Think of the Karens

Every single time, I swear.


Won’t someone think of all the slurred Karens?

(Sheesh, it’s just another fad. In a few months the whole “Karen” thing will likely blow over.)


(Sheesh, it’s just another fad. In a few months the whole “Karen” thing will likely blow over.)

You say that, but considering that it has its own wikipedia page, I think “karen’ing” people might be sticking around for a while…


Like a friend said a while back, people who act like it’s a slur on par with the f-word or n-word usually see something of themselves in the negative behavior being displayed, and that’s what offends them so.


Except to women named Karen at birth who are nothing like the stereotype, but are ironically demeaned for their parent’s taste in names every time someone uses this slur. Yep. I’m calling it a slur. Its use serves to delight the user at the expense of another human being who didn’t choose her name.


People don’t get called a “Karen” because their name is Karen. So that’s not correct.


Because it has a wikipedia page??

So does “Valley Girl,” but that didn’t last long either, did it.


Your friend may have missed the rules here.

Do not make assumptions as to anyone’s mental state,

Assume good faith and like the good.

I mean well here, as I know three women named Karen who are hurt by this. One isn’t white. None are racist. Yet, they are real people with real feelings. I don’t see a difference between this and other slurs based on something someone was born with and cannot change.
Keeping silent only allows the bad guys to gather strength.

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You mean like, “People who use ‘Karen’ as shorthand to refer to obnoxiously entitled white women obviously are not referring to women who happen to be named Karen”?

That kind of assumption of good faith?


Plainly you don’t. And it’s ok, not everything is obvious to everyone right away. It would be easier to believe you mean well if you had been open to having it explained to you, though, instead of insisting that means it doesn’t exist.


Asking sincerely: how are they hurt by this?
I’m asking because something similar came up earlier on this thread. A poster was saying his wife is named Karen, and imagine if the word that’s always meant “you” came to mean something negative like this. I have a hard time understanding on an emotional level. I mean, I have a name, and if that name ends up being used as shorthand for something negative, I would know when I heard it used in a pejorative way that they weren’t talking about me. Sure, friends might give me a little ribbing, but nothing hurtful.


Because no one is insulting the people named “Karen.” They’re giving other people (obnoxious, self-entitled, usually racist people) the title “Karen,” which is not the same thing.

Consider it this way: If someone were born and the parents happened to name him “Jerk,” should he get offended every time someone called some jerk a “jerk?” No, because they wouldn’t be referring to him. His name just happens to be a homonym of the insult.

I used “jerk” instead of a real name to highlight the difference between the name and the insult, but the same goes of course for actual names like “Dick.” Calling someone a “dick” is not insulting someone named “Dick.”

A “slur based on something someone was born with and cannot change” is specifically about insulting that person, not about calling other people by a word that is the same as someone else’s name.


Not likely, his good standing as a member of the community is probably better than my own.

That said, I’ll kindly reiterate my own thoughts on your deep, intense concern for all the poor Karens out there:

Holler back at me when people name Karen are actually getting jailed, beaten and/or killed just because their name happens to be fucking Karen.


Gender neutral Garbage Person? Or simply, The Mr.MissUnderstood?

I’ve been bothered by the term “Karen” since I started hearing it, but it’s not because I know anyone with that name who is upset by it. It’s that I see people online using it to dump on women, particularly middle-aged and older women. It’s become an acceptable way to express sexism and ageism, and I think using it in that way diminishes the person using it. So rather than “Think of the Karens,” let’s think of the people further marginalizing older women, who are already invisible, at least in the US, across all race and class lines.

I can argue that I’m using it in a way that doesn’t demean older women, but since when is it OK for me to use a loaded term that others are using maliciously, because my motives are pure?

As for what you call an older man who demands to speak to the manager, in an asshole-y way? I see it all the time, and that man is called “Yes, sir, right away!”

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Wait - the NYC Karen who reported a black man to the police and faked being assaulted on the 911 call was what, 30? Likewise, at least half of the reports of women calling the cops on POC like they are calling customer service are women under 40.

I don’t detect any ageism here.


In truth, I look forward to finally being free of the male gaze and not being told to “smile,” anymore.
You want me to smile? (Not you, obvs), say something funny, don’t give me a fecking order. (Rant over).
But to your broader point, I guess that could be said of any term, and there will constantly be new ways to marginalize the already marginalized through language. Personally I dislike the term “douche” or “douchebag” being used for an insult (even though it is so fun to say) because of the clear and direct associations with female anatomy, but I can’t stop anyone else from saying it. :woman_shrugging:t2:


Of course “Karen” is referring to particular behavior, not to all women… Ignoring the context and history of white women weaponizing their race and gender to hurt others is a big disingenuous on the part of some. These are white women who are doing things that they KNOW can get people killed. They have weaponized who they are to hurt others. We NEED to marginalize THAT behavior, because it’s dangerous.


Yep. I think the post I was responding to has been seeing the meaning warped. As @DukeTrout also pointed out, most of the “Karen’s” that we see in the news aren’t even older, so what @AbelardLindsay is seeing seems to be co-opting a term to malign older women in general? I haven’t seen it used that way, but I hang out in mostly the “nicer” parts of the internet.