First and most important thought: I want to reiterate to everyone that, as the OP of the question about women, I have recused myself from all moderating questions regarding the question itself. (I did do some moderation work on the answers, however). Therefore, when I make my case for the question here, I do so purely as a community member, not as a diamond. To do otherwise would be unfair. If the others in the community feel that it should be closed (or protected), then so be it. Please take the rest of my commentary in that light. I am not a moderator in this answer.
So within that light, I argue that my question about females has real criteria. Early on, when we were discussing whether cs1 and cs0 should be tags, we spent a fair amount of time discussing this study.
On the top of page 4, it gives a wonderful graph of topics. The graph on the right, I believe, is relevant here. The further out a topic is from the center, the more agreement among instructors that that topic had at least some place within a CS1 course. "Types", "Control", and "Style" had the strongest results; everyone agreed that they had some place. By contrast, "Lists", "Sorting", "Recursion", and "Abstraction" created very little agreement. There are other topics on the list as well.
There are actual numbers that go into making that graph; I don't have access to the direct numbers, but they clearly exist.
Now, when asking about which women, there would be basically two judgements to make regarding how well a particular answer fit with my question. The first would be, how significant was the person's contribution to the particular subfield, and the second would be how important is the particular subfield to eary cs studies.
The first question is subjective by its nature. The second question, however, is quantifiable (and some such quantifying work has been done in that study.) I would go so far as to suggest that there would exist a particular woman who would become a best fit, though (and this is very important) I don't have to be right about that for the question to have sufficiently met the criteria to be an allowable list question.
A good list question simply provides criteria by which the answers can be judged on a linear scale. There does not have to be perfect agreement by everyone on what should top that scale, though a well-formed question should net results that are not entirely surprising. I don't believe that the top answers to my question would shock anyone.
However, there was definitely messiness there, and I don't want to duck that. My question had a straightforwardly bad title. I won't defend that title! During the time that the question was a HNQ, most of the answers that we got ignored the question body, and just answered the title. I think this had something to do with the fact of the HNQ itself; people were attracted from outside of our community by the title, and that is what they responded to.
But ultimately, through the work of many people (especially, especially, especially thesecretmaster and Heather -- you two are amazing), it got cleaned up. If there were not strong enough criteria for a list question, there would have been no meaningful basis for that cleanup. The question itself provided the information that was needed to guide the cleanup efforts. This is as strong an indicator as any I could possibly hope for that the question provides meaningful criteria. If it did not, that cleanup would have simply been impossible.