Joan Jett, it’s all in the Lyrics

Born Joan Larkin, Joan Jett soon became a name that was the foundation of a major change and movement in the world of rock and roll. Little did everyone know at the time, Jett would later become a name in rock and roll that will never be forgotten. Jett formed her first actual band, The Runaways, at the age of 15 in 1975. The Runaways, which was the first all girl rock band mainly produced music that was considered hard rock. Though The Runaways only lasted a couple short years before breaking up, Jett continued to fight the status quote by being a strong woman in the predominately male dominated world of rock and roll. Jett eventually went on to try to find a record label which would accept her work only to be turned down 23 times. Jett was so frustrated that with a help from Kenny Laguna she created her own record label, Blackheart Records. This made Jett the first woman artist to not only own, but also have direct control over an independent record label.

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Throughout her career, Jett often pushed the envelope by being not just the average woman who sang in a band. Jett was the only woman on the scene throughout the late 1970’s and on who was not dressed in a cute outfit singing the words to some song about her boyfriend or what have you (like all the other female singers did). Jett, on the other hand was the lead singer and guitarist for her band, which produced hard rock music such as I Love Rock ’n’ Roll. The almost grunge rock sound in her voice and the way she was not afraid to really get into her music like the men in rock and roll did set Jett apart from all other female singers at that time. The songs she wrote and produced through her record label also set her apart from all the other female singers at the time.

Jett’s music was often geared towards those of us in society who feel like social outcasts. Even though Jett does not really step into the spotlight much to speak on such social issues, some of her songs such as Androgynous tell a story of people who do not necessarily feel comfortable with their gender. Throughout Androgynous Jett tells a story of a man and a woman who are similar to what someone today might consider as being gender fluid. Meaning that one day they wake up and want to wear a dress, and the next day they might want to wear a leather biker jacket with chains (clearly not being very girly but rather masculine instead), both of the choices being available regardless of their assigned genders. As we have discussed in class this is not uncommon for people to want to dress in the opposite manner that society decides is appropriate for their biological genders. Though Jett does not outright publicly advocate these ideas in terms of speaking on behalf of such issues, she does advocate them through her music and personal style.

Salacious Magazine

For this post, I will be discussing Salacious Magazine. This magazine was created in early 2011. The website calls Salacious a “Queer Feminist Sex Magazine, Radically Sex-Positive Thought-Provoking Porn.” The magazine is the brain-child of Katie Diamond, a self-described “queer comic artist who fuses art with politics, graphics with sex, and education with visuals as a method of altering societal norms and breaking down preconceived notions of gender and sexuality.”   She felt that there was a need for a publication like Salacious to break down barriers and create pornography that was not homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise offensive. She works with a team of eleven others of varying gender and sexual identities, geographic locations, and specific interests within the realm of the magazine. They sell their magazine, as well as having a shop on their website and a party business. For the magazine, there are a number of regular contributors, many of whom are well-known in the kink or queer communities. The website also allows submissions. Salacious posts a wide variety of content, and targets both sexuality and art. This can include erotic drawings, smut, etc.

Salacious belongs in a queer archive because of its fearless and open dedication to queer sex and sensuality. The dominant views of sexuality focus on that of heterosexual relationships. Even porn featuring two people of the same gender is often inaccurate, or it uses heterosexual actors, thus giving a flawed portrayal. Additionally, it is often made to please heterosexual people. Salacious is made by queer people, about queer people, and for queer people.

Salacious reflects the ideas of many well-respected theorists. Berlant and Warner were proponents of breaking away from the heteronormativity and normalization of sex. Additionally, they share the view of Salacious that sex needs to be less normalized and less public.   As the two orphans say, “by making sex seem irrelevant or merely personal, heteronormative conventions of intimacy block the building of nonnormative or explicit public sexual cultures.” Salacious and its board agree with this, and they intend to make queer sex more accessible to those who want it. Similarly, James Franco in Interior, Leather Bar would agree with their desire to break down the barriers surrounding sexual attraction and kink. Franco insisted that the sexual scenes of Cruising should not have been cut, and that that reflected the need of our culture to censor queer sexuality, which should be viewed as a beautiful and sensual act. Salacious is an important step in countering societally accepted media such as Playboy, and other heteronormative sexual representations. Hopefully, it will gain popularity among the queer community because I am impressed by its intersectional inclusion of those of all sexualities, races, abilities, and more.

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