Monica Lewinsky has responded to fans’ confusion over her decision to speak out against a 2013 Beyoncé lyric that references her affair with former president Bill Clinton.
But first, here’s the backstory to explain how we got here.
Last Friday, Beyoncé dropped her brand-new album, Renaissance. While the project was widely praised, many listeners took issue with the use of the word “spaz” in the 11th track, “Heated.”
After Beyoncé faced intense criticism for including the ableist slur, a representative for the singer announced on Monday that she would be removing the lyric, saying that it had not been used “intentionally in a harmful way.”
Prompted by these reports, Lewinsky spoke out to suggest that Beyoncé might also consider removing a reference to her in the 2013 song “Partition.”
“uhmm, while we're at it... #Partition,” Lewinsky tweeted on Monday, linking to a Variety article about Beyoncé replacing the lyric on “Heated.”
In case you aren’t familiar, “Partition” — which featured on Beyoncé’s self-titled album — alludes to a very ~specific~ aspect of Clinton’s affair with then-21-year-old Lewinsky in the late 1990s.
During the first verse, Beyoncé describes a sexual encounter where her partner “Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown.” This is presumably a reference to the fact that Clinton’s infidelity was publicly proven after semen stains on a blue dress belonging to Lewinsky were shown to be his.
Before we go on, it’s probably worth mentioning that the use of Lewinsky’s name within the context of sexual innuendoes has been common in rap music — and Beyoncé was certainly not the first to do it.