Karens are a term commonly used to refer to middle-aged white women who act rude and arrogantly, often using their power to harass or intimidate others.
They may engage in this behavior in public places, like a big-box store or park. This type of behavior can be hazardous if it leads to police involvement.
1. Embarrass them.
The word “Karen” has become an offensive slur for middle-class white women. It is shorthand for a particular type of person who demands to speak to managers at stores or restaurants, engages in racist microaggressions (like asking to touch black people’s hair), and opposes vaccination.
Some argue the slur has become particularly offensive due to its online usage. But some experts argue names have always been targets of social ridicule and abuse – for instance, “Paddy” is used by Irish people as an insult, while “Guido” was once an Italian insult.
Professor Cleve Evans from Bellevue University notes that while the slang term for “Karen” has evolved over time, it remains associated with a particular type of person. Karens are part of an overall class of middle-class white women, according to Evans.
When someone calls another person “Karen,” it usually indicates they’re frustrated with the person or their actions. They want to publicly shame them for what they perceive as inhumane behavior.
They may also be struggling with their own behavior, which is why it’s not enough to simply condemn them. It’s essential that you show them how their words hurt others and that they can take action against it.
To achieve this goal, you need to embarrass them in front of their friends and family. Typically, this can be accomplished via social media post or video.
But the most effective way to achieve this is face-to-face communication with someone you care about. This could be a friend, parent, or coworker.
You might be able to persuade them not to use the slur by showing them examples above. Additionally, ask why they’re using it and provide an alternative explanation.
If they won’t listen, you might need to end the conversation or call them out on it. Doing this may be wise if you suspect they are trying to harm you. Taking action against such behavior can be challenging, but necessary for your own sanity and wellbeing.
2. Ask for help.
No matter if they’re called Karen or Kyle, there are ways to handle someone who acts in a sexist, racist or ageist manner.
Karen is a middle-aged white woman with a short blonde haircut who often engages in heated arguments with service industry workers and demands to speak to a manager over seemingly insignificant matters. This type of behavior often stems from Karen’s superiority mindset which she attributes to the history of violent white women who used their privilege and victimhood as weapons.
If you are a woman who has been labeled a Karen, it is essential to stand up for yourself and assert your rights. Furthermore, speaking up can be especially helpful when speaking up for others who may feel marginalised or vulnerable.
You may not have encountered the term “Karen” before, but it has recently made its presence felt on social media platforms and websites. This slang term originated before the Covid pandemic and describes someone who defies health guidelines and is openly vocal about their disobedience.
Karens have had a history of getting into trouble with people. One recent instance involves a woman demanding a refund from Burger King employees while the restaurant was burning down.
Another instance was a woman who entered a supermarket and refused to wear protective masks, even though they were required by store policy. Subsequently, she threatened the supermarket with legal action over her actions.
These incidents demonstrate the danger of allowing Karen to get away with bad behavior; if they feel they are being treated unfairly, they are likely to try and bully others to express their frustration.
If you are uncertain of how to respond when confronted by a Karen, it is best to reach out for help or arrange a meeting to discuss how best to defend yourself. Dani Weller, customer service team leader at Bionic, suggests keeping calm and making sure to explain the situation factually without emotion attached.
3. Ask for a meeting.
If your name is Karen, chances are someone has called you a “Karen.” It could even be as an innocent joke to refer to yourself as such.
Though it may appear insignificant, being called a “Karen” can feel very personal. You might assume the person is trying to make you feel bad or out of character when in fact the opposite could be true.
If you find yourself being labeled a Karen, there are steps you can take to defend yourself. One such way is requesting a meeting with the authorities.
Reaching out to the manager is the first step; they can arrange a time and location for the meeting. From there, you can discuss your situation and how they can assist.
Another option is to reach out to the customer service team at your company. They can offer helpful tips on how to advocate for yourself more effectively.
This is an ideal starting point, as they have extensive expertise on human reactions to situations and can provide helpful tips. They may also provide you with a list of useful resources to assist in future self-defense efforts.
If someone has accused you of being a “Karen,” there are numerous ways to defend yourself. It’s essential to remember that there is no single solution; rather, find what works best for YOU.
No matter how hard you try, never allow someone to label you a “Karen” without speaking up for yourself. Doing so could lead to significant harm if this occurs to you.
You may seek the assistance of an attorney or social worker for this situation. These professionals are trained in handling uncomfortable or potentially hazardous situations, making them invaluable resources in protecting you against people who make offensive remarks about you.
If you have an issue that needs addressing, then speaking up is key. Doing so will increase the chance that you receive the attention and resources necessary to take action in a beneficial manner.
4. Report it.
If someone calls you a Karen, it could be indicative of their discomfiture with your behavior or fear for your safety. With increased awareness about police interactions leading to deadly outcomes in recent years, it is essential that you consider how best to report the call without further aggravating matters.
The term “Karen” has become a widely-used internet meme to describe white women who insist on their way and believe they have the right to do so. Unfortunately, some of these individuals use their privilege to harass service workers and people of color by citing minor or fictitious infractions as valid complaints.
Police can be called upon to police black neighbors’ or their children’s actions, like San Francisco Karen who stenciled “Black Lives Matter” on her neighbor’s property. Additionally, some may experience road rage like the couple from St. Louis who enlisted police help defend their balcony during protests by Black Lives Matter activists.
Even though Karen’s name might seem derogatory, there are some instances where the word can actually be positive and serve as a model of how everyone should treat others better. One such instance is the subreddit Fuck_You_Karen, created two years ago by an 18-year-old from Irvine, California as parody of the popular Internet meme.
Subreddit #kirkandom has grown into a major hub with an active community of redditors making humorous memes based on this user’s posts. Some of these posts, including one picture of Karen with her dog, have gone viral, prompting calls for an outright ban of the term.
A woman who called the police on a black birder in Central Park was criticized as having “pulled the pin on the race grenade.” Additionally, Starbucks employees in California are suing Karen over her refusal to pay tips due to not wearing a face mask.
It may be tempting to let your emotions take over when someone calls you “Karen,” but according to Dani Weller, customer service team leader at Bionic – which analyzed over one million reviews on Trustpilot – it’s essential to stay grounded with facts and explain what occurred calmly. She also suggests keeping records for yourself as proof and communicating in an open and honest manner.