Editorial: Ms. Monopoly panders to women | TribLIVE.com

Editorial: Ms. Monopoly panders to women

The late Stephanie Kwolek of New Kensington invented Kevlar.

Talk about diversifying your portfolio.

The makers of an age-old favorite board game have created a new version that celebrates the contributions of women: Ms. Monopoly.

That’s great. Women have consistently been unrepresented on the board, which has just one real character — Mr. Monopoly, the top-hatted, cane-wielding image of capitalism himself. Originally conceived as “Rich Uncle Pennybags,” the Hasbro mascot has been the face of the game for years, appearing on the board, the cards and the commercials for new versions.

Well, this time, he’s been outmanned. Actually, he’s been outwomanned. The new game’s mascot is its namesake, Ms. Monopoly. She wears skinny jeans, killer heels and a graphic T under her suit jacket. She is a go-getter whose goal isn’t about cornering the market in the real estate game. She’s an entrepreneur who wants to invest, and she’s seeking out women-owned businesses for the big bucks.

The inspirational aspect of the game is that it isn’t fictionalizing the companies. It isn’t a generic “Suzy’s Sandwich Shop” or “Mary’s Muffins.” The entrepreneurs are real, and one is homegrown. The late Stephanie Kwolek of New Ken­­sington is celebrated for her invention of Kevlar, the polymer that stops bullets in ballistic vests.

But the idea could definitely be more relatable today as entrepreneurship is a buzzword. You can get a Scouts BSA merit badge in it. You can pitch an idea to “Shark Tank” on television. Universities like Penn State encourage students to come up with outside-the-box ideas to generate products and germinate companies.

It’s the pandering of the game that doesn’t sound much fun. Girls get more money to start the game than boys. Does $40 in fake money seem like it’s going to fix a wage gap? Or does it just sound like boys won’t want to play?

Monopoly has always been that game that sounded more fun than it ended up — sometimes in tears after a harsh loss and sometimes in an unfinished bout that just got boring.

But if Hasbro really wanted to celebrate women, the company could have just given credit to Elizabeth Magie, the woman who patented it decades before Charles Darrow, the man generally called its inventor.

Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.