Megyn Kelly Calls Beyoncé’s ‘Jolene’ Anything But Empowering

Journalist Megyn Kelly speaks during the Fortune's Most Powerful Women conference in Dana Point, California, U.S., on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. The conference brings together leading women in business, government, philanthropy, education and the arts for conversations to inspire and deliver advice. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Megyn Kelly called Beyoncé’s latest version of Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene” anything but empowering, despite what “Queen Bey” may have hoped to have portrayed.

During “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast on Friday, Kelly talked about Beyoncé’s “bada** b****” version of “Jolene” on her album “Cowboy Carter” and why she thinks it completely misses the mark, referencing an article that she said explained how she felt.

“The original ‘Jolene’ is a story about a woman feeling threatened by another woman who’s prettier and more alluring,” the host said. “And she’s basically begging her not to steal her man. That she can do it. She flatters her … but please don’t because I love him and I could never love anybody as much.”

“Then of course because it’s ‘Queen Bey,’ we have to change it to be ‘f***ing take my man, I will hurt you b****…'”  she added. “And it’s much more, like, threatening, which I guess Beyoncé and Team Bey think is what empowerment looks like. For now, the threatened woman is just threatening to another woman who she thinks might have designs on her life partner…”

“And I have to say, I don’t find this empowering at all,” Kelly continued. “There’s something strange about what’s happening with the modern day definition of what a strong woman is. You can’t have any vulnerabilities or insecurities. You have to be this bada** b**** who’s, like, threatening, ‘F***ing a, you mess with my man.’ And it’s to me, it’s a turnoff. … The true power move is not to worry, and not to have to worry. But Beyoncé couldn’t quite get there…”


The host of the show pointed to the article again and said she agreed that there is something strange happening in our culture that “strong female characters” are now just basically “men with tits.”

“Why did we have to go from women shouldn’t work, women should only have babies, women aren’t strong, women are too emotional, women have to be locked up for their hysterics if they express tears or anxiety,” Kelly said. “To women have no emotion, women are total ballbusters, and showing any softness, tears, empathy, vulnerability, insecurity is somehow non-feminine, and no longer acceptable in what an ideal woman is.”

“Well, I think it was a swing and a miss,” she added about Beyoncé’s “Jolene” and referenced The Atlantic critic who wrote, “Beyoncé replaced the vulnerability that made ‘Jolene’ one of the best tunes of all time with a bunch of bad-b**** cliches.”

“If you listen to the whole song, all the lyrics are changed,” Kelly continued. “She’s changed the entire meaning of the song … this is an entirely different message and I don’t buy it.”

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