“Jeopardy!” contestant Amy Schneider was born a man, but she’s being toasted as the highest-earning woman in the show’s history, much to the chagrin of those decrying the accolade as an example of stolen female glory.
The transgender trivia whiz hit $706,800 in total earnings with her Friday win, prompting NBC News and NBC OUT to declareher the show’s “top female earner,” surpassing Larissa Kelly, who won $655,930 during her run in 2008-09.
“Schneider buzzed her way to victory, becoming the highest-earning woman contestant,” said Entertainment Weekly.
From People magazine: “Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider just became the show’s highest-earning woman, beating Larissa Kelly’s previous record.”
Among those who had a problem with the “top female” designation were Rachel Bovard, senior policy director of the Conservative Partnership Institute.
“Peak feminism now means handing over all the ‘first woman’ titles to men posing as women,” Ms. Bovard tweeted. “From the athletics to the nerdy game shows, to the miracle of giving birth. Women, as a separate and amazing biological category, are meaningless. Great job everyone.”
Sarah Parshall Perry, legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, accused the network of disseminating falsehoods.
“In which NBC attempts to convince Americans that a glass ceiling has been shattered but in fact, has built another one — to the great detriment of biological women everywhere,” tweets Ms. Perry. “We know when we’re being lied to.”
“Well, it was fun to hold a Jeopardy record for a few years… but it’s been even more fun to watch @Jeopardamy set new standards for excellence, on the show and off,” Ms. Kelly tweeted on Friday. “Congratulations to Amy on becoming the woman with the highest overall earnings in the show’s history!”
Ms. Schneider tweeted back: “Thanks so much, I’m honored to be in your company, and I look forward to some day watching the woman who beats us both!”
Ms. Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, previously became the first transgender contestant to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions.
“I didn’t want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show,” she said in a Nov. 26 tweet. “I am a trans woman, and I’m proud of that fact, but I’m a lot of other things, too!”
With her 20th win, Ms. Schneider was also credited with tying the record set by Julia Collins in 2014 for most “Jeopardy!” victories by a woman.
The LGBTQ group Project MORE declared Tuesday that Ms. Schneider was “now the all-time highest-earning woman and is tied for the record of most wins by a woman. Keep it up @Jeopardamy!”
On the other side were commenters like Kaeley Triller, who tweeted that “yall are gaslighting humanity into lying by pretending he’s a woman or that he’s breaking glass ceilings on behalf of womankind.”
Kara Dansky, author of “The Abolition of Sex: How the ‘Transgender’ Agenda Harms Women and Girls,” called it an affront to women and reality “to refer to men as ‘women’ or as ‘female.’”
“Americans need to be brave enough to speak the truth that no man has ever become a woman, and no men should ever be referred to as female, including men who claim to have a so-called ‘female gender identity,’” said Ms. Dansky. “Female is not an identity that can be put on or taken off.”
In October, the Biden administration honored Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Rachel Levine as the “first female four-star admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service,” as well as the first openly transgender four-star officer.
“I am humbled to serve as the first female four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the 8 uniformed services,” said Dr. Levine in an Oct. 19 statement.
Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana Republican, was locked out of his Twitter account a week later for stating that the “title of first female four-star officer taken by a man.”
“Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day,” Mr. Banks added.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect more accurately Ms. Dansky’s comments.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported the title of Ms. Dansky’s book. It is “The Abolition of Sex: How the ‘Transgender’ Agenda Harms Women and Girls.”
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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