Here’s the question: Which brainy television game show came under fire recently for being inadvertently sexist?
And the answer is … “Jeopardy!”
During the game show on Monday night, host Alex Trebek revealed the category “What Women Want.” The generalization already had the program treading in dangerous waters but it really started sinking into trouble with one clue deemed sexist for its reinforcement of gender stereotypes.
Question: “Some help around the house; Would it kill you to get out the Bissell bagless canister one of these every once in a while?”
Answer: Vacuum cleaner.
Other answers that irked critics included, “What is Levi’s?” and “What is Pilates?”
After Trebek revealed the category, several women took to Twitter to express their disappointment in the show, including “Chicago P.D.” star Sophia Bush and college professors. The hashtag “#WhatWomenWant” quickly spread on the social media platform.
A spokesperson for “Jeopardy!” declined on Wednesday to provide comment. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the weekday show, didn’t immediately respond to msnbc’s request for comment.
Prior to this week, Trebek faced criticism for his apparent astonishment that women earned points in the “Battle of the Decades” tournament earlier this year.
Despite the uproar about Monday night’s game, however, a woman, Elisa Korn, was the ultimate winner.
Amid ongoing nationwide efforts to promote fairness among both genders, President Barack Obama recently declared Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day. He urged Americans to implement measures to ensure fairness for women, and recognized the need to continue supporting their achievements in business, education, and the armed forces.
Senate Republicans in April rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have held employees responsible for wage discrimination against women and would have required the U.S. Department of Labor to collect wage data from supervisors. Nationwide, women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man in 2012, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
The battle for equal pay continues to be a dividing issue in states around the country, as Democrats try to raise state minimum wages, enhance sick leave for women, and increase access to affordable childcare. Republicans blame their counterparts, though, for using equal pay measures as a distraction ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Earlier this month during a speech at the United Nations Headquarters, actress Emma Watson urged men to help end gender inequality. Watson, the U.N. Women Goodwill ambassador and star in the “Harry Potter” movies, launched the “HeForShe” campaign, which focuses on persuading men to join the fight for women’s rights.