Karens refer to white women of middle age or higher economic status who use their privilege to gain power or influence over others. Karens often display entitlement, entitlement, entitlement, bigoted behavior and use tears or privilege as leverage in order to obtain what they desire.
In 2020, videos of white women engaging in self-righteous behavior that was criticized as racist or selfish went viral. With the COVID pandemic and subsequent demonstrations for racial justice, this term has gained further currency.
What does it mean to be a Karen?
A Karen is an umbrella term for middle-aged white women who act entitled, arrogant, and often racist. These individuals use their white privilege to achieve what they desire while demeaning those who don’t share their values.
This term was first coined on Reddit in 2017, and since has become a beloved online meme to mock aggressive, petty behavior among white women. Videos of such incidents often accompany the term, such as blocking off car spaces so someone else can park there or screaming at retail employees about refund policies.
According to The Independent, a “Karen” is an older white woman who displays aggressive and petty behaviors. She frequently shouts at people, demands to speak with the manager or engages in racist micro-aggressions.
Recently, the term has gained notoriety on Black Twitter, where it parodys the agressive and petty behaviors of women in public. Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi has condemned it for being ageist and sexist as well as Philadelphia community organizer Gwen Snyder for calling out this behavior.
Karens have often been associated with Baby Boomers, who are seen as too old and closed-minded for today’s more progressive values. Some millennials and members of Generation Z have criticised them for being behind the times when it comes to gender issues, sexuality issues, and youth culture in general.
Recently, the slang term has gained momentum in America with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot refering to her press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as a Karen. Additionally, this has spawned its own subreddit where it’s become an engaging topic of conversation.
This trend has become more and more widespread, as research has demonstrated how the term can be misapplied to target specific behaviors and even lead to issues in the workplace. For instance, if an employee complains about their employer to a supervisor or HR department and they are called “Karen,” that person could be accused of retaliation.
Karen can be an unsettling term, but it’s shorthand for a middle-aged white woman who seems entitled and arrogant. While this slang term has been around for some time now, it has recently gained prominence online.
The origins of the term are uncertain, but it could have begun as a meme from Mean Girls. Stand-up comedian Dane Cook also made a joke about “Karen,” an anonymous friend whom nobody likes.
Queen recently reported on two distinct Karen meme threads online — one from the Black community and the other coming from Reddit. The first thread, which started in 2018, focused on white women using their privilege to falsely report criminal activity involving people of color.
Queen describes these women as entitled, obnoxious and sometimes aggressive. She observes them to be unaware of the consequences of their actions on others and often makes a big deal out of minor infractions such as refusing to wear a mask while shopping or grilling in the park.
Some of these women are also filmed doing these things and then posted online, giving them the appearance more like real-life villains rather than fictional characters.
Other Karens have been depicted as overly assertive in public places or demanding to speak to a manager at restaurants; this latter issue has recently become a hot topic on Twitter.
Many of the Karens who have gone viral are white women, though some have been referred to as male Karens. This has caused controversy, with some criticizing it for being a racial slur and suggesting men should instead be called Kens instead of Karens.
However, many others have pointed out that this distinction is insignificant and doesn’t indicate racism. Instead, they say the term is simply used to highlight how white people can use their privilege against people of color.
Like many slang terms, the meaning and usage have evolved over time; therefore, it is essential to take into account. This term has a deep-seated, complex connotation which continues to shift and develop over time.
Have you ever watched a viral video, chances are you’ve come across “Karen.” This nickname is given to an entitled and rude middle-aged white woman who expects special treatment that she doesn’t deserve and often throws public tantrums over minor inconveniences.
Some believe the term originated with Dane Cook’s 2005 comedy special. Others argue it’s simply an umbrella term for white women who often act out in public, but one thing everyone can agree upon: Karens tend to be racist.
Recently, a woman made viral video calling police on Black people for minor infractions such as asking the mailman to leash her dog in Central Park. New Jersey Assemblywoman Angela McKnight described this incident as an example of the growing racism that permeates our society today.
This type of behavior is especially problematic when directed at people of color, as it often includes microinsults and microinvalidations that are often unconscious but still harmful to those who identify as people of color.
Many women who have used the term have argued that Karen is an offensive racial slur, while others have said it simply serves to highlight white women’s casual racism and privilege in the world. It is essential to remember that although Karen may be considered a slur, it isn’t legal under international law.
Karen’s typical behavior includes being entitled, demanding and bigoted. At her most extreme, she calls the police on people of color for calling out police brutality in the media and she often uses tears as a way of getting what she wants.
Karens can be racist, anti-vaxxers and hold conservative views. Additionally, they tend to be picky eaters.
In America, Karen has also been associated with those who refuse to wear face masks in stores or coffee shops and have had meltdowns when asked. Videos of these incidents have been shared on the subreddit “Public Freakouts.” Trader Joe’s has had multiple incidents of Karens refusing to put on masks at their stores.
In the United States, there are 5.4 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. One-third of these people are people of color and they face higher poverty rates than non-LGBT people of color due to fewer job protections, lack of social services and inaccessibility to high-quality education.
LGBT people of color are also more likely to be raising children. According to MAP estimates, between 780,000 and 1.1 million children are being raised by people of color who identify as LGBT.
According to a recent study, LGBT people of color tend to live in areas with more people of color than areas where there is less diversity. This could be because these individuals are more vulnerable to discrimination within their communities.
For those employed in the service sector, these obstacles can be even greater. A lack of social and economic opportunity, limited access to health care, a broken criminal justice system, and high unemployment rates all add to their struggles.
Fortunately, there are multiple strategies that can be employed to address these problems. For instance, restructuring the organization to include a more inclusive leadership team and giving employees all of the tools necessary for success may be necessary.
Additionally, companies may need to adopt a more proactive strategy for social impact measurement and reporting. These efforts can have a major influence on how companies operate and make decisions.
Additionally, programs may be necessary to address the unique needs of people of color, LGBTQIAA+ individuals, and service workers. This can be accomplished by guaranteeing these groups a voice during the hiring process, creating an affirming environment at work for them, or supporting their success within their organizations.
These measures can guarantee that those affected by these issues have a voice in their lives and access to necessary resources for success. Furthermore, they improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by these problems, while decreasing the overall impact on society as a whole.