I thought I'd share, (since not everybody is going to read all the previous comments) that I got a note back from Writers of the Future on the feedback I gave them regarding their electronic submission process. The most gratifying part was this quote:
"I'll pass on your comment on the "housewife" category as I think you are right. I can think of several winners right off bat that are stay-home dads."
They also said that they collect age and occupation for demographic and marketing purposes, to find the best target audience when they market the books--which could eventually lead to more money for prizes. I'd still like it not to be mandatory, but the reasoning makes sense. It was especially nice to hear since my immediate reaction had been "this contest is supposed to be blind, why are they asking for this?"
I was also happy to know that my comments didn't fall on deaf ears. Thank you, Writers of the Future!