An economist with The Heritage Foundation says the publisher of the bestselling board game in history is sending the wrong message to girls by giving them a "head start" over boys.
A new version of Hasbro's long-popular "Monopoly" board game is designed for female players to make more money than male players. The idea, according to the game-maker, is to raise awareness about the "gender pay gap" – where women make less than men who are doing the same job. Hasbro labels the game as the first "where women make more than men." (Related article)
"With all of the things surrounding female empowerment, it felt right to bring this to Monopoly in a fresh new way," Hasbro executive Jen Boswinkel told USA Today. "It's giving the topic some relevancy to everyone playing it that everybody gets a turn – and this time women get an advantage at the start."
Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget and entitlements for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, says "Ms. Monopoly" isn't helpful to the situation.
"I think this is actually teaching both boys and girls, men and women, the wrong message," she continues. "It's suggesting that women need a head start in order to be able to be on par with or succeed men – and that's the wrong thing we should be telling women."
Greszler, a mother of three boys and three girls, says she doesn't want her children playing this game.
"I don't want the girls sitting down and thinking that they need an advantage or somehow touting that over the boys that they get a head start and then the boys resenting them," she explains.
"And then what happens if the girls win? [The boys say] Well, they only won because they got a head start. And what happens if the boys win? [They say] Well, whoa, the girls must have been so much inferior to [us] that even with that head start they weren't able to catch up."
Greszler acknowledges that across the U.S. there is some gender pay gap, "but that's a result of the different choices that men and women make, and we want them to be able to make those choices."
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