Photo Credit: Courtesy Beyonce/George Gojkovich/Getty Images
Rush Limbaugh has surprisingly strong feelings about the new Beyonce song. The controversial right-wing commentator got all worked up about "Bow Down/I Been On" on his radio show, accusing Beyonce of being (irony alert!) anti-feminist. To compound the irony, he managed to get the meaning of the song completely backwards.
"Beyonce, now having been married, having been impregnated and giving birth to Blue Ivy…she's got a new song, 'Bow Down Bitches'," said Limbaugh. (Listen to the clip below.) "She's now advising women to put up with whatever. You find the right guy, you bow down."
Oh good grief, she's not telling women to bow down to their husbands, she's telling the rest of the world to bow down to her! (Listen to "Bow Down/I Been On" here.) Was that not obvious?
Apparently not, because according to Rush, the song is "a total 180" from the female-empowerment songs of her Destiny's Child days. And he even has a crackpot theory about why she's changed her tune. Hint: It involves Jay-Z.
"Beyoncé is now saying, 'Go ahead and put up with it!' You know why? I'll tell you why. Because she married a rich guy," said Rush. "She's even calling herself Mrs. Carter on the tour…She has shelved Beyonce…She now understands it's worth it to bow down."
We're thinking he missed the single's cover art, which shows Beyonce as a little girl, wearing a crown, surrounded by trophies. She's also dressed as a queen in the ads for her world tour. So who's bowing down to whom, exactly?
To be fair, Limbaugh did get two things right about Beyonce. One is that she's calling her world tour "The Mrs. Carter Show," which is definitely cause for raised eyebrows. Is it a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement that she's a mom now, and that her sexy rock-star tour is defying expectations about what a married lady should be doing? Or is she trying to remind people that she's half of music's biggest power couple (the "royal family," so to speak)? Or does she actually want to get rid of her independent-woman image? We hope it's the first one and doubt it's the last one, but Beyonce hasn't exactly cleared it up yet.
The second thing Rush got right is that the song is controversial -- just not for the reason he thinks. His rant was based on an editorial in the UK Telegraph, in which a fan complains that Beyonce is demeaning her female listeners by calling them "bitches." That is the actual issue.
As we've pointed out, Beyonce has a great track record of empowering songs (with and without Destiny's Child), so we'd be surprised if she's turning her back on all that. The song is obviously intended to be provocative, and at some point, she'll have to answer for her use of the B-word. But one thing is for sure: No matter what Rush Limbaugh believes, Beyonce isn't bowing down to anybody.