This morning, I read the attached post by my friend and colleague, Monica D’Antonio. She’s a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and a great writer. She also knows BS when she sees it, and when a critic boiled the female characters in all of Springsteen’s songs down to three reductive archetypes, Monica had something to say in response…
Originally posted on X Rated:
In a recent article titled “The Only Three Women in Bruce Springsteen’s Music,” writer Rebecca Bohanan critiques the role that female characters have played in Bruce Springsteen’s music. She ends her article stating:
…Springsteen’s American Dream is still about a man providing for his family, but is this an accurate vision of contemporary America? Where are the women who want to provide, too? The ones who get the same joy and satisfaction from putting food on the table or sending their kids off to college as their husbands do?
Springsteen’s reliance on ideas about gender roles from forty or fifty years ago dates his songwriting more than anything else does. Maybe his next album will feature a song from the point of view of an accomplished young woman like his daughter, or just a female character who exists to do something beyond pine or be pined for. That’s a vision I’d like to see dance across the front porch.
Though many of her criticisms, while not novel, are worth noting, I took issue with most of Bohanan’s piece, not just because I am a die-hard Springsteen fan (ok, mostly because I’m a die-hard Springsteen fan), but because I think that her arguments are misplaced and her evidence is weak.