This is a post about a
small thing that’s really a
The small thing is that Beyoncé changed the lyrics to a song – she removed the word “spaz” from the song “Heated” on her newest album, because it’s derogatory to people with neural issues. This is following a similar move by Lizzo, who did the same out of respect for people with disabilities. It’s a nice thing to do.
Regarding this story Monica Lewinsky observed on her twitter feed:
uhmm, while we’re at it… #Partition
Beyoncé to Remove Renaissance Lyric After Outrage: Ableist, Offensive – Variety https://t.co/DzN80FdzPB
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) August 1, 2022
Partition is a 10-year-old rap song by Beyoncé where she uses a well-established rap euphemism that uses Monica Lewinsky’s name. Monica has been referenced in 125 rap songs, as she mentions occasionally on social media.
Look at the lyrics for the 125 rap songs where Monica is mentioned – they are particularly brutal towards all women’s sexuality, with Monica as a stand-in for that brutality. The rap songs are referencing men enjoying a sex act without giving anything to a woman in return. In the songs, the rapper’s visualize themselves as Bill Clinton, the woman performing oral sex on them as Monica, and enjoying the feeling of power of taking sex & pleasure without giving it. That’s what Monica’s name symbolizes in rap. A power act of taking from and denying women.
When Beyoncé uses it, it’s out of sync, because Beyoncé is referencing that rap history in a song celebrating her own sexuality, using a derogatory reference. It’s a bit of a whiplash. I think Beyoncé is reasonable enough to see, looking at her own life, and at the women around her, to see that might be an issue to use a woman’s name as a sex act.
The reason this is a
big thing is because we are at a political nexus where women enjoying their sexuality is now a criminal act. We’ve taking the United States back to 1850 and that book with the red letter on it.
Women are not now free to enjoy their sexuality. Which is what several generations of women have been doing successfully since Roe v. Wade. Which means men are not now free to enjoy their sexuality either. It’s a drastic sea-change in how we engage as sexual human beings. And it affects both men and women, but only women appear to be bracing themselves for it.