Monica Lewinsky Responded To Backlash After She Asked Beyoncé To Change A “Partition” Song Lyric That References Her Affair With Bill Clinton

Lewinsky’s request came shortly after Beyoncé removed an ableist slur from a song on her new album, Renaissance.

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.”

uhmm, while we’re at it… #Partition Beyoncé to Remove Renaissance Lyric After Outrage: Ableist, Offensive - Variety

Twitter: @MonicaLewinsky

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.

Bill Clinton confesses on television to the American people that he did indeed have sexual relations with "that woman," Monica Lewinsky in August 1998

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.

During her 2015 TED Talk, Lewinsky noted that she had been named in almost 40 rap songs, performed by the likes of Nicki Minaj, Eminem, and Lil Wayne.

Poking fun at this common occurrence, Lewinsky has “rap song muse” listed in her Twitter bio.

Bearing all this in mind — and the fact that “Partition” was released nearly nine years ago — several Twitter users were confused by Lewinsky’s decision to call out the lyric at this point in time.

@MonicaLewinsky Monica girl be realistic... You're saying that Beyoncé should remove a line from her song that came out 9 years ago??? And why are you only talking about Beyoncé, there were plenty of other artists who were more disrespectful. Beyoncé's line wasn't even bad. So calm down

Twitter: @caramelsteam_

While responding to people, Lewinsky noted that this is not the first time she’s expressed displeasure at the lyric, turning their attention to a Vanity Fair essay she penned in 2014.

An excerpt from the essay shows that she thanked Beyoncé for the shoutout, but added, “If we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”

@LaShea2019 this was from an essay i wrote in 2014. not just beyoncé. also, i have learned to find humor in painful/humiliating things. enjoy the view from your high horse.

Twitter: @MonicaLewinsky

Among those who tweeted their confusion, many were quick to mention the reference to being a muse in Lewinsky’s Twitter bio.

@MonicaLewinsky Are you not proud of it?

Twitter: @RashadEst85

In reply, Lewinsky said that she has learned to find humor in things that are painful or humiliating, sharing that this was how she “survived” in the past.

@ZemiBoriken @evil_analog_val @0detteroulette @JaynayChanel because learning to laugh about things which hurt or humiliated me is how i survived.

Twitter: @MonicaLewinsky

Interestingly, when one fan asked if she had reached out to Beyoncé or her team prior to her tweet, Lewinsky confirmed that she hadn't, before telling them they made an “interesting/fair point.”

@JaynayChanel no, i haven’t. i did mention it in the first vanity fair article i wrote in 2014… which was the first public thing i’d done in 10 years. but you make an interesting/fair point…

Twitter: @MonicaLewinsky

Beyoncé has yet to comment on the matter, and it remains to be seen whether she will rework the lyrics to “Partition” in light of Lewinsky’s thoughts.

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