Gene Simmons did not have a good day yesterday. Just hours after getting banned by for life by Fox News after busting in on a staff meeting lifting up his shirt to reveal his bare chest and stomach and telling some pretty off color Michael Jackson pedophile jokes, the KISS founder logged an appearance on on SiriusXM’s The Wilkow Majority where he additionally aired out some fairly sexist views about when and how women deserve respect.
On the show, Simmons took the view that the onus is on women to demand respect, seeming to imply that they don’t deserve it in the first place. At a time when sexual assault scandals outing powerful male figures like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Senator Al Franken as abusers has gripped the world, Simmons wanted to weigh in: “Sometimes you can say something sort of off color, as they say,” he said. “But it’s up to women. You will only get the respect you demand.”
Simmons expounded on this point by tying the issue into the suffragette movement that took place nearly 100 years ago.
“‘Oh, you want the vote, huh?'” he said. “You know what, we should be kind of civilized and say ‘Yeah, you should have the vote’.” No, it never happened. The only way women got the vote is because en masse they stood up and said ‘We want the vote. And we’re going to fight for it.’ And right now what’s happening is a revolution. Women are standing up together and saying ‘Enough is enough. You are not allowed to verbally or otherwise abuse us.’ And good for them. Again, women will only get the respect and power they demand.”
Earlier in the day, Simmons echoed this viewpoint, telling Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo that men’s actions are entirely dictated by biology. “I’m a powerful and attractive man, and what I’m about to say is deadly serious,” he said. “Men are jackasses. From the time we’re young we have testosterone. I’m not validating it or defending it.”
It’s a convoluted train of thought, to say the least. At worst, it’s downright sexist. Maybe Simmons should re-think his whole press strategy while hawking his latest book?