Think of the Karens

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.


Or they’re just ignoring the context in the first place. :woman_shrugging:

Me neither. And as an actual white middle aged women who actually gives a shit about other white women weaponizing their race and gender to hurt others, the very same people who might use Karen in this way, will dump on us anyway using something else. It’s not like they didn’t before Karen evolved as a term and that THIS was the thing that caused people to all of a sudden dump on us. :woman_shrugging:


The way I see it as a woman who is getting to that stage of her life is that literally any negative term about literally any woman can and will be used to marginalize me if and when some one wants to do so.

To me though, that is no change from the norm. “Karen” adds nothing new to this, and the best way to combat it being watered down to “another word for ugly old bitch” is to relentlessly keep the context of racist oppression from being decoupled from it.


jada pinkett smith that part GIF by Red Table Talk


I’m not sure, really, how much older women are invisible so much as returning to the mean of public attention. Rather it’s always seemed to me that all women, young and old alike, are harmed by the valuation of their bodies first and foremost as objects of beauty and tools for reproduction while they are young.

“Invisible” is often a desirable state compared to that.

Welcome to feminism.


canadian shut up GIF by CBC

The post title was ironic. Happy to help.