Women respond to sexist category on "Jeopardy!": This is what we really want

First of all, don't reduce us to trite stereotypes

Published October 1, 2014 5:13PM (EDT)

"Jeopardy!" category        (screenshot/Jeopardy Lover)
"Jeopardy!" category (screenshot/Jeopardy Lover)

What is sexist and relies on tired stereotypes? That would be Monday night's "Jeopardy!" category "What Women Want." You can watch the episode here:

The category name itself reduces half the population into a very ridiculous "Jeopardy!" category, full of trite stereotypes. Yet, somehow this category slipped through the censors, and it was allowed out of the 1950s and into 2014.

"A pair of jeans that fit well, like the 525s from this brand," was one of the clues. It came came in toe with the answer, "What is Levi's?" Other clues would lead viewers to believe that all women want is to sip tea, attend Pilates classes and to have our husbands help us with the vacuuming. Yep, this happened.

To respond, some of the lovely women of Salon.com have replied with their individual "wants" from fixing large societal problems, to the simple pleasures in life. These are representative of each of us as individual women -- and the lists are hardly complete! We hope you'll share your own. Without further ado, the women of Salon:

Prachi Gupta:

  • A Viagra-like drug for women.
  • For people to stop asking women CEOs if they can have it all.
  • A woman-led fake news show.
  • More Female Late Night Show hosts.
  • More unsexy halloween costume options.
  • For women of color to have a more prominent role in these discussions.
  • For men to not stop me on the street to give me advice or tell me ANYTHING like: asking me about India, telling me to smile.
  • Eliminate the words "slut" and "whore" and "bitch" from our vocabulary.
  • Down with sexist traditions of marriage. (Ok this might be too radical for the list but I stand by it.)
  • Standard, non inflated sizes for women's clothing.
  • National retailers that make more Bra sizes.

Jenny Kutner:

  • Unimpeded access to abortion, contraception and other basic healthcare for everyone always, without stigma.
  • More female [insert professional role here] Legos.
  • Comprehensive sex education in public schools.
  • Paid parental leave.
  • No sexual assault on college campuses (or anywhere).
  • Equal pay.
  • Long-acting male birth control.
  • For strange men not to call me "Jen" and/or a "just a snot-nosed girl who needs to get back in the kitchen" when they email me.
  • Oh I would also like to see the concept of "women's fiction" obliterated.
  • I would also like someone to make me tacos every morning when I wake up.
  • I would love for Fox News to stop talking about feminism, unless (of course) they're going to talk about feminism respectfully and accurately.

Katie McDonough (at this moment)

  • For Tennessee to accept the Medicaid expansion and to repeal its law criminalizing women for their pregnancy outcomes.
  • High-waisted jeans made of dark, sturdy denim that is kind of stretchy but not too stretchy.
  • To have someone other than me repaint my living room.
  • Full reproductive freedom for all women -- whether that means the ability to terminate a pregnancy or to carry that pregnancy to term with the knowledge that you can care for and support your child.
  • For assholes who write for major media outlets to stop getting praised for being "truth tellers" when they are actually just repackaging vile and boring bullshit that blames women for any violence or harassment they experience.
  • A living wage for all workers, particularly since two out of every three minimum wage workers is a woman.

Joanna Rothkopf:

  • Female late-night/talk show hosts on a channel other than E! & more female comics in general.
  • For women to not be perceived as speaking/acting on behalf of their own sex anytime they do anything.
  • I also want my metabolism to be better, but most of all I want not to want that because *body image issues.*
  • I second and third and fourth male birth control.
  • To not be told to smile.
  • Mandatory paid maternity & paternity leave.
  • To not be told that I'm an "innocent girl who needn't concern herself" with disturbing topics.
  • To not see women competing to crack 24 eggs fastest on daytime TV.
  • To be able to walk back from the subway at night on the sidewalk, not the middle of the street for better lighting/visibility.
  • I want Seamless to be free for Joannas.
  • I want to be able to own a lot of cats without being called a cat lady.
  • I want more women in STEM too!
  • I want prominent female atheists.
  • I want people to stop mistaking sexism for religion.

Lindsay Abrams:

  • Yes to male birth control!
  • Also, more non-hormonal birth control options for women
  • I'd also like more sleep.
  • Not to get weird looks when I lift weights at the gym.
  • A shower/bike rack at work so I could bike commute.
  • For strange men not to write condescending emails in response to my articles. Those interested in respectful debate are welcome!
  • Affordable child care (thinking ahead).
  • To only need headphones for music, not blocking out men on the street.

Sarah Gray

  • I want a kitten named Beatrice S'mores The Cat.
  • I want chocolate milkshakes to have no calories. (and like Joanna I want to not care about body image.)
  • I want equal pay! And more women CEOs and mandatory, paid paternity and maternity leave.
  • I want less violence against women depicted in TV, movies, video games and other media.
  • I want more women in STEM, and more women in Silicon Valley, and so many more women in politics.
  • I'd love to see an end to abstinence only sex-education.
  • I want feminism to be more inclusive of all races, sexual orientations and income levels.
  • I'd love free abortions and birth control for all who want them.
  • I'd also like "assault on a woman with a deadly weapon" to not be a mere misdemeanor in some states.
  • Good, safe, stigma free, CONSENSUAL sex for all who want to have it.
  • I want an end to rape and sexual assault, an end to victim blaming and fear of stigma.
  • Like Katie, I want a livable wage for all.

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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By Joanna Rothkopf

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By Lindsay Abrams

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By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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By Jenny Kutner

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Equal Pay Jeopardy! Sexism Stereotypes Video "what Women Want" Jeopardy Women