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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Mass Media’s Sexual Harassment Monopoly Space

I’m writing to share my extreme disappointment and anger with the latest Mass Media front page “Monopoly Game”. Yesterday, I stepped foot into the university for the first time in over six months, and I was not particularly looking forward to my reunion with the campus seeing as I had to make a payment to the Bursar’s Office. While waiting in line, I picked up a copy of Mass Media’s latest newspaper. I had never been one of those people that read Mass Media, but this time I figured why not?

I am beyond disgusted with what I found on the cover and not-happily surprised that the first copy I had decided to read was so awful. On the Monopoly game, situated between “Snow Day! High 5 All Players” and “Food Poisoning. Lose a Turn” is the space “Got Sexually Harassed at JFK Station. Too distraught for homework. Lose 3 Credits”.

There are so many issues with this.

I’ll start with the fact that this space is blatantly insensitive about a serious and sensitive topic. And has no place to be on a board game because board games are supposed to be fun and funny. Trivializing sexual harassment is not fun or funny.

How does this space trivialize sexual harassment? Well, let me explain, because apparently this is not obvious to the numerous writers and editors that helped create this Monopoly board and/or helped publish it.

This space lessens the seriousness of sexual harassment by existing on the board amongst spaces that are either obviously absurd (for example, “Got high, tried to eat sculpture that resembles bacon. Lose 1 Credit,” is absurd in a good, fun, appropriate “this makes sense to be on liberal college in a Massachusetts student-run newspaper” type of way) or spaces that are more serious and realistic and could potentially hold a space on The Game of Life board game (like the space “Had to park in the Bayside Lot. Was Chronically late for class. Lose 3 Credits”). But by placing a space next to such opposites (absurdly silly versus everyday realistic issues) we compare it to those opposites. And in the case of sexual harassment, that is wrong.

Sexual harassment is not an appropriate “LOL LOSE 3 CREDITS” type space. Nor should it be compared to something like “it happens to people all the time, you’ll be just fine” or “it happens to people all the time when you’re not cautious” type of way like the “Food Poisoning. Lose a Turn” space.

Further, by deducting points, it comes across the horrible and nonsense idea that someone can somehow factually and objectively rank how traumatic sexual harassment is for every single person.

To get real feminist theory on ya’ll, the fact that a player loses points for being sexually harassed hints at victim blaming/shaming.

The overall wording is so casual. It makes me—along with many others that even glimpsed at the cover of the paper—upset and uncomfortable. Sexual harassment shouldn’t be seen as “casual” or something that happens and the effect is, “oh shit, more stress, can’t do homework, but I’ll go to school tomorrow and be fine, the end.”

This downplays the severity of what sexual harassment is and how strongly it may impact an individual.

The space also eliminates the idea of having any options for handling an instance of sexual harassment after the fact. There is no therapy, police report, or social activism. There is no positive outcome or any outcome at all.

I find a lot of issues with this specific board space. I’m not happy.

And I’m upset that no one else seemed to notice any issue with this space before the newspaper was printed and issued to an entire university.

I would love to see Mass Media or someone in the University see that insensitive and victim blaming/shaming media stop being circulated around an entire campus of people, instead of being published and promoted as fun and games.