Gene Simmons Proudly Tells Women To “Stop Depending On Men,” Womankind Collectively Rolls Eyes

In promoting his new book (which I am too irritated to even link to) on Fox News’ “Trending With Tantaros,” KISS frontman Gene Simmons proclaimed that we ladies need to stop leeching off our men because so many dudes walk out anyway, and that we should just actively plan for abandonment instead. Gene, what’s the deal here? I used to think we were long lost BFFs. I watched “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” religiously back in the day, and one of my favorite things about it was how normal (and loving!) the Simmons family seemed. Clearly, I was wrong. On his Fox segment, Simmons launched into a discussion of his book’s chapter on female entrepreneurs as host Andrea Tantaros eagerly nodded her head and gushed in agreement with his sexist ideas. Simmons seems to have decided that having spent his life being enabled and cared for by women qualifies him to know enough about the female experience to dictate what is best for all of us. His advice to lady entrepreneurs:

“Let’s all agree that women should not depend on men. The statistics tell us predominantly they will run out on you. They’ll break up for all kinds of — yes, infidelity, but the other problem is economics of relationships, it costs so much money to be in a relationship where the men — sometimes or predominantly go out and earn the living and as soon as you have a child …. it’s all after tax money which means the highest tax rate, he’s got to earn two or three times as much money just to be able to break even, so often its too much, and he’s immature. He’s in his twenties, he’s a little boy, remember a few years ago he had lunch delivered to him by his mom, hot and steaming on the table, next second he’s got a family and he’s got to figure out what to do. So number one, women, stop depending on men. The less you depend on a man for emotional, but especially financial support, the better off you’ll be. So let’s take a look at your choices in life … you have maybe 20 years from the time you’re 20 and the time you’re 40 … until you procreate … you want to make sure that that child has a household that’s full of love but especially that you can afford to support. Assume the worst, assume the man runs out on you … assume the man’s not going to be there, so why not devote those early years to making your fortune, get a career. You can’t have it both ways, a career is time-consuming, it’s all encompassing.”

He also added that “women think differently than men, men must work for a living, women have the option of becoming the housewife … but what happens when the man runs away?” and then proceeded to attempt to teach women basic budgeting skills and remind them that they must spend less money than they bring in. Seriously. He continued to let us know that he believes that “men do not depend on women for anything, not emotional, well sex, but if it’s not you then … sorry I’ve got to go” and that men “don’t respond well to ‘where are you going?’ … soon as you leave mom and dad the last thing men want to do is to answer to somebody else.” Okay, so he’s saying women take the place of Mommy in men’s lives once they leave home? If all guys loathe being in relationships when they’re young, as he seems to believe, why do these hypothetical dudes get into relationships in the first place? Or are women the only ones who have to exercise personal responsibility in Simmons’ world?

Simmons finished off embarrassing himself with an assertion that “men are not mature until their forties or fifties.” Maybe Simmons was not mature until his forties — and his level of maturity in general is up for debate — but who is he to speak for all men? If he wasn’t immune to being an asshole in his youth, nobody else can be either? I need to take a deep breath, because this is just the tip of the miserable iceberg.

For one thing, not every career-minded woman has the luxury of waiting until her forties to procreate as he instructs, because getting pregnant at an older age can require the help of fertility specialists or frozen eggs, which can cost hella money. I guess he’s assuming those careers we’ve been working on since age 20 will pay for all that? Once that child is born, if we can’t have both a career and kids at once like Simmons insists, then what are we supposed to do with them? If we aren’t allowed to depend on our partners for any help whatsoever, then we’ve got to keep our career at the same time to keep our kid fed and to afford day care, so that logic is out the window. Gene, did you forget that children don’t take care of themselves? Taking care of babies is work, and while moms don’t necessarily have to be the ones to do it during the day, somebody does, whether it’s day care or a nanny or whomever else you choose to enlist. That somebody comes with a hefty fee, which I guess also needs to be paid for by that woman’s salary (even though she’ll be making less than the men in her field and if the pay gap persists, probably less than the husband she isn’t allowed to count on).

Also, did it occur to Simmons that some women want to stay home with their children? On top of all this flawed logic, it is so irresponsible to essentially blame women for the fact that men might leave them, which is ultimately what he is doing here. He’s resorting to the very dangerous “boys will be boys” mentality, because in his eyes, men can’t help but abandon women! They’re clueless little boys! If he gets to act like a clueless idiot because of his youth, does that mean women get a free pass too? By Simmons’ logic, what other things can men get away with simply because it’s in their nature when they’re in their twenties? Does this also apply to tax fraud? Partying? Rape?

It’s worth considering that Simmons’ longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed, who he just recently married, received endless bullshit from him for decades. He bailed on her several times throughout their relationship, and while Shannon ultimately stayed with him, I hardly blame her for whatever tough choices she ended up having to make as a result of his arrogant behavior. It’s something Simmons readily admits to, but what would he have done if she’d gotten fed up with it and ended it with him? Something tells me Shannon did in fact depend on him for financial and emotional support while raising their children, so does this then make his family a bunch of epic hypocrites for not following this “advice” of his? As much as he tries to insist that acting like a shithead is the norm for all husbands and fathers, the countless decent guys in the world who behave like functional adults for their families would beg to differ, and Simmons is very lucky the woman in his life put up with it for so many years.

The grim fact here is that I think he genuinely feels that he’s being helpful. His whiny mess sounds like a very hackneyed attempt at empowering young women to do whatever they want without waiting for a partner to show up, but unfortunately that point got majorly lost in a blur of stupidity. This sounds like the kind of speech an out-of-touch uncle or a grandpa would give his young female relatives at Thanksgiving dinner, full of good intentions but insanely offensive. Telling women to put relationships second to their careers when they’re young, reminding them that there are plenty of other fish in the sea if a guy bails, and telling them to push through initial rejection in their career is hardly horrible advice, if not for the small problem of all the other shit he said in between. Hey Gene, how about instead of women spending their entire lives prepping to clean up after and then tiptoe around the horrible guys they are apparently guaranteed to get stuck with, men like you just choose not to be arrogant, unreliable, selfish assholes? It’s an option, you know. Better yet, why don’t dudes (like you) just wait to have children until they’re actually ready instead of dumping it all on their wives? We women can take care of ourselves, thanks. You worry about you and your own atrocious attitude. [Rolling Stone]