Over the last few months, “Karen” has become synonymous with an angry, entitled and racist white woman. Her anger stems from economic disenfranchisement and disillusionment with the return of Black Lives Matter protests in America.
Karens have been captured on camera protesting store regulations such as wearing face masks and demanding to speak with their managers. These videos showcase a larger divide in American society, where people of all races experience racism to varying degrees.
On the internet, a new wave of slang has arisen that targets middle-aged white women who act entitled and rude in public. This expression, known as Karen, applies to people who behave badly in various places such as restaurants, retail stores or offices.
This term is often used to mock a stereotype of middle-aged, white woman with children living in the suburbs. She usually wears her hair in a ponytail and demands to speak with the manager when she doesn’t get what she wants.
Recently, a series of viral videos has branded people as Karens and the term has gained widespread recognition. People have been mocked for a variety of behaviors such as asking the manager when their fast food order is incorrect and taking advantage of parking spots at grocery stores.
Karens’ behavior is part of a larger discussion about white women upholding white supremacy through nonviolent means that can have devastating results. A study of video clips found Karens often use their privilege against minorities and are willing to intimidate police officers for personal gain.
They often abuse their privilege to obtain things they shouldn’t be able to obtain. One such case involved a woman calling the police on her neighbor for writing “Black Lives Matter” with chalk on his own property.
Another popular video depicts a woman throwing her dog at a jogger in Central Park. She was eventually arrested.
One year ago, an example of how one person’s actions can ripple throughout the internet was given. Unfortunately, other women have continued to be labeled “Karens,” with threats of other crimes and police calls being made on them.
Shim remarked that incidents like these can have a lasting effect on entitled Karens, who may learn they won’t get what they want and that authorities have the power to take action. This causes them to think differently about themselves and their place within society, she noted.
Police arrests can have a profound effect on the behavior of entitled Karens. While these women often come across as overly agitated and intolerant, it’s not uncommon for them to display behaviors completely out of proportion with their level of anger.
Many times, these frustrated women don’t even have a right to be so angry; they act out of necessity due to societal expectations. This is an issue that has become more pervasive in America since racial tensions have escalated.
However, these women often face criticism for their inability to control their anger. They’re seen as entitled middle-class women who demand to speak to the manager or call the police over seemingly inane things that happen around them.
Though this behavior has been observed in a variety of contexts, it is particularly popular on social media. Videos featuring entitled white women asking people of color to explain themselves have become an online sensation, with some going viral.
These videos often receive comments from other social media users. Typically, these commenters accuse the person of being a “Karen,” allege their behavior to be racist and sexist, and suggest they were the victim of such injustice.
The behavior of entitled white women can be explained by several factors, but the most prominent is a sense of entitlement. This feeling is one that many people can identify with – regardless of wealth.
Most Americans possess a deeply-ingrained way of thinking that is often unconscious. This mentality contributes to why many people become easily frustrated over seemingly insignificant things like parking tickets or miscommunication at the grocery store.
Some people believe the Karen phenomenon began with Dane Cook’s 2005 comedy special. However, some historians suggest its roots lie in Miss Ann slang used by slaves to describe demanding white women. While this attitude still prevails today, it has been modernized and tailored to our modern sensibilities.
Karen may seem insignificant or irrelevant, yet it has come to symbolize an iconic stereotype of whiteness. It can be used as a derogatory term for women who express sexiness or have temper tantrums in public, as well as deterring racist and rude behavior.
Last year, the term “Karen” made headlines as it was used to refer to incidents of white women calling Black people names, taunting and harassing them or even calling the police on Black men. But this phenomenon has a long-standing history and it’s not simply due to white privilege.
In the United States, recent furloughs and layoffs, coupled with fears of lockdowns and the return of Black Lives Matter have left many Karens feeling insecure and threatened. Although these Karens may not be consciously racist, their behaviors in both professional and social contexts stem from a deep-seated disenfranchisement.
Karens have made headlines recently for sex-based issues, but Clemons notes that these encounters often center around race rather than anything else. There still exists a toxic myth of female hysteria which pervades society, along with an obsession with white women acting out in public – particularly when their actions are documented or shared online.
Another Karen moniker that has recently gained notoriety is for people who refuse to wear masks during quarantine situations, a behavior which originated in quarantine situations but has since spread across the country to other public areas as well. During COVID-19’s widespread outbreak, many who refused to take cover in public (or at home) have been called out on their behavior.
This has led to the debate of whether such behavior qualifies as a hate crime or not. Ultimately, lawmakers must decide what constitutes an offense and how best to punish it.
Similar to other “Karens,” some “anti-mask” “Karens” that have made headlines have been caught in videos without enough context to explain their whereabouts. Furthermore, these videos can be edited or manipulated in order to make them appear worse than they actually are.
The deterrent theory is one of five theories in criminal law that seeks to deter people from committing crimes. It does this by warning individuals about potential dire repercussions, such as jail time, so they will be more likely to steer clear of wrongdoing.
Deterrents come in many forms, from an invisible electric fence to a dog’s bark. It’s essential to understand what a deterrent is and why it can be useful.
Deterrents are factors that discourage someone from doing something, such as going to jail for stealing candy bars. On the contrary, rewards encourage good deeds.
For instance, you can use a deterrent like an invisible fence to stop burglars from breaking into your home. Additionally, this makes you less likely to commit the crime since the fear of getting caught makes you less motivated to commit it.
Another example of a deterrent is the death penalty. This makes people less likely to commit murder or robbery.
Though the death penalty carries with it certain negative implications, it also serves as a deterrent. People should be scared to go to jail or kill others because they know that such actions have serious repercussions in the end.
Karens Are White Women Who Demand More Privilege
Karen is a self-righteous middle aged white woman who expects respect and gets upset when people don’t provide her with what she desires. In extreme cases, Karen may even resort to calling the police on people of color to enforce some rule she does not agree with.
Karens can be racist, though this is far more rare than one might think. They might hurl racial slurs or make offensive remarks. In extreme cases, a Karen may even racially profile and call the police on Black people walking down the street.
These videos serve as a reminder of just how far we still need to go before truly bridging the divide between white and Black America. They serve as evidence that people of different races still must endure living with the rust on the barbed wire that separates them.