At first glance, Karen seemed like a harmless joke on entitlement. Eventually though, her antics escalated from being humorous to outright sexist and racist in nature.
What can be done to alter public perceptions of Karens who may appear entitled, yet are simply misunderstood?
1. Educate yourself
If you’ve been active on social media in recent years, chances are you’ve come across numerous jokes about middle-aged women named Karen. These individuals seem entitled and frequently complain about their lives.
However, sometimes they are simply misunderstood. They could be suffering from anxiety or depression, having trouble paying their bills or finding work, or just needing to vent after having a particularly challenging day. Whatever the case may be, don’t feel bad for them if you can identify some common traits among these individuals.
People often make fun of Karens online without realizing they are actually being sexist. The term “Karen” has become a pejorative for white women who are perceived to be demanding or otherwise acting out in an unconventional manner.
Karens can often be found without these behaviors. They could be suffering from a medical condition that prevents them from working, having family issues to contend with, or simply struggling to fit in to a new culture.
Karens can also be guilty of these behaviors; Amy Cooper being one famous example. After an altercation in Central Park, Amy falsely called police on black birder Christian Cooper and it spread like wildfire.
She has since been linked to systemic racism and police brutality in the United States. San Francisco supervisor Shamann Walton has proposed CAREN Act–short for Caution Against Racialized Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act–in an effort to make it illegal for anyone to falsely report crimes of this nature.
What do real Karens think of all this? According to CNN, they don’t view it as a slur at all but do recognize the impact it can have on them.
For some people, this can be especially discouraging as they are passionate about improving their community for the better. They strive to ensure others understand their situation and receive fair treatment.
To understand Karens and their public perception, educate yourself on public opinions and stereotypes associated with them. Doing this will enable you to identify them quickly if you come across one in the future and respond appropriately when dealing with them.
2. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Public opinion is the collective thoughts, feelings and beliefs of a group or majority. It can be used to guide policy or political decisions; however it’s essential to remember that public opinion isn’t always right or wrong – sometimes all it takes is asking someone their opinion!
Bionic, a business comparison company, recently conducted a study that revealed Karens are the most likely to complain about service issues – and these complaints are particularly prevalent in the U.S. The analysis examined over one million customer reviews on Trustpilot – an online platform that helps consumers choose the best product and service.
Findings indicate that most Karens are middle-aged white women, which could explain its popularity and pejorative connotation. According to Aram Sinnreich, associate professor of communication at American University in Washington, DC, “Karen is shorthand for someone who believes their way is the best and believes everyone else should follow suit,”
Social media video clips may seem like a humorous way to show off entitled white women behaving badly, but they also highlight the larger issues of race and privilege that affect many of us. These clips often demonstrate how white women use their power, status, and privilege to control black people – sometimes violently.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, videos and incidents have helped reframe conversations around race and police brutality in America. They’ve made a racial reckoning with police violence and other forms of racism feel more urgent, according to Williams.
These videos and incidents often incite anger and rage among those who believe they’ve been treated unfairly. Furthermore, they can exacerbate existing racial tensions, which can be difficult to manage or prevent.
If you find yourself in such predicaments, don’t be afraid to speak up. By doing so, you can break the cycle of oppression and mistreatment that many endure. Additionally, taking time out to let your voice be heard will teach you more about your rights and how best to defend them.
3. Ask for help
No matter if you’re a business owner or consumer, chances are you’ve encountered Karens at some point in your life. These middle-aged women are notorious for making demands and demanding to speak to those in authority. Although not all Karens are bad, they certainly cause plenty of problems for companies around the world.
Bionic, a company that analyzes customer feedback for businesses, decided to dig deeper into these complaints to discover their effect on both consumers and business owners alike. They examined over one million reviews from people on Trustpilot – an established platform where customers provide reviews about products and services.
What they found was that, although many Karens aren’t even named Karen, they still exhibit similar behaviors. For instance, Louise garnered three times more reviews similar to Karen herself than any other name on the list (number eight).
Though asking for assistance when facing a challenge may seem like an obvious solution, many people struggle to do so. This could be due to various reasons.
Fear and pride are two of the most common internal obstacles that prevent people from seeking assistance. These emotions create a sense of victimization, as if we have no control over our circumstances.
To overcome this mindset, we must recognize that we can alter our perspective and make things better. Asking for assistance gives you the chance to improve yourself while showing others that you’re willing to put in effort and do what it takes for improvement.
Social psychologist Heidi Grant emphasizes the power of positive self-talk to boost confidence and bring out the best in others, leading them to provide assistance more frequently than they would without it.
Additionally, gratitude encourages us to practice gratitude – which has been proven to have numerous beneficial effects on both physical and mental wellbeing. Feeling thankful releases chemicals in the brain that increase moods and enhance sleep quality among other benefits. Consequently, one feels happier and more secure about themselves which in turn leads to a more productive and meaningful life.
4. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself
Standing up for yourself may not come naturally to everyone, but it is necessary if you want to maintain healthy relationships, reduce stress and enhance mental wellbeing. Furthermore, setting boundaries in life helps avoid becoming a doormat.
Start by being aware of how it feels when someone is disrespecting or not treating you the way that you deserve. This can help determine if the situation warrants fighting for and how best to go about doing so.
Maintaining your body’s relaxation is another essential element of being brave enough to stand up for yourself, as it makes you appear more composed and assured. If your actions are tense or anxious, they may not be taken seriously.
To be successful at advocating for yourself, you must practice and learn how to express your emotions clearly and respectfully. This may take some practice if you are shy or insecure about yourself, but the effort invested in learning how to effectively express needs and opinions will reap rewards in the end.
Social media is full of Karens — women who get angry over things like dog leashes in public places or anti-vax conspiracy theories. While they may appear entitled, Hank Stuever, a social justice activist who studies the #whitetears movement on Twitter, believes they are simply misunderstood.
Karens frequently make headlines and can be seen on television news shows, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. In their videos they express their discontent with the state of the world.
According to Lillian Glass, a communications expert and author, many Karens exhibit irrational behavior due to an amalgam of displaced anger and disenfranchisement. She believes this behavior has been caused by the economic downturn as well as other stresses in their lives.
Karens may feel overwhelmed if their wages are less than what they deserve or they have experienced racial discrimination at work. These emotions may range from frustration to outright aggression depending on the context. Before taking any action, it’s wise to first reach out for help from someone you trust – such as a friend or attorney who can explain your rights clearly.