Last week, the makers of Monopoly announced that they would be changing up the game pieces, replacing the iconic iron with a new, totally 2013 cat piece. The decision was left completely up to Facebook fans of the game who voted overwhelmingly voted for the cat over the other options – a robot, diamond ring, helicopter, and guitar.
Now, I am not a cat person. In fact, I am terrified of cats. There is a cat living in my apartment with whom I share a very estranged relationship – occassionaly, we will glance in each other’s direction, sometimes I will place a piece of chicken on the floor for her to eat if she meows at me really loudly while I’m cooking chicken, but we never share a couch and I lock my bedroom door at night so she can’t get in because I have an irrational fear that she will steal my soul while I sleep. (Please, don’t judge.)
But lately I’ve been feeling like the internet WANTS me and every woman in the entire world to be a cat person. There’s no shortage of cat memes, from cats quoting Pablo Neruda to cats haz-ing things to really angry looking cats hating everything, and everyone is expected to love this. And ok, maybe I love an angry looking cat snarkily judging people from my computer screen but that cat doesn’t represent my life, right?
Or does it? The original Monopoly pieces were based on charms that would likely be found on a charm bracelet – representations of what life was like for the wearer. A wheelbarrow, a battleship, a racecar, a thimble, a boot, a scottie dog, a top hat, an iron… every day life in the 1940′s and 50′s, complete with gender expectations and dreams.
And those Monopoly piece options for today kind of sort of seem to represent every day live in 2013, huh? Robots because everything is run by computers now, a guitar because becoming a music sensation has become the new bootstrap myth, a helicopter and a diamond ring because we live in an increasingly consumer-driven society, and finally a cat because… the internet rules our lives?
Or is it because we had to replace that feminine token of an iron with another feminine token – the cat?
I know I’m overreacting. But sometimes its fun to overreact.
Meanwhile, I have dibs on the top hat. Don’t forget.
What’s your token of choice? If you had to create a Monopoly game piece for yourself, what would it be?