‘The View’ Co-Host Joy Behar Says Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” Is “So Anti-Feminist,” Praises Beyoncé’s Version

Beyonce The View
Blair Caldwell/The View

Well, this is certainly a hot take.

This week, The View co-host Joy Behar shared some polarizing thoughts on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” for an episode of the Behind The Table Podcast, noting that she felt the iconic 1973 hit was “anti-feminist.”

She said:

“I like the subject of Beyoncé taking over the lyrics. I just think that the original thing with Dolly Parton is so anti-feminist, worrying about some good-looking woman taking your man. If it’s so easy to take your man, then take him! Beyoncé says, ‘If you take my man, you’re gonna be in a lot of trouble,’ and I say, ‘Go ahead, take my man, take him!’

I’m the person on the show that made Dolly Parton admit she was a feminist. I said to her, ‘Are you a feminist?’ and she said ‘I don’t think so.’ And I said ‘Do you think a woman should make as much as a man? Then you’re a feminist.’ She’s the best, but I got her to admit that. She’s a country star and they don’t like to admit that.”


While Dolly’s lyrics leave more to the imagination, Beyoncé’s version draws from what seems like her own marital struggles:

Dolly’s Lyrics: 

He talks about you in his sleep
And there’s nothin’ I can do to keep
From cryin’ when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man

But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene…”

Beyoncé’s Lyrics:

“Jolene, I’m a woman too
Thе games you play are nothing new
So you don’t want no hеat with me, Jolene
We’ve been deep in love for twenty years
I raised that man, I raised his kids

I know my man better than he knows himself (Yeah, what?)
I can easily understand
Why you’re attracted to my man
But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot with someone else (You heard me)…”

Beyoncé approaches the lyrics with more of an aggressive warning, but both lyrics showcase a woman who is deeply in love and wants to keep their relationship intact. Moments later in the podcast episode, Behar and others on the episode were questioning what about “Jolene” was threatening Parton’s relationship.

“All you needed was big boobs in those days, so they must’ve been even bigger than Dolly’s.”

While you are here, you might as well fire up both versions of the song, with Parton receiving full writing credit on Beyoncé’s, she can watch the royalty checks start flowing in.

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”

Beyoncé’s “Jolene”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock