"Who cares that she's gay."


When Sharice Davids, an openly-gay Native American Democrat and a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter, was projected to win over Kansas' contested 3rd District, most media outlets touted the victory of diversity and the uniqueness of Davids' story. But this just didn't cut it for the captious liberal Twitter.


In a Wednesday post that has already garnered over 90,000 likes and almost 20,000 retweets, gynecologist Jennifer Gunter -- a self-described "women's health advocate" and a "sexpert" -- criticized The Hill for giving Davids short shrift.


Even though The Hill successfully packed a string of inspiring (and click-enticing) facts about Davids -- her sexuality, the fact that she'll be the first Native American Congresswoman, her MMA career -- into a single headline, Gunter considered it to be a touch sexist, because... it didn't mention that Davids is also a lawyer.

​​"I HATE it when they leave out a woman's academic credentials," Gunter wrote.

Gunter's gripe alludes to what some see as ​society's misogynic habit of omitting women's professional titles.


Of course, the fact that The Hill's headline didn't recapitulate Davids' entire resume doesn't quite mean that her accolades were ignored. The Hill's article pellucidly notes that Davids is a lawyer in the second paragraph, and that she was a White House fellow in the third.


Unassuaged, anxious commenters on the thread took issue with Davids' homosexuality being mentioned in the headline at all.

What, you didn't know? A liberals ask is that the media stop focusing on identity and diversity so much and instead start evaluating politics by issues and merit.​​

Other commenters pushed back, abiding by a faint recollection that diversity is rather a progressive concern.

To which Gunter responded, Sure -- but why did we need to know that Davids' an ex-MMA warrior?​​

​​One might want to respond that Davids' MMA experience is a delightful factoid, much more endearing than her law degree, and therefore irresistible to news writers. 


Instead, one commentator who wanted to defend the MMA anecdote, explained it as a symbol of female empowerment. (Because in the sphere of Twitter activism, a story is measured not by its journalistic merit but by its social-justice value.) 

Few were convinced, though.​​

"I think it says something about the media that I learned it from a [gynecologist] instead of journalist," wrote commenter Kevin. He's correct, it does say something. But considering that Davids' career was detailed in the body of the article, what it says pertains mostly to the lazy and uncritical reading habits of media consumers.


​​But at least one guy, equipped with a commonsense grasp of how media works, managed to softly reprimand the entire thread, while simultaneously maintaining a note of positivity. Be like Matthew.


Adaam James is a senior editor at Pluralist. 

You can argue with him on Twitter.