Opinion pieces are an effective way of exposing Kens’ rude, racist or entitled behavior. Particularly since the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement began, opinion pieces on Kens have proven immensely popular.
Karen has become a derogatory term used against white women who appear entitled or demanding beyond what is considered normal. Its popularity increased substantially during 2020 as America dealt with pandemic issues and protests for racial justice.
1. The New York Times
Since a viral video featuring personal-injury lawyer couple “Ken and Karen,” brandishing handguns at Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Louis, has gone viral, the internet has become fascinated with what are known as Karens; entitled middle-class white women demanding to speak to managers over seemingly trivial behavior.
Recent studies have demonstrated that Karens are often stereotyped with “rude entitlement,” leading to microaggressions against children and people of color. According to researchers, this phenomenon is compounded by social privilege and feelings of entitlement which lead to inappropriate public behavior such as on social media platforms.
Nick, a nomenclature scholar and former president of the American Name Society. believes this trend can be traced to “Karen,” a shorthand frequently used on social media.
Named in honor of Karen from the 1960s, who rose to become one of the most popular baby names during this decade before seeing its popularity fade into the 70s before rising again recently.
The New York Times is not immune from this trend; for years they have published opinion pieces which denounce Kens for their rude, racist or entitled behaviour.
Amy Cooper is perhaps best-known as a dog-walker who called police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park in June 2018. Patricia McCloskey of St. Louis personal-injury firm Mooney McCloskey threatens peaceful protesters with firearms as another instance.
Not unheard-of for presidential candidates to attempt to test libel laws by filing suit against news outlets; Charles Harder on behalf of Donald Trump’s campaign filed one such claim in April; it will fail.
2. Huffington Post
Opinion Pieces on Entitled Behavior by Kens
Over the years, numerous opinion pieces have highlighted the inappropriate, racist or entitled conduct of male Karens commonly known as Kens. Examples include Amy Cooper who called police on a black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park; and Patricia McCloskey who brandished a firearm during Black Lives Matter protests.
Huffington Post is a website that aggregates blog entries from celebrities and writers such as Huffington herself. The site has become extremely popular and attracts a substantial following, leading to substantial traffic growth.
At first, the site featured blog posts and mainstream news from mainstream outlets. But its founders believed in breaking stories themselves – something their early efforts did not accomplish; instead they wanted it to become an all-out news factory.
As with most startups, HuffPost experienced both ups and downs during its inaugural year of existence. While surpassing Philadelphia Inquirer web traffic in that first year, its web presence still lagged far behind CNN, Yahoo, and The Times’ offerings; consequently it had to work harder than its rivals to win visitors over.
And it had to do so while maintaining its core identity: politics. That wasn’t easy when some of its most popular posts included conspiracy theories like one suggesting vaccines could cause autism.
Paul Berry became the perfect partner to take their business forward. A former student of Peretti, Paul understood how to turn traffic-rich sites into metrics that made them profitable and was willing to put his name behind a business that, by then, had earned itself the Pulitzer Prize.
Karen has become so deeply embedded into American pop culture that it has almost become an unofficial code name for middle-aged white women, often being used to criticize various behaviors rooted in white privilege.
Over time, “Karen” has become a trending viral meme that’s been adopted by mainstream media as an insult directed against white women seen acting entitled in public spaces. Additionally, Know Your Meme lists many instances of online harassment related to Karen as well.
Dr. I.M. Nick, a nomenclature scholar and former president of the American Name Society noted that it may be linked to shortenings and abbreviations’s rise on social media as one possible explanation.
Initial uses of Karen were first noted in 2017 on a subreddit named r/F—YouKaren created by 17-year-old Karmacop97. Since its creation, membership grew from 4,000 members to over 435,000.
As soon as the name became an internet meme among millennials and Gen Zers, they used it as an insult against Baby Boomers for being too conservative and behind-the-times on matters pertaining to gender, sexuality, and youth culture in general. Furthermore, it was even used to refer to an incident involving someone leaning against a car to block someone else from getting a parking spot.
But Karen has also become a pejorative for people seen as racist, xenophobic or otherwise dishonorable. These Karens have been exposed for calling the police on Black people unjustly or engaging in behavior which some see as selfish or racist, such as trying to reserve parking spots at casinos – while recent use as Halloween costume only compounded this reputation further.
4. The Washington Post
Recent Opinion Pieces on Entitled Behavior by Kens
Over the past year, several opinion pieces have highlighted the rude, racist or entitled behavior of male Karens – commonly known as Kens – known to many. Such incidents frequently raise deeper issues regarding mental health, substance abuse and stress management.
Some social commentators have theorized that viral videos and memes may also reveal subtler forms of racism, such as racial profiling or “redlining”, where white people try to maintain exclusive access to public spaces as examples of Karen-like microaggressions.
Though these incidents can be distressing, there are many more Karens out there who don’t receive the recognition they deserve on social media. These women typically face more complex challenges than just refusing to wear masks; such as mental health concerns and stress due to coronavirus pandemic.
They could also be suffering from addiction or mental illnesses such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whatever their circumstances, these individuals feel as if they are being treated unfairly and are trying to make a statement by striking back against authority figures.
According to sociologists, sociologically speaking, this behavior serves to further entrench white supremacy, further divide communities, and foster feelings of resentment among vulnerable groups such as race, gender, class or economic status.
People experiencing microaggressions tend to turn to social media for support and protection, posting videos of themselves acting out or calling the police on others; those fearful of the possible consequences might even threaten self-harm – all behaviors often driven by entitlement or frustration with society as well as anger.
5. The Daily Mail
Recently, opinion pieces online have outlined the rude, racist or entitled behaviors of female Karens (also referred to as Kens). According to Wikipedia, Kens are perceived to be white women who use their privilege to demand what is considered appropriate or necessary, thereby using it to take what they want without regard for others.
Recent viral videos and memes depicting these incidents with anger and disdain. Some social commentators see these events as signs of covert racism which permeates communities and workplaces across America; other observers suspect these events may be tied to mental health concerns due to stress caused by coronavirus pandemic affecting both black and white communities.
One enduring and popular example of the Karen phenomenon is an unnamed woman seen spitting at an employee wearing a face mask at a gas station. Other instances include a white woman who called 911 on a black man who asked her to leash her dog; as well as several groups of agitated women caught birdwatching from video cameras in New York’s Central Park.
These videos are most alarming in that they display an increase in white women claiming they have been victimized by people of color since the Civil War. Many incidents appear to stem from longstanding white supremacist culture that has existed ever since then.
This type of behavior has long been present in America, with white women often being labeled ‘Karens’ prior and during the Civil Rights Movement. But with recent viral videos and memes making this term even more prominent and degrading entitled white women who appear on camera.