Readers Write In #96: Ms Monopoly and feminism

Posted on September 23, 2019


(by Meera Ramanathan)

Before I begin my post, I want to call a truce. A firm believer in “we are all in this together” am hoping we can have healthy discussions devoid of judgement and name calling. We can agree to disagree and I strongly support your attempt to make argument even if I don’t buy into it. Without further ado…

Recently, Hasboro a multi million dollar toys and games juggernaut released a game called Ms.Monopoly. Without getting into how Ms Monopoly is pictured, I want to rather focus on the specifics of the game. In this female version of Monopoly (I don’t even understand what this means), female players start out with nineteen hundred dollars while male players receive fifteen hundred. Women receive two hundred and forty dollars for passing Go, but men are given the same two hundred dollars as in “standard” Monopoly. In my opinion, this is bullshit, not feminism. This is not empowerment but simply put, a gender bias.

I would like to think feminism started off as a cry for equality. If men are allowed to step out of the house to earn a wage, so should women. If men are allowed to ride a bus then so should women. You can see where this is going… For instance, in Vikram Vedha, when Madhavan meets Shraddha for the first time, he walks away because lawyer women are not his type. He then proceeds to the bar to order a whisky large. We then see Shraddha walk in and she also proceeds to order a whisky large. Madhavan then raises his glass to her and their relationship starts off from there. The makers give no explanation as to why Shraddha orders a whisky large. She doesn’t look very pissed, she is not overly disappointed with the policeman walking away… she just feels like having a drink and orders one. Madhavan also plays it neat. His reaction is sublime and all we get is the feeling that the ground has been leveled.

Cut to advantage. Feminism has gone from paving an equal path to giving an unfair advantage. It has become a excuse and is no longer a tangible goal. Movies like Veere di Wedding and our own 90 ml reinforce this agenda. My issue with 90 ml is not that it brought women together but booze took center stage. Magalir Mattum did the exact same thing sans alcohol. Alcohol is not the issue. Even if men bond over alcohol am not going to say its ok.. but because men are doing it, is it ok for women to join the bandwagon. If men have commitment issues, is it ok for women to also portray this? What is the point of being in a relationship if you are ready to move on quickly after a break-up? Is it now cool for women also to kiss and tell, sleep and exit? This simply sets the wrong tone.

I remember reading recently a tug-of-war of words between two commenters here and that is the seed of this post. Without mentioning names, the issue was with having relationships. Every relationship changes us as a person. We agree to this and this is applicable to both genders. Just because am a feminist if am going to argue that its ok for me to have as many relationships as men, this is a very lopsided argument. Akin to Samantha having an extra marital affair in Super Deluxe. That cannot be condoned. It is not ok for women to dress provocatively, it is not ok for women to use feminism as a shield for everything.

At the risk of rambling on, I want to cut the long story short.

I have a son and a daughter. It is my responsibility to raise my son with an awareness to treat women as his equal but it is also my duty to teach my daughter to not use gender as a excuse. Equality is a better word compared to feminism, don’t you think?