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The Cruelest Singlist Statement, from an Otherwise Socially Conscious Filmmaker

Journalist, author, and award-winning filmmaker David France cares deeply about fairness and social justice. He has won a GLAAD Media Award and an Excellence in Mental Health Journalism award. He is the sort of person who has likely done a lot of good for the world.

David France has also written one of the most cruel, heartless, and craven singlist statements I have ever read. It appeared in the prestigious New York Magazine.

10 Comments to
The Cruelest Singlist Statement, from an Otherwise Socially Conscious Filmmaker

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  1. Thank you for catching this! I just emailed the following letter to the NYMag editors:

    As a single by choice, I was outraged to read David France implied that Ed Koch was so heartless during the early stages of the AIDS crisis because he was a lifelong bachelor in his homage to Koch and his greatest failure ( There is no shred of evidence for associating being single with lower empathy. There is, however, evidence to the contrary: Single people tend to be more involved in their community and families (see, for example, Gerstel, Naomi & Sarkisian, Natalia (2006). Marriage: the good, the bad, and the greedy. Contexts, 5(4), 16-21.). Whatever lack of empathy Koch displayed, it was not caused by (nor a reflection of) his singleness.

    I think Mr. France owes us singles an apology!

    • Thanks, Rachel! I posted a link to this blog post at the Comment section of the NY article. Not sure anyone will see it but at least it is there.

      • Yes, i saw it (and “liked” it whatever that means…). I also posted a slight variation of my letter there… Maybe if lots of us speak out with similar themes, we get some attention!

      • Thanks for doing that. I’ll go look for your letter now.

    • Thanks Rachel, and of course Bella. A spectacularly insensitive and idiotic comment.

  2. You may or may not be aware but for many decades “single bachelor” meant gay and closeted. Rock Hudson was a “single bachelor”.

    • Good point — thanks.

  3. This goes to show how deeply-rooted Singlism is. Seriously. As smart and creative as this guy is supposed to be, he couldn’t come up with any other reason for Koch’s behavior other than he was “uncoupled”?? Geez

  4. As I read this I could only think two things: OMG and WTF. Over and over again. Hopefully I will be more articulate in my letter to the editor.

    As Bella and Rachel note, the fact that the this person who is known to be a kind-minded, progressive person comes out with a statement like THIS, is a shocking example of just how entrenched singlism is.

    As Lisa and I keep saying, it’s today’s Problem With No Name. (Maybe other people say this too, I don’t know.) Not even on anyone’s radar. So much so that even Mr Social Justice can get away with that and no one notices (except Lisa DePaulo!!!!).


  5. How about that single, uncaring Mr. Clooney? Can he be classified as “utterly single” since he was married once? Or lacking empathy since he twice contracted Malaria from humanitarian work overseas?

    We still have a long way to go.

    • Cameron, don’t you know Mr Clooney also contracted empathy (or learnt how to empathize)when he was married? That’s the difference between him and Koch. Lol


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