Why Are So Many People Hating On The Ms. Monopoly Board Game (Again)?
It doesn't take much to get people angry on social media, and the resurfacing of an ad for the recently released Ms. Monopoly was all that was needed to kick off Criticism 2.0.
Monopoly is one the world's most recognisable board games, with the original version released in 1906.
And while there have been dozens of offshoots and special editions of Monopoly, the latest called Ms. Monopoly has raised plenty of eyebrows.
Released in late 2019, Hasbro Toy Company said the new game is a celebration of women's empowerment -- where female players start off with $400 more than men and also collect $240 instead of just $200 when they pass go.
At the time of the release, the company copped considerable flak for Ms. Monopoly despite its attempt to empower women, and the rage has just picked up again as the game's advertisement made the Twitter rounds once more.
The ad was shared by user Bara Godzilla whose tweet has since been liked almost 200,000 times and retweeted almost 50,000 times.
One of the most criticised elements of the game is Ms. Monopoly herself, who is described as “Mr. Monopoly’s niece and a self-made investment guru here to change a few things.”
But there is no in-game acknowledgement of Monopoly's actual creator Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Magie, whose idea was claimed by a man who sold it to the Parker Brothers (which later became Hasbro) as his own.
A video ad for Ms. Monopoly features three young female inventors talking about gendered stereotypes around technological and scientific achievements. At the end of the video, the young women receive more than $20,000 to fund their projects.
“If money can solve a problem, it’s actually a really small problem. There are a lot of barriers that face women,” Amy Peng, an associate professor in the department of economics at Ryerson University, told CNBC.
“Are you doing this because you think women are not as productive as men and need to be overcompensated?” she said.
In the game, women make more than men and instead of collecting properties, players invest in products invented by women, including WiFi, chocolate chip cookies, and modern shapewear, the Smithsonian Magazine reported.
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 to media last year.
"Don't worry, if men play their cards right, they can make more money too."
But that didn't deter critics.
“It’s unhelpful to portray women as needing special advantages. What women need is to be treated as equals with respect,” Christine Sypnowich, head of the philosophy department at Queens College and a feminist scholar told local media at the time of release.
Other Monopoly spin-offs that have made a splash on social media include Monopoly Socialism -- a tongue-in-cheek game that sparked debate for its take on socialism.
In 2018, Hasbro also released Monopoly for Millennials which poked fun at millennial trends such as avocado toast and veganism.