Karens offers a variety of compilation videos online. These include full-length, part-length and mini-length formats.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Karen” archetype has seen a meteoric rise in viral events and social media content. Here’s an overview of how this term has entered popular culture:
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In the past, people who made funny or interesting videos online would release them as “Compilation Movies,” featuring two separate episodes with a shared plot. While these were sometimes re-edited to make it appear they were part of one film, often these videos lacked context and featured few recognizable characters.
As with many viral incidents, “Karen” videos have come under increased scrutiny in recent months. Some critics argue that the way these videos are presented — as seconds-long windows into an interaction without context — can lead to harassment and doxxing of those caught on camera, particularly women who are often targeted in these scenarios. While these videos may be just as funny and entertaining as any other YouTube video, they also often foster an atmosphere of misogyny and gendered discrimination.
Karens Compilation Videos are becoming increasingly common online, often without context. Critics say these videos risk flattening people’s lives into brief video snippets that could lead to doxxing or harassment.
Though “Karen” began as a dismissive term for white women who behave in an entitled manner, it has since come to symbolize both racial and gendered discrimination and violence against people of color. As Time’s Cady Lang notes, the term serves to perpetuate historical narratives which further solidify the violent legacy of white womanhood.
Over the course of this year, numerous Karens have been caught on camera engaging in offensive behaviors that would make Amy “Central Park Karen” Cooper proud. From being rude to passengers on airplanes and school board meetings to dog parks, these women have shown themselves to be racist, misogynist and bigoted.
In the late 2010s, the “Karen” meme gained notoriety on Reddit’s r/F—YouKaren subreddit. It represents an overall trend among white women to use social media platforms to document themselves behaving poorly in public spaces – particularly when there is racism or other forms of discrimination involved.
In 2021, the “Karen” archetype has reached an all-time high. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many are calling out these women for their racism. Additionally, the recent surge of anti-mask videos has only further added to this growing popularity of viral callouts.
Some Karens have gone so far as to call the police on Black birders who wear masks in public, out of a sense of moral authority. Other instances show violence has ensued out of jealousy or frustration with what others may perceive as discrimination.
One particularly shocking instance of this occurred when a group of white women stormed into an apartment complex parking garage in Nashville and aggressively confronted a Black man who was simply checking for parking permits. The group was arrested, and the woman was fired from her job.
Another infamous example is when a white woman recorded herself shouting at an Asian-American woman handing out LGBTQ+ Pride flags at a farmers’ market in Livermore, California. This incident became viral online and ultimately resulted in the resignation of the head of California Farmers’ Market Association.
Recently, short-length Karen compilation videos have become a common part of social media. Meme accounts like “karens going wild” broadcast these viral events to millions of followers worldwide, and it seems like there’s always a new “Karen” video trending daily.
These videos are usually labeled with a hashtag and an insightful summary. Unfortunately, some lack context or can be easily edited to distort the narrative.
In 2020, the term “Karen” gained notoriety as white women’s struggles became a major topic of conversation in the media. Particularly, it was used to denote white women’s actions which had previously been decried as selfish or racist — such as calling the police on Black birders and brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protestors.
Some of the more iconic “Karen” videos feature a woman on the verge of tears as she claims that her McDonald’s order was tampered with by a worker because she is an officer. Other clips show women refusing to wear masks and one clip even features a woman shouting out “Democratic pigs” in a retail store.
Critics have often criticized some of the most popular “Karen” videos for lacking context or editing to make them appear more dramatic than they actually were. Some even go so far as to say that some of these clips are sexist in nature, making white women feel powerless when accused of being a Karen.