Bad Reputation: Joan Jett Documentary Highlights Gender Inequality


Since the start of her career in the mid-70s, Joan Jett has been fighting for gender equality in the music world. Her new documentary, Bad Reputation, documents her struggles, from being in the all-girl L.A. rock band, The Runaways, as a teen, to her solo career as “one of the most notable women in rock history.” In the documentary, Jett states, “Girls being able to play rock and roll would be so cool and sexy because it had never been done. I thought everybody would love it. Once they realized it was serious, that we planned to make an album, go on tour, and do everything that male bands were doing, the tables turned. It went from [being called] ‘cute and sweet’ to ‘slut, whore, cunt.’” Jett hopes this documentary will detail the fight against misogyny and not just open doors for women but rather “knock down the whole damn wall.”

For Further Reading:

Joan Jett says she has spent her life fighting for gender equality in music but is not sure when it will be obtained. Read this interview to find out more from her.

Discussion Question:

Have you ever wanted to do something and were told it “wasn’t for girls?” How did that affect your decision?

Action Item:

Evaluate the artists on your playlist and take note of the possibly surprising gender disparity.


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