I'm Not Gay; I'm a Womanizer, Dammit!

Country singer Kenny Chesney doth protest the rumors that he is gay:
Kenny Chesney tells Playboy magazine that he's definitely not gay and has well over 100 women who could attest to that.

"Man, I was over 100 several years ago," he tells the men's magazine for its March issue out Friday. "There were years when I had a better summer than A-Rod, buddy. You know? I got on the boards quite often."

…"What guy who loves girls wouldn't be angry about [rumors he is gay]? I didn't sign up for that. I think people need to live their lives the way they want to, but I'm pretty confident in the fact that I love girls (laughs). I've got a long line of girls who could testify that I am not gay. … My first five years on the road were intense because I was the guy in college who never got laid until I started playing guitar."
Now, I have no idea whether Kenny Chesney is straight, or gay but fiercely closeted—and I don't care. Either way, he is expressing deeply internalized homophobia, a fear/hatred so profound he cannot even imagine that there are straight men who not only aren't angry, but totally don't give a flying fuck, if someone thinks they're gay. (Naturally, bisexual men, who are among the "guys who love girls," don't even register in his universe.)

And, like many bombastic not-gay dudez before him, Chesney asserts his heterosexuality via misogyny, because the best way to prove you "love girls" is by treating them like shit. He "loves girls" so much that he regards them as entirely disposable, holding them in the same proximate esteem as he might a hotel tissue used as a cum rag. They are not individual people, but one big number—evidence of his unassailably heterosexual manliness and consoling reassurance he's no longer "the guy in college who never got laid."

When we talk about the objectification of women, the most evident instance is male objectification and use of women sexually, but the less obvious—and possibly more pernicious—manifestation is a man's objectification and use of a woman/women to tell a story about himself, turning them into props in his own little play. I sleep with lots of women, so I am a stud. I dated a model, so I am hot shit. My wife is thin, so I am a success. My mistress is way younger than I am, so I am the envy of Every Man.

I've worked or been otherwise acquainted with married men who told me their wives were gorgeous, thin, good in bed, big-breasted, etc., long before they told me their wives' occupations, or any other bit of information that wasn't designed to convey how awesome the men were because they'd scored hot wives—just another accessory like a car or a great flat in a trendy neighborhood.

It's sad when things are used to patch over a deep insecurity; when women, spouses, human beings unsuspecting their lot, are used this way it's unconscionable.*

But it is also the inevitable result of a culture in which women and their bodies are treated as commodities to be consumed by men. What good are a portfolio full of blue chip stocks, a garage full of vintage sports cars, and box seats at every stadium in town if you don't have an equally impressive assortment of women? About as good as a lucrative, exciting, successful music career if everyone thinks you're gay. Women are thus the ultimate collectors' item for any successful chicks-digging gentleman.

And by chicks-digging gentleman, of course I mean a man who loves women so much that he hates them rotten, in vast numbers.

[Via Andy.]


* I recognize this is not a behavior exclusive to men; there are women who use men in the same way, but, like most issues of gender, there is a different cultural context and divergent motivations to the behavior "in the reverse." This post isn't about that scenario, and I kindly request that you bear that in mind should you be considering a comment demanding to know "what about the menz who get used by the womminz?!"

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