I recently watched an interview on Fox News (you can see it on you tube). Gene Simmons of the famous rock group "KISS" was talking about his new book. He said some very interesting things in his interview some of which were "women should not depend on men", "you can't have it both ways" (he was speaking of career and children), "women have the option of being the housewife" and "men do not depend on women for anything except sex". I hope you will watch this 10min. interview. I would love to hear your perspective on it. Thanks
It took me a few minutes to find the right clip. As it turns out, Gene Simmons is an expert on a good many topics from relationships to economics and even terrorism. Here is my perspective on the clip you referred to.
Oh, Gene Simmons. I want to agree with some of your points but they are so steeped in sexism that you’re making it difficult. Within the first few minutes of this interview Mr. Simmons says “let’s all agree that women should not depend on men.” (After all, according to Gene, men are immature and will most likely walk out on you). Let’s rephrase: people should become self-reliant and independent. I could agree to that.
“Men MUST work for a living. Women have the option of becoming the housewife.” Ugh. Gene. Your heart may be in the right place, but you spend so much time in this interview patronizing women, reminding us that budgets are complicated and that careers take a lot of time. Guess what, Gene? I feel confident that women have collectively figured this out without you having to give us a refresher.
Gene advises women to make a lot of money and then come to a relationship from a position of power. Ok. I’m almost with you there…except the part where you tell women they can’t have a relationship AND a career and the part where you insist that men are incapable of being mature, emotionally supportive or attracted to a woman for any other reason than sex. After all, men aren’t mature until they’re in their 40’s or 50’s and they are completely powerless to resist the stimulation of a women with makeup and perfume. (*gulp* I think I vomited in my mouth a little bit). Why all the talk of power anyway?
So, let’s take a moment away from Mr. Simmons and talk about benevolent sexism. We all know what to do with a statement like “women can’t do the same jobs that men do.” A statement like this is blatant, hostile, and honestly, we know better (well, some of us know better). As a society, we may have a long way to go before men and women are treated fairly in the workplace (and otherwise), but at least we can treat this type of comment with the proper amount of disdain. It’s benevolent sexism that women AND men must look out for. Benevolent sexism is seemingly positive but perpetuates gender disparities. For instance, benevolent sexism tells us that woman are kinder and more nurturing than men but also weaker. It is the sentiment that reveres women in their roles as wives and mothers, but demands that they “cannot have both” a family and a career – see where I’m going with this Gene?
So, to sum up, let me say two things. First, think critically about the things you hear on TV (or YouTube). The thing that irritates me the most about this type of talk is that people listen and believe without question. And many entertainers, celebrities and political pundits alike, take zero responsibility for the impact their words will have on the people who listen to them. I think Gene Simmons generally means well, but I wonder if he has considered the consequences of his “teachings.” Why must we continue to relegate women to the same old gender roles and, for that matter, why perpetuate the myth that men are inherently jerks (I promise, there are some amazing guys out there and they’ve achieved their amazingness way before 50).
Second, regardless of gender, age, economic background or any other mitigating factors, we (WE) should all strive to be independent and self-reliant so that we have options. Men, women…people. All of us. Rather than seeking to enter relationships from a position of power, we should enter them from a position of stability.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.