Nightline just ran a segment on a serial killer who was horrifying even by serial killer standards. Russell Williams would tie up his victims, then beat and rape them for hours before killing them. The story had sensationalism (in addition to all of the horrible violence he perpetrated, Williams also liked to dress up in his female victims’ clothes) and the double-life theme –he had a distinguished military record.

Twice, in the brief introduction to the segment, Nightline made it clear what was truly shocking, other than the fact that the killer was a military men – he was married! One sentence of the narration began, “For more than 20 years, he was a model airman and husband…”  Another noted that now, a “nation wonders how this married colonel could have led such a deplorable double life.”

No need to wonder if he were single, I guess.

The titles of 10 of my chapters in Singled Out included myths about single people. For the chapter about single men, I described the myths as: “You are horny, slovenly, and irresponsible, and you are the scary criminals. Or, you are sexy, fastidious, frivolous, and gay.” My hope is that someday the myths I mocked will be seen as historical curiosities. I’m still waiting.

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