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She's a Rebel: Joan Jett

As we continue to spotlight inspiring and influential women in these company blog posts, we are excited to share with you the namesake of our newest piece. This gothic letter charm needed someone who was just as bold, edgy and mesmerizing to encapsulate it. Her name is Joan Jett. 

When I think Joan Jett, I think of intoxicating melodies, grunge guitar riffs that never leave the mind, and a proud female voice I could identify with. 

I think of the woman who shattered glass ceilings in her industry and countless societal barriers. (I also think of a perfect 90’s opening know the one in 10 Things I Hate About You, where Joan is the perfect soundtrack to a protagonist who is sure of herself). However, I also want to remember Joan Jett is the woman who had to face twenty-three rejections before taking matters into her own hands. She faced an industry and society that patronizingly said, “girls simply can’t play rock music.” Twenty-three rejections led Joan to take the power back and co-create her own independent record label (just to do what she wanted to do). 

I think of Joan Jett and I think ‘untouchable-level-of-cool, rockstar, rebel.’ Sometimes I wonder, what could I have in common with a powerhouse like Joan? Or with other incredibly influential women? What I wanted to bring to all of our attention is that there is a common thread between someone like Joan Jett, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinhem, me and you. Sometimes the mere commitment to be yourself, to pursue your dreams undeterred by what others say, is an act of rebellion. 

We’ve all shared in this rebellion by facing some degree of criticism, belittling or flat out rejection and still pushing forward. What I love about Joan is that her rebuttal to being told “no you can’t, you’re a girl”, was the rebellion of pursuing her dreams. 

My hope is that we can celebrate this commonality, a dedication to this rebellious idea that women can do what they want to do. Being this sort of rebel makes a way for the women around us as well as the women coming after us. 

What’s funny to me (funny in the ‘could-this-be-any-more-ironic’ sense), is that even within a music scene dedicated to being a rebel and fighting traditional conventions, Joan had to rebel against an internal resistance to women. I think of countless women throughout history that wouldn’t traditionally be seen as rebellious, but they were bold enough to stand up for their equality. I find myself inspired by women who were rebel enough to be themselves. 

My hope is that we can all wear Joan and be reminded that being true to ourselves and ignoring the urge to make ourselves smaller for the comfort of others is a beautiful rebellious act. And really, Joan got it right when it came to caring about reputation... “A girl can do what she wants to do, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

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