Well, we knew this was coming — a devout Catholic group has discovered Tom Ford's penis necklace and boy, are they not happy about it. According to Jezebel's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, an organization called the Catholic League is super upset about Tom Ford's phallic jewelry. So upset, in fact, that they are being insanely homophobic about it. Shocker.
Tom Ford, who is equally known for his classic silhouettes as he is for his occasionally racy designs (he recently sent fashionable pasties down the runway at NYFW), debuted the necklace back in June but it has only just become available for purchase on the designer's website — for the XXL (tee hee) price of $790. With several media outlets, Bustle included, covering the jewelry launch with jokey headlines about scooping up the, erm, statement piece just in time for the holidays, it was only a matter of time before conservative religious organizations caught wind.
Shepherd and European gay news outlet Pink News reported that Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, released a statement on his blog criticizing the necklace, which I suppose was to be expected given that he's religious and the necklace sort of resembles a cross. The problem? He just had to attack Ford's sexuality in the process, writing, "When we learned of this item, I said to the staff that I bet this guy Tom Ford is a homosexual. I was right. He even thinks he’s married.” Le sigh.
While I do think Ford is making a bold statement with the crucifix-like arrangement of the male anatomy, I am not here for freaking out about a depiction of genitalia. Penises are not offensive, gross, horrifying, or inappropriate. They just... are. At the same time, I don't agree with disrespecting a faith symbol that is important to so many people. But Bill Donohue, who in no way represents all Catholics, undermines his own cause with his rampant and dehumanizing homophobia.
As Jezebel commenter BusterBlue puts it, "Yeah, I never really understand why a designer would create something disrespectful to a certain group of people's faith, but Bill Donahue is a ridiculous homophobic blowhard." Precisely.
Image: Tom Ford