Karen has become an Internet slang term for a certain type of white, middle-class woman who frequently demands service workers speak to their managers.
Karens often engage in verbal abuse toward service employees, making them feel inferior and undervalued. On rare occasions, Karens have even been known to exhibit extreme frustration over masks.
In 2020, the Karen meme gained notoriety when white women were caught on camera engaging in behavior criticised as selfish or racist. This included calling police on black people for minor infractions. Soon after, these women were labeled “Karens.”
Recently, the term has become widely used to refer to middle-class white women who exhibit behaviors indicative of privilege. Examples include being anti-vaccination, refusing to wear a face mask in public, and making racist micro-aggressions.
As Karen stereotypes gained notoriety, internet users began suggesting names for a male Karen. Some popular choices included Kevin, Greg, Ken and Terry.
Many of these candidates were selected because their names sounded similar to Karen, which is a commonly used slur for middle-aged women in America. Other names that have been used as pejoratives include Harold, Talkback Tammy, and Becky.
Karmacop97 created r/F*ck_You_Karen to parody the use of a specific name, but quickly got it removed after people started deleting his posts. He initially created it as a joke but it soon blossomed into an increasingly popular subreddit.
In its early years, r/F*ck_You_Karen had thousands of posts. Unfortunately, it has since faded away, with only one user and two subscribers remaining.
When a new generation of users joined r/F*ck_You_Karen, questions began to arise as to whether there was an equivalent male Karen subreddit. Shortly thereafter, someone attempted to create one but it quickly faded away.
Male Karens don’t tend to display physical characteristics that set them apart from female Karens, and there’s little distinction in their fashion or style choices. A blonde bob cut has been attributed to Karens online but doesn’t seem to have gained as much support as a t-shirt and hairstyle that resembles late 2000s Eminem’s looks.
No matter their origins, these terms serve to remind us that women often face harsher penalties for similar infractions than men do. This can be seen in school dress codes which prioritize girls over boys, as well as professional environments where women are held to higher standards than men.
Kevin, derived from the Old Irish elements coem (handsome) and gein (birth), is one of the world’s most beloved names, ranking #5 according to Social Security data since 1950.
Caoimhin is an anglicized form of Saint Caoimhin whose name means “handsome from birth.” Keeva, the female version of this same word, is also used.
Karen has become a byword for middle-aged white women who insist on speaking to the manager – an expression which began in 2017 when Reddit user parodied her husband’s offensive tweets against her. It has since become used as an insult to describe any such woman as annoying and always complaining.
Williams notes that Karens are a group of entitled white women living in an age of privilege who are frequently exploited by those with power on their terms. Thus, they are part of a long history of racist narratives in America.
Male Karens lack distinguishing physical features like female Karens with bob haircuts; instead they boast white skin, an athletic build, an American passport (possibly), and possibly affiliation to alt-right groups.
However, this doesn’t make them any less annoying or bothersome than their female counterparts. Unfortunately, both types are just as annoying and intrusive in the same manner.
Many have questioned if Karen should be changed to reflect this reality. They point to the recent rise of racial and gender identity politics in the United States as evidence that the term is now outdated, demeaning for women.
Some have even called for the name to be changed or replaced entirely, while others believe gender neutralization should occur to avoid any negative associations with it. But others maintain that context matters more than the name itself; hence they suggest changing Karen to “Ken,” which sounds more feminine than its original form.
Karen is an internet slang term often described as an entitled white woman who demands to speak with the manager. While criticised for being racist, there remains some debate over whether it constitutes a slur.
This phrase is often used as a dismissive sneer at women who appear overly confident and privileged, and it’s frequently combined with other racist terms like BBQ Becky or Permit Patty. This satirical taxonomy of white, middle-aged people has been around for years and frequently targeted at an especially wealthy class of American women.
Megan Williams recently wrote for Medium on the social dynamics behind the Karen meme and how racism is deeply entrenched in American culture. She asserts that Karen carries with it a heavy burden, so it’s essential to address its misogynistic undertones.
She cites examples of men using the term to express their anger over the deaths of black people in America, such as one who called police on a group of Black and Latino men using a gym at their apartment building. Male Karens tend to be white, muscular, and tall; they’re typically involved with alt-right parties.
Some have suggested the name Ken, a Scottish name with meanings of “handsome” and “born of fire.” Others have mentioned Kenneth as the hero of the classic mobster film Goodfellas. Both names possess an air of power and tradition that could make them suitable for baby boys.
One online community, r/MaleKaren, claims to have only two subscribers despite its history revealing several posts about male Karens. It remains uncertain if this is an intentional effort to discourage people from giving their baby boys this name or simply due to lack of awareness and societal pressure on men who behave irrationally.
Male Karens sometimes go by Kevin or Craig instead of Karen (to counteract against the stereotypically feminine female version). This can be confusing since most of the subscribers to r/MaleKaren on Reddit are female.
Symbolism is a literary technique that utilizes objects, places, characters or names to give stories meaning. It also adds depth and emotion to an article of writing. In some cases, symbols may be evident to the reader while others require interpretation.
Symbolism was an artistic movement popular during the 19th century that sought to convey absolute truths through language and images. It opposed naturalism and realism and was spearheaded by French and Belgian writers such as Stephane Mallarme and Paul Verlaine.
One common example of symbolism in literature is the color green, which can be used to convey envy or luck. Conversely, it may also signify fertility or new growth.
Another example is the color black, which often symbolizes sadness or anger in characters. A writer could use a black dress to signify a lost loved one in their story or use a rattle as representation for child death.
Some symbols are more intricate than others, yet all possess the capacity to convey a range of emotions. This is one reason they are so often employed in literature.
Learning to recognize symbolism begins by paying attention to what around you. Symbols are everywhere, and can be used for expression of anything from anger and rage to love and affection.
Literature offers a multitude of interpretations of symbols, depending on the author’s point of view and cultural background. A symbol can be as simplistic or complex as the writer chooses to make it.
This is an invaluable way to deepen your appreciation of literature and gain an understanding of the worlds authors create. With this understanding, you can analyze works you read closely and identify any symbolism or motifs present.
Although it’s beneficial to think about symbolism and its implications when reading, you don’t need to know what every object or character in a story represents. Sometimes, symbols may only appear once or twice throughout the narrative – in which case, their significance must not be overly interpreted.