Feminists looking to close the gender wage gap in classic board games rejoice: a new version of Monopoly will pay women $40 more for passing "Go," in an effort to make up for the financial oppression women suffer in the workplace.
CNN reports that "Ms. Monopoly," unveiled this week, will celebrate "women's empowerment" by reconfiguring the classic Monopoly board to be more "female-friendly," including bumping the pay of female players who make it all the way around the board's list of properties by rewarding them with extra pay. The theory is that women make only around $.70 for every dollar men make in the real world, so Monopoly will give them an advantage.
"Unlike the classic game, women will collect 240 Monopoly bucks when they pass 'go,' while male players will collect the usual 200. The idea is to create a game where women make more than men, the first game to do so, according to Hasbro," CNN reports.
It's "a fun new take on the game that creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men," the company said in a statement emailed to major news organizations.
Men are, of course, welcome to play, Hasbro says, and there's plenty of opportunities for both genders to make money. But if male players want to come out ahead in Ms. Monopoly, they'll have to do it on the backs of women. Instead of the familiar properties like Boardwalk and Park Place, players of Ms. Monopoly compete to control innovations made by women and products from female-led companies, effectively charging other players to use things like WiFi and chocolate chip cookies.
Of course, a female-branded game does seem counter-productive to the aims of modern feminism, particularly given that the game plays into the outdated notion of a "gender binary." Today's "intersectional" feminists could happily remind Hasbro that there are something like 37 genders and that movement between them is fluid because gender is a "social construct" or something.
It's also a little odd to suggest that disempowered women rely on a paternal "Rich Uncle Pennybags" to help correct workplace shortcomings — if there are such things. Economists don't recognize a $.30 "gender wage gap" and have long insisted that women are routinely paid the same as men who do the same job with the same level of commitment. The real "gender wage gap" comes over the course of a career, because women are more likely to choose lower-paying, more flexible occupations, and take time out to raise children.
But Hasbro clearly isn't digging that deeply. The game, which goes on sale later in the year (pre-sales for the item began on Monday), is mostly a collectors' edition, and Monopoly fiends will want to grab a copy, if only because it's apparently the first official Monopoly game that features a single woman on the box top.
Otherwise, it might be better to snap up a copy of Millennial Monopoly (out last year) or the satirical "Socialist" Monopoly that debuted earlier this year, where players compete to not win by controlling things like the Healthcare for All Hospital and the No-Tip Vegan Bakery. The game is meant to result in failure and utter poverty for its players, not unlike actual socialism.