Calling all Joan Jetts: my daughter needs a role model


Photograph by Mark Seliger/Rolling Stone magazine

After 35+ years of proving that women can rock just as hard as men in the music industry, Joan Jett has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On a sad note, every time I turn on the radio or TV, I’m reminded that these Joan Jett influential female rockers are a rare and dying breed. I’m afraid that all my daughter will have left to admire musically are these auto-tuned Bambies, who seem to gain more popularity through sexual controversy than through their music (if indeed it is their own).

These Bambies are making it a struggle for rock women to succeed or to even hold on to the respect artists like Jett have strived to gain in a male dominated industry.

And what a struggle it has been.

Jack White points out the lack of respect women often face in rock in a 2014 Sirius/XM station interview.

“It’s a real shame that if a woman goes onstage with an instrument, it’s almost a novelty. Like, ‘Oh isn’t that cute.’ It’s a shame that in 2014 that’s a little bit of what’s going on in the perception in the room.”

And after years of rejection by record labels, Jett had to actually create her own label – Blackheart Records, to get her music played.

When I was in high school I listened to bands like Garbage, L7, the Donnas, Drain and Veruca Salt, which have since fizzled. And while I have high hopes for artists like Pink and even Brittany Howard, it would be nice to see more. If not for the great music, than to at least show my daughter that it doesn’t just pay to be pretty, and that girls can rock just as hard as the boys.

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