Ms. Monopoly “rule” cheating. In games and in life, I want to inspire by WORKING, to earn my larger salary, which I did. Don’t settle for less.— Lindsay Glazer (@LindsayGlazer) September 10, 2019
Others dismissed the idea as “cheating,” suggesting that Hasbro release a “Cheater” edition of the game.
Glad to see women break the glass ceiling of winning at Monopoly by cheating. A true milestone in the fight for equality.— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) September 10, 2019
Incoming angry rant. they made a monopoly game that womans make more money then mans... in other word cheating.. Bitch i dont need a ur shity ass boost to win against a man. i can see what they are going for but for me i see this as making womans weakers. so fuck your game Assbro https://t.co/pEDNX5bKF0— 🌟Mint Blais🌟 (@MintBlais) September 10, 2019
Many users called the toy maker out for capitalizing on the “woke” progressive narrative, expressing doubt about the company’s sincerity.
Gotta love corporations jumping on the Woke train. Wish there was a title underneath the video saying 'we don't give a shit about this, but market research says we'll make a shit tonne of money out it! "— Ben Gates (@benjochops) September 10, 2019
Some users pointed out that the original prototype for ‘Monopoly’ - called ‘Landlord’s game’ - was invented by a woman named Elizabeth Magie in 1904. While Magie described herself as an outspoken feminist, her game never sought to prioritize players based on a physical attribute.
Like Elizabeth Magie, the inventor of the original Monopoly game right?— Kimmylea (@Kimmylea4) September 10, 2019
In promoting the new edition of the game, Hasbro sent gift copies to young female inventors and entrepreneurs, stuffed with a gift of $20,580 of real - not game - money “to fuel their inventive spirit and further their projects.”
how is she "self made" when her uncle is literally the Monopoly Man lmfao— bax (@baxbooksdeux) September 10, 2019
"self-made". She's as silver-spoon as they come.— BasedShark (@basedshark01) September 10, 2019
The last time Hasbro attempted to release a merchandise line specifically targeted at girls, however, it backfired spectacularly, as a renewed ‘My Little Pony’ franchise found an enormous global following among young men, stunning company management while significantly contributing to the toy line’s commercial success. Judging by initial reactions to ‘Ms. Monopoly’, this project’s future remains uncertain.