Karen, Becky and Stacy have become popular shorthand names for middle-aged white women who behave aggressively and display poor judgment in public settings. They typically demand to speak to management immediately or demean service industry employees while demanding to speak directly to them.
As Cooper in Central Park did, these people often use their privilege to justify bad behavior. Here are some strategies on how you can handle them effectively.
1. Give her space.
Karen used to be a sweet name that conjured images of pleasant middle-aged ladies with warm smiles, but in recent years the term has come to be associated with middle-aged white women who use their privilege to act out against others – viral videos of Karens demanding “to speak to the manager” or spewing racist rants have all become staples on social media and often termed microaggressions against others have surfaced online.
When dealing with Karens, the best thing you can do is give her some space. This is particularly important if you know their habits well – Karens tend to be extremely closed-minded and arrogant so it can be irritating when they act rude or defensive.
After Ed left for work, Karen began to mope in her room until Shane settled down for sleep. Just then, Dr. O walked in and informed Karen that he suspected Shane was brain dead; normally when performing brain-death tests on patients both parents are required, but due to unusual circumstances he made an exception for their son’s case.
After Shane died, Karen approached Tracy and informed her of her plans for organizing his funeral arrangements. She was distraught over his passing without children to carry his legacy forward to. Karen started crying as soon as they talked. Later that night, Karen took off her fake nails before getting into bed to smoke a cigarette.
2. Be patient.
Karen is an amazing wife and mother who is deeply devoted to her family. She will do anything for her children when they need her and goes above and beyond in taking care of their needs. Additionally, Karen is an outstanding nurse who truly cares for her patients – they all speak highly of her. Furthermore, in addition to being an outstanding mother/wife combo she also acts as an incredible daughter/friend/coworker!
Karen has become a derogatory term used against middle-aged white women. It has often been associated with those driving minivans who call up managers asking them for appointments; and has even been used against those engaging in racist or otherwise offensive conduct.
Henrietta Wilson from the television show Supernatural epitomizes Karen as a pop culture figure; her devotion to Denny and inability to produce viable eggs made her difficult for others to live with, especially after her husband’s infidelity strained their marriage further.
Patience is essential when dealing with Karens; you’ll need to hold back from responding harshly to her outrageous claims and demands, rather than reacting immediately with anger. You will need to exercise some self-control until the right moment arrives to raise an important topic with her; prayer might also provide strength in terms of managing some of her bizarre behavior – in the end you will be glad you waited in order to address your Karen wife in an honorable fashion.
3. Don’t be a bigot.
If you encounter Karen, keep these points in mind: Don’t take her comments personally. “Karen” is an often-referenced meme referring to middle-class white women who display behaviors stemming from their privilege. These include rude, close-minded and racist behaviour as well as behaviors intended to exploit systemic oppression against marginalized groups – such as demanding to speak to the manager so she can criticize service industry workers or using her political status as a parent to convince other parents into adopting her anti-vaccine stand.
‘Karen’ became particularly prominent during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 as many white women were exposed for their behavior via viral videos. Examples include Central Park Karen Amy Cooper who called 911 (falsely) reporting a Black man threatening her and her dog; coughing Karens such as Sara went viral after she screamed at a bagel shop patron for touching her shoulder; as well as “Kidz Bop Karens,” like St Louis moms defending their balcony against Black Lives Matter protesters.
People who are memed as Karens may not necessarily be bad people; however, they may be unaware of the power dynamics and harm they are exerting on others. Therefore it is essential to remember that being labeled a Karen isn’t meant as a derogatory term – rather, it simply identifies one type of woman with certain behaviors – though most actual people named Karen don’t mind being called that name because it can sometimes be amusing.
4. Don’t take it personally.
Karen refers to a specific kind of white woman whose behavior can often be considered entitled and privileged, including bullying service industry workers, playing fast and loose with pseudoscience, appropriating identities and engaging in racist microaggressions against those from minority backgrounds.
The term Karen has come to symbolize various female figures since 2009, when Kate Gosselin’s infamous fight with her husband over their children made headlines and was featured prominently in popular culture. Social media usage of this term increased considerably following a subreddit dedicated exclusively to opposing Karen according to Know Your Meme.
The r/F—YouKaren subreddit was founded by karmacop97 and now boasts more than 435,000 members. It also trended on Twitter. Gosselin’s name frequently surfaced as memes referencing her divorce and subsequent custody battle, leading many to mock it.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Karen meme has evolved into a subtler criticism of how some individuals use their privilege to bully others. For instance, someone who refuses to wear a face mask has been labeled as a Karen as have those who spread misinformation or conspiracy theories about coronavirus online.
Since the Karen meme’s rise, many other common names used as pejoratives have followed suit. Becky and Stacy, for instance, have become shorthand for younger middle-class white women who display rude or critical behaviors or complain too quickly; these women often assume to be privileged; with closed-minded beliefs making them easy targets of mockery on social media.
5. Let her go.
Karen is a pejorative term used as a slur against women who use their privilege to get what they want. Karen can often be found depicted in memes, and has come to symbolize entitlement and narcissism. Her name has become a favorite target of ridicule; in particular Dane Cook’s “Karen” comedy special immortalized her character and inspired several subreddits like r/FuckYouKaren.
Karen brawled with a Red Lobster employee over her reduced COVID-19 meal in 2022, attributing it to “the white lady”. Throughout 2022 she could also be seen protesting masks at Target, Dairy Queen and Home Depot; her health issues excuse her from wearing one; she even called police on a black birder over their COVID-19 vaccination status in Central Park.
Karen works from 8 am to 5 pm Tuesdays and Sundays on her farm, staying home during other weeks. During her off days she assists Jeff with running his store – greeting you as you enter, offering to assist if needed, suggesting crop seeds, animal feed and tools as newcomers may require more guidance in starting up.
Once you purchase the items, Karen shares that her mother owned a chicken farm and has always taken great pride in caring for animals, particularly rabbits. She asks you not to tell anyone about them so as not to cause disappointment for other potential buyers.
As you walk away, she turns back around and notices you watching. Apologizing profusely, she mentions the rabbits by the lake as well as asks if you would like to pet one of them.