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'Ms. Monopoly' tackles gender pay controversy: Female players receive more money than males, 'get an advantage at the start'

Instead of buying property, players invest in inventions by women — among them 'chocolate chip cookies' and 'ladies' modern shapewear'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Last year, Hasbro rolled out "Monopoly for Millennials" — a very tongue-in-cheek version of the classic board game that pokes fun at the woke generation with everything from the box's tagline ("Forget real estate. You can't afford it anyway") to the product description ("Adulting is hard; take a break from the rat race...").

But the game's newest iteration — "Ms. Monopoly" — is anything but lighthearted.

As you can likely tell from the "Ms." prefix, this Monopoly indeed focuses on "female empowerment," Jen Boswinkel, senior director of global brand strategy and marketing for Hasbro Gaming, told USA Today.

What's it all about?

She added to the paper that "this time women get an advantage at the start."

How, exactly?

Well, the banker gives $1,900 to each female player — but only $1,500 to each male, USA Today said, adding that females get $240 every time they pass "go" while males get the standard $200.

And rather than real estate, players invest in "inventions and innovations made by women, including chocolate chip cookies, bulletproof vests, solar heating, and ladies' modern shapewear," the paper said.

More from USA Today:

Other updates to the game include new tokens including a white hat, a watch, a barbell, a glass and a jet plane.

While the white hat might conjure up thoughts of Olivia Pope from "Scandal," Boswinkel said it's to symbolize Mr. Monopoly passing his top hat to his niece. The watch is to symbolize that it's "about time for some changes," she added.

Despite the changes in "Ms. Monopoly," the paper said the boys also can win the game.

"It's a way that families can talk about what is happening around them, and it's an easy way to explain to their kids, boys or girls, what has maybe happened to them over the years and what they've been experiencing," Boswinkel added to USA Today.

Real money

To mark the advent of "Ms. Monopoly," Hasbro doled out $20,580 — not in game money, but real cash — to a trio of teenage female inventors, the paper said: Gitanjali Rao, 13, of Denver; Sophia Wang, 16, of Connecticut, and Ava Canney, also 16, from Ireland.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Among Gitanjali's inventions is the Tethys, which detects lead in drinking water, USA Today added.

"There are so many big things that most people think are created by men, but they're actually created by women," Gitanjali, who's on Forbes' 2019 30 under 30 list for science, noted to the paper. "It really expanded my knowledge and was so empowering to me."

USA Today also said she was "appalled" to learn more about the gender pay gap.

"I never put the dots together and realized it was that much of a gap," Gitanjali noted to the paper. "I think it's super important to talk about equal pay and that there's no such thing as boys' subjects and girls' subjects."

CNN noted that the appearance of "Ms. Monopoly" occurred a few weeks after "Monopoly Socialism," yet another tongue-in-cheek version of the game that was criticized for poking fun at socialism.

Here's a look at teen inventors getting surprised by the cash:

Ms. Monopoly Official - Monopoly youtu.be

One last thing…
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