Think of the Karens

Sorry, we seem to be out of those. Can I interest you in a post with a dozen and a half questions interrogating every aspect of Karens other than whether protecting them from criticism is important instead?


“My wife doesn’t like it when people call her ‘Karen’!”

“Wow. OK. Is she not allowed to tell me that herself…?”


You’re right, I was exaggerating. It also doesn’t examine why pretty much all the concern about the term Karen here apparently comes from men.


Yes, no, not really but it doesn’t matter, what’s a Sarah, they’re very real, not even close, fuck no, duh, unfortunately no, do an image search for Emmett Till and start from there, too regularly, also too regularly, not really but it’s all related, let’s just say wage slaves don’t ask to speak to the manager, those two groups are unified on race and class issues, no matter what you do they’ll say you’re shaming them, racial sensitivity classes are definitely shaming to them, unexamined privilege, it isn’t paradoxical but yeah.


So this thing about speaking to managers-I’m a wage slave. I was at the store, saw an item that had gotten damaged in way that made it more useful to me. In order to purchase it I needed to speak to a manager, because they are the only ones who can do that kind of adjustment. What should I have done?
I understand that “I’m going to tell your manager”is a threat that shouldn’t be utilized. Still, sometimes, the store worker really does do something wrong. Customers are wrong, belligerent, arrogant and obnoxious all too often, but just working at Target doesn’t mean someone is perfect.
Also, my name is Becky and I also dislike the way it’s used as shorthand on the internet.

You asked to speak to a manager, not Speak To A Manager ™. There was neither an implicit threat nor blatant classism. I hope.

Can we all just appreciate the pure brass-balls overconfidence of Speaking To A Manager ™? It’s basically saying, “not only are you beneath my talking to, but I can get you in trouble. After all, who is your manager going to believe, a trusted employee or some rando off the street? And I don’t believe that you are the senior person on staff today, or even that you own the store, because People Like You™ can never be anything more than menial workers that I can shit all over.” The fact that they can think that honestly and not doubt it and not have had it checked at least once speaks volumes about who they are.


The “speaking to the manager” thing is definitely something that corporate America trained karens (and everyone else) to do by not giving workers enough authority to carry out the appropriate actions for many things on their own. It’s built into the registers for crying out loud. If you pick up a shirt and it’s marked for $14 and then it rings up for $22, the poor employee says, “Just a minute; I have to get my manager.” so that the manager can come and fix the error. Speaking to the manager is usually only problematic when someone is trying to abuse the policies of the store and get away with something for free. “You sliced my tomatoes wrong so you should give me the hamburger for free and I’m going to be racist so that you will be extra motivated to make me go away as soon as possible.” “I want to return these $270 Nike Alphaflies. I only wore them once. Okay, I wore them for the Chicago Marathon but that still only counts as once and I didn’t like them.” etc.


Not a conscious decision, but more of a state of being. Not surprising either. Karens are inherently classist, and what is a bigger indicator of what someone’s class is Supposed To Be than their race?

Did someone actually do this? Not that I would doubt it.


I made that example up but it seemed very plausible to me.

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I’m Black and I’ve asked ‘to speak to a supervisor’ in the past; not as an implied threat or an attempt at intimidation, but because I knew that only someone of higher authority could resolve my issue.


I always thought the classic manager-seeking Karen was created by the carefully crafted service industry standard. Every schmuck is supposed to be a king of McDonalds for the 10 minutes it takes to make their order. But Karens are low level assholes who need to be REAL damned important for ten minutes to some one even if it’s only as “the worst goddamned person I’ve met this week.”


10 minutes!!! Are you kidding me?!? I want to speak to the manager! /s

But to other’s points, there’s a huge difference between the Karen version and the, “oh, I understand you haven’t been empowered to handle this situation, would it be possible to speak to a manager to help find a satisfactory solution without stressing you out any more?”


Sorry, didn’t mean to be a Dick.


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.