Monopoly abandons iron, not sexism

Monopoly is finally getting rid of its sexist iron token. Good news, right?

iron

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

The iron, forced upon young girl Monopoly players everywhere, has been ousted by the Internet generation. Here’s to that new Monopoly token, a cat, clawing away at old gender roles.

Are you thinking: How silly! How outdated. I can’t believe kids of olden times had to deal with that housewife bias.

At first, I was. I never even knew what that iron was for. Isn’t it great that Monopoly has the guts to be progressive while so much of kidworld becomes ever more gender segregated?

Here’s just the latest example of sexist stereotyping from my Twitter feed today: Hasbro’s pink Heartbreaker Bow, part of the new Nerf Rebelle line for girls. Rebelle, seriously? Gag.

Hasbro bow

The Heartbreaker Bow attempts to mutate the archery craze– incited after girls finally got to see Hollywood images of powerful bow wielding heroines like Merida of “Brave” and Katniss of “The Hunger Games”– into something cuter and more “feminine.”

Yesterday on my Twitter feed? This display of books from Harrod’s in London:

gorgeous

So good for Monopoly, a new leader in saying no to gender segregation. But then something occurred to me. Even I, a 44 year old woman obsessed with the gendering of toys, had no idea that the iron was created for girl players. Do kids today even know what an iron is? No one irons anymore. That’s when I got it: It’s not the sexism that’s outdated, its the iron. Girls don’t know that they’re supposed to pick the iron. Monopoly isn’t abandoning sexism but updating it. The iron is being replaced with…a kitty.
cat_full_380

Monopoly’s month-long “Save Your Token” contest ended Feb. 6, 2013 when fans’ least-favorite token was replaced with this newer model. I suppose we should be grateful the diamond ring option wasn’t chosen.

 

8 thoughts on “Monopoly abandons iron, not sexism

  1. I have to chime in to defend the thimble… I found one very useful recently. After breaking two denim sewing machine needles, I decided to finish a set of thick light blocking curtains by hand, and that thimble saved my fingertips!

    “The iron, forced upon young girl Monopoly players everywhere,” – I want to know who the author of that phrase was playing monopoly with, ’cause to my mind, that’s where the sexism entered the picture.

  2. Really, nobody irons anymore? So how do you keep your clothes unwrinkled? (I’m not living in the US, I’m genuinely curious about that)

    • Hi Kate,

      My husband and I will throw stuff in the dryer for a few minutes or sometimes I steam it (hang it up while I shower.) If it’s something really special, I take it to the dry cleaner. Mostly, our clothing doesn’t need ironing.

      Margot

  3. The bow doesn’t seem all that bad. Rebelle is a French word. And I don’t think the bow is rendered any less effective or aggressive. I think black and pink is a nice color combination.

    The books are appalling. There is no excuse for them.

    As for the Monopoly pieces, that cat is adorable. Probably a choking hazard. But I would want to be the cat. I usually try and get the dog or the top hat. I don’t know why.

    “But then something occurred to me. Even I, a 44 year old woman obsessed with the gendering of toys, had no idea that the iron was created for girl players. Do kids today even know what an iron is? No one irons anymore. That’s when I got it: It’s not the sexism that’s outdated, its the iron. Girls don’t know that they’re supposed to pick the iron. Monopoly isn’t abandoning sexism but updating it. The iron is being replaced with…a kitty.”

    People know what irons are. You know what’s a nonsensical piece? The thimble.

    • cat:

      “People know what irons are. You know what’s a nonsensical piece? The thimble.”

      That’s so true! When I first played monopoly, the only piece I didn’t know was the thimble. I always thought it was some dustbin with a rounded bottom. Now I think it’s the most ridiculous token, followed by the iron.
      Usually, my sister would go for the battleship while I chose either the dog or car.

      • Hi Valkyrie,

        I always tried to stick my finger in the thimble and pretend it was real. You’re right, it’s totally comparable to the iron.

        Margot

    • Hi Cat,

      Someone else said that about the thimble and I agree. My kids think an iron is something you use for pearly beads.

      Margot

      • Maybe it’s because I design and sew but I think irons are hella useful. I sometimes don’t iron my clothes because I’m not that bothered but ironing does help you look more presentable when it’s important.

        I used to handsew all the time and I never used a thimble.