If you’ve seen videos circulating social media, chances are good you have encountered “Karen.” This term refers to an entitled white woman who frequently gives instructions about how people should do their jobs or calls the police over seemingly innocuous behavior.
Over recent months, Karen has gone from an annoying joke to becoming an iconic symbol of 2020’s volatile social politics. Since social policing involving Covid-19 has begun and protests over police killings have become widespread, what the Karen stands for has become far clearer.
1. “F- You Karen”
Karen, a Verizon public relations manager in the biz, has plenty of leeway. A cursory review of her LinkedIn profile shows she loves foxy sex and ladies night out – amongst many perks including having a luxurious office and living room, as well as donning the latest fashions and gadgets on occasion. Karen still holds onto that prized crown from previous occupants; who knows, maybe she’ll become their successor!
2. “Permit Karen”
Last week’s viral video showing a white woman calling the police on Black neighbors caused great uproar in Montclair, N.J. This town is widely recognized for its excellent public schools, art museums and highly esteemed public research university; as a result it frequently tops lists of America’s best places to live.
The incident unfolded in an area inhabited by people of color and is known as an epicenter for antiracist protests in the city. A local citizen named Fareed Nassor Hayat recorded this footage and posted it on Facebook, garnering immediate support from his neighbors.
While many comments on the original Facebook page of the incident expressed sympathy for the Hayat family, others were met with anger from other viewers who felt that Susan Schulz, an Environmental Protection Agency worker in New Jersey who called police on her neighbors should be held accountable. As a result, this led to public ridicule of Susan Schulz.
Many were puzzled over Karen’s identity and whether or not she actually was Karen at all; most agreed she wasn’t. While her actions were clearly racist and she had no legal basis to call the police on anyone, this provided Montclair residents an unprecedented chance to stand against systemic racism in their community and take action against it.
Montclair community’s situation also served as an eye opener, reminding those from outside its boundaries that systemic racism exists everywhere and should not just be limited to large cities with overtly racist police forces. Many also took this chance to reflect upon how their own behavior contributed to this problem and confront its complexity in their lives.
When a White woman reports something as offensive to their Black neighbors to law enforcement, she often uses her privilege to create havoc. She may exaggerate or even falsify claims in order to create chaos while often going unchallenged due to being white herself.
3. “Karens Going Wild”
Popular YouTube Videos Exposing the Behavior of Entitled Kens
With today’s political climate being influenced by civil rights activists and calls for police reform, we have witnessed an ever-increasing number of videos revealing Kens’ sense of entitlement – from Amy Cooper calling 911 on a Black birdwatcher to Lisa Alexander being trapped inside her own home by signs that read “Black Lives Matter.” These clips showcase their behavior.
Though they may seem like passing trends, these clips are real and gathering momentum. One Instagram account called “Karens Going Wild” has been sharing these videos to their nearly half-million followers on Instagram.
Pavel Paulinich, a chef in Washington DC, created this page in order to document acts of prejudice he witnessed among friends and colleagues. Paulinich initially became inspired by coronavirus that closed down his kitchen but quickly grew frustrated due to lack of public scrutiny given to these cases.
Karens Going Wild is a website where images and videos of individuals acting inappropriately are posted along with calls for them to be “cancelled” by employers or communities – in an attempt to draw attention to their plight as oppressed peoples.
As a result, his account has received hundreds of submissions, prompting Mr Paulinich to create another sibling account dedicated to men. Its inaugural post – featuring footage showing an employee being bullied at work – already amassed over 173,000 views on Instagram alone! It’s easy to see why.
As women’s rights continue to wane, now is an especially meaningful time for reimagining what being Karen might have meant in the past. We can examine our own actions more objectively and learn to be more compassionate towards those around us.
4. “Karen’s Life”
Karen Yackel is an incredible woman who has experienced some of life’s toughest challenges and hardships without giving in to despair or weakness. Her incredible resilience makes her such an outstanding wife and mother.
She is always there for John and their kids, willing to do anything she can for them. Additionally, she is known to be very caring and affectionate – something her husband is very proud to admire about her.
Karen takes great pride in protecting the environment, being active members of environmental groups and spending much time at Michigan lakes that she cherishes – she always ensures their protection from potential damage or disruptions that could occur.
Her dedication to the environment extends far beyond simply conserving resources; she spends much of her time speaking out on issues she finds important, like oil spills in California. Recently, she spent some time with Bill McKibben at Blissfest music festival to gauge his thoughts about Enbridge’s Line 5.
This shows that she not only cares deeply for the environment as a whole, but is also specific in addressing specific environmental concerns she feels are important. This makes her an excellent role model for her children.
As her daughters can attest, Karen is an exceptional mother and will do anything possible for them. Her love and support of her family extends far and wide – one reason so many people adore her so deeply.
When she’s not working, she enjoys writing. Among the novels she has published are Christian Bend Trilogy based on true events; these books were inspired by an intense life experience shared by their subject and used it as the basis for these novels.