If you have been active on social media in recent years, chances are you’ve encountered the term “Karen”. This pejorative moniker is used to refer to white women who complain and act entitled.
This term first made its debut several years ago due to viral videos featuring white women acting selfishly and racistly, leading to its recent surge in usage as part of coronavirus pandemic and protests for racial justice movements. It’s since become especially relevant given protests for racial equality.
1. Don’t be a karen.
If you are a middle-aged white woman online, you might have come across people referring to you as “Karen.” This term denotes an entitled, aggressive and racist white woman who often acts out against other people.
Though often used for humorous effect, its name poses some serious concerns. According to experts, its usage can be considered misogynist and classist in nature.
Sexism in its various forms is harmful to women who lack self-confidence and social skills; thus, knowing how to respond when someone refers to you as “Karen” can be key.
It’s essential not to take it personally and allow a slur or insult to upset you; doing this can help set boundaries that will prevent future targeting.
As another step to combat being called “Karen”, be conscious of your body language and voice tone so the person who called you Karen can see that you aren’t being abusive or harmful towards them. This will show them you aren’t abusive and toxic towards them.
Keep the conversation light by saying your name and introducing yourself to those who called you a Karen, this way they can see you as an individual instead of stereotyping you – making them less likely to call you “Karen” again in future conversations.
If the conversation becomes too heated or antagonistic, stepping away can help them understand that they do not pose a threat and you do not need to defend against them.
2. Don’t be a karen.
Being called a Karen can be deeply offensive. The word has come to symbolize middle-aged white women perceived as entitled and demanding.
Karen women can often be very aggressive and racist; it can be particularly upsetting to hear this word used against someone you care for or respect.
Karen has become a widely used term online and has come to symbolize extreme forms of entitlement and privilege. Additionally, this moniker may refer to white women who espouse racist, homophobic or conservative beliefs – often vocally expressed online.
Refusing to wear a mask in public, being anti-vaccine and making racist microaggressions such as asking black people to touch their hair are all indicators of possible racism. While often depicted by images depicting middle-aged white women with an asymmetrical bob, this definition applies equally well to anyone exhibiting these characteristics.
According to Attiah, this term hails from black American internet culture and seeks to find humor in real-life racism and oppression.
Karen can be an offensive name and should only be used by people in an appropriate mindset. When someone uses it offensively or without regard for others’ feelings it’s best to explain and clarify. If they continue their use then ask them why.
Asserting that your name is not Karen can also be an effective strategy in convincing someone not to use that moniker anymore.
As Karen can be an upsetting and hurtful name, it is best to remain calm when hearing it and remain on a friendly note when hearing it again. By remaining composed when hearing this name again, any awkward situations or disruption in relationships will be avoided, ultimately improving them overall.
3. Don’t be a karen.
Certain white women have become synonymous with some of the worst behaviour in our culture, from viral videos showing Beckys acting out or service workers being shocked when Karens try to speak directly to managers, to being used as code words for individuals that don’t belong in society.
“Karen” typically refers to middle-aged or older women who frequently complain, act entitled, and don’t comprehend how modern society works. They may wear bob haircuts and bring along their children when shopping; or engage in racist microaggressions.
Recently, this term has become especially infamous following the coronavirus’ spread across the US, prompting many people to refuse wearing face coverings in public spaces. Though amusing at times, this phrase also can be considered somewhat harmful.
While some may view it as an attempt to address white privilege, others see it as discrimination based on class prejudice. Whatever your feelings on this matter may be, knowing what to say when someone calls you “Karen” is essential.
One of the best ways to manage such situations is to stay calm and composed, which will help avoid making matters worse and enable you to put anyone who mistreats you in their place if necessary.
If you are worried about your own or someone close to you’s safety, do not hesitate to reach out. Authorities offer legal support to safeguard rights and file complaints on your behalf.
Note that not all Karens are bad. In fact, some are working actively towards making our society a better place by advocating for progressive causes and working for change.
4. Don’t be a karen.
If someone calls you Karen, don’t take it personally; it could just be someone trying to be funny. Try ignoring or laughing it off for now; however if this situation continues in future it would be beneficial if they knew they have no right to refer to you this way.
Karens are middle-class white women exhibiting behaviors which demonstrate their privilege. Such individuals include demanding to speak to the manager, criticizing service industry workers or engaging in racist microaggressions; additionally they’re known to wear specific bob cut hairstyles.
People often see instances of this kind of behavior on viral videos, like when a woman blockaded and called the police upon a man who made an illegal turn at a light. Or when Pool Patrol Paula verbally assaulted an African American teenager living near Summerville in South Carolina.
Karens have become notorious for calling the police on Black neighbors or harassing them at parks – an indication of white privilege where middle-class white people hold more power over Blacks than vice versa.
No matter how you respond, it’s essential that you remember karens are toxic and abusive individuals who use their privilege to oppress others – it is therefore essential that as much as possible you avoid becoming one yourself.
Some people are often labeled karen because of their pushy or arrogant behaviors, and this should never be tolerated or done as it only causes more damage for yourself and other people involved. If this behavior arises from you, seek clarification immediately or apologize if any mistakes were made before seeking to redirect or stop further dialogue altogether.
5. Don’t be a karen.
When someone calls you a Karen, it could be because they feel offended by something you said or did. In such instances, it is essential to remain calm and polite when responding.
Karen is a derogatory term that describes an entitled white woman who uses their privilege to demand what she wants. It first made its debut during a Dane Cook comedy special in 2005 and since has gained prominence on social media.
Many people perceive Karens as being overbearing and demanding women. These individuals will frequently stalk store clerks and restaurant servers until they get what they want from them.
Other hallmarks of a Karen include sporting a distinct bob cut hairstyle and having an entitled attitude. Kate Gosselin, for instance, famously sport a bob haircut but is known for her unruly behavior on screen.
However, in recent times the Karen stereotype has taken on new meaning as it becomes an issue of race and ethnicity. Videos emerged in 2020 showing Central Park Karens calling the police on Black birdwatchers while one Costco Karen who refused to wear a face mask also went viral.
Some videos posted to social media and considered offensive are now being shared widely – this iteration of the Karen has become known as a “Coronavirus Karen”.
As Covid-19 becomes more racially divisive, Karen has also become associated with inappropriate behaviors and bad behavior. Women have refused to wear face masks and engaged in extreme racist actions such as calling police on other people of color.
When being called a Karen it is important to remember this is just an attempt by others to either tease you or suggest you are acting in ways they do not approve of. Try your best not to take this personally and remain calm by simply ignoring their efforts and remaining silent.