June 2012

Only Women Bleed

Just what was Alice Cooper talking about?

Every time I heard Alice Cooper’s 1975 song “Only Women Bleed” on the radio, I would get pissed off. I loved Cooper growing up in the 80s—my aunt had all of his records—but this song made me confused. As a young child, I knew that both boys and girls could bleed; as a teen, I wondered if this was some weird tribute to the menstrual cycle. After all, Cooper’s shock tactics were pretty much the core of his performance.

When I could finally listen to all of the lyrics, I began to understand that the song was about an abusive relationship. It mentions how a man slaps a woman once in a while as she feeds him, needs him, and begs him. I still don’t think I could actually call it a feminist song, or even a sympathetic one.