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This whole “Karen” thing
Old 05-09-2020, 03:35 AM
  #1

I find this whole “Karen” thing annoying and, I don’t know, insulting for lack of a better word.

I just read a headline and it said something along the lines of a woman got even with her own personal Karen. What the heck?

I can’t put my finger on why, it just bothers me.


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Old 05-09-2020, 03:43 AM
  #2

Stereotyping. Never nice.
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:29 AM
  #3

It is annoying. Stereotyping and I find it dismissive.
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I feel the same!
Old 05-09-2020, 04:38 AM
  #4

I feel like it's a slam against annoyance, which I get, but why Karen? Is that because Karen is a boomer name and we're slamming boomers? You know how a name can date a person--doesn't always but can--women my age are named Sue, Linda, Debbie, Pam, Janet, Cindy, and yes, KAREN.

I don't know, but I get what you're saying. It IS annoying, and sort of rude.
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Out of the loop
Old 05-09-2020, 04:53 AM
  #5

Okay, I'm out of the loop! I knew what a "Becky" was, and I know it means to do say "Bye, Felicia", but I had never heard Karen! I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary!


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Old 05-09-2020, 05:12 AM
  #6

Quote:
I feel like it's a slam against annoyance, which I get, but why Karen? Is that because Karen is a boomer name and we're slamming boomers?
Yes, I think this is why. I personally don’t like it at all.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:16 AM
  #7

That's kind of the point. There are a lot of things that middle-aged white women do/say that they have been cultured to think are neutral-to-positive, or that categorize other people. Other people find those things annoying and not very nice. Middle aged white women are cultured to see themselves as the "norm," the good, the righteous, the nice. Using the term "Karen" turns the tables on people who aren't used to acknowledging that there is a table to turn.

Like with most things, not everything is for everyone. If it doesn't apply to you, don't apply it to yourself.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:21 AM
  #8

It gets on my nerves too. I just don't think it's particularly funny.
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Karen
Old 05-09-2020, 05:28 AM
  #9

I agree with all of the above. I do have to say though that there is a Karen meme that cracks me up every time. The reason I find it funny has nothing to do with the name Karen.

https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/...06/948/739.png
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:38 AM
  #10

I'm not a fan either.

Why use any name? The meme shared above works just fine if you leave off Karen.


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Karen??
Old 05-09-2020, 05:44 AM
  #11

What is this? I think I missed it...
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:48 AM
  #12

I had to look it up. Guess I am really out of the loop. Also don’t know the “Becky” thing. Off to Google it!
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:49 AM
  #13

Definitely not a fan and find it very insulting!
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:51 AM
  #14

Out of the loop again. I’ve never heard of the Karen thing. I saw the reference above to Boomers (which I am) so I googled it and it said middle-aged (which I also googled). Thankfully, I’m too old for this particular negative namecalling, so I’m relieved I’ve never heard if it (and the behaviors don’t describe my generation). I’m missing the funny, seems just plain mean.
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Where a similar insult like “OK Boomer” stereotypes a specific generation, calling someone a “Karen” draws on associations people have built around extremely common names. But the stereotype the name conjures — at least in the US — is limited mainly to white women in their mid-30s or 40s. The archetypal “Karen” is blonde, has multiple young kids, and is usually an anti-vaxxer. Karen has a “can I speak to the manager” haircut and a controlling, superior attitude to go along with it:
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:04 AM
  #15

I don't like it, either. My sister is named Karen, so I get mad on her behalf!
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:07 AM
  #16

I think Lastminute123 makes a good point.

**Yes, it's never good to stereotype, but many, many subgroups of people have been stereotyped for time immemorial.

****I am a white, middle-aged, middle class woman, and I can can recognize myself in some of the memes.

*****My mom's name was Karen, and I was just talking with my brother about it the other night. He said he's glad she didn't live to see the Karen meme, and I said she was only a little bit 'Karen' but would have been so offended to be labeled a Karen, which is exactly what made her a little bit 'Karen'
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And when it is your actual name
Old 05-09-2020, 06:10 AM
  #17

It is even MORE annoying!!!! It is my name and was my best friend's name from childhood too. There were four of us in my 8th grade homeroom! We were all born in 1963, so just a few years after the decade where it was in the top 10 for most popular names.

I always say I've never had a student with that name in 34 years of teaching. All my life I've never met anyone else with that name who's more than about 5 or so years younger than me and often less.
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:21 AM
  #18

I thought it was a Gen Z reference to women in the Gen X (the forgotten generation). I agree, Karen is not a common name for my age group. If they would use the name Jennifer...then I would say this would be more stereotypical. It's just another stupid saying that social media grabbed hold of...I love technology, but sometimes I wonder if it is good for society overall. It just becomes so easy to insult and demean others.
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:25 AM
  #19

Feeling old- Didn't know the Felicia or the Karen.... and my kids didn't clue me in to them....Did know Boomer....
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:38 AM
  #20

I'm part of the generation but don't fit the stereotype.

I taught an African American girl named Karen in 1st grade just a few years ago so I always chuckle a bit and picture her because obviously she's not the Karen being referenced.

But I agree that any type of stereotype like that is not okay.
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“Karen”
Old 05-09-2020, 07:06 AM
  #21

Lastminute123 Entire post explained it very accurately.
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Old 05-09-2020, 07:13 AM
  #22

It is a negative name calling behavior that stereotypes an entire group. Unfortunately this has been happening to many cultural groups over many years and this one seems to target older white women. It's mean. I was reading a mom board a few months back. Some of the young moms ganged up on the older moms and began using the term Karen. To me it began to look like the young ones were behaving just like the term implies. Nasty behavior. Unfortunately the tendency for some to stereotype others will never go away.
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I wish I could find the response
Old 05-09-2020, 07:43 AM
  #23

to the annoyance of using the stereotype Karen and Becky and Chad.

It was on my facebook feed yesterday.
Anyway, a black woman wrote a very thought provoking article explaining why stereotyping was so damaging. She brought up the fact that many groups of people suffered from it in America both now and in the past. She pointed out the stereotyping that was not just annoying but also so damaging. She highlighted how hateful some of it was. She listed some of the slurs groups and individuals were called and how this still continues in America. She discussed her grandmother being called "auntie" by white people and her being called "sissy" She also brought up how the Native Americans were labeled and attacked with slurs. At the end she brought to everyone's attention that she could trace her family back to their slave days and their names were what the slave owner gave them. I never thought about it but she pointed out that someday she would die and her headstone would list her great grandparent's slave owner's last name as her identity.

Just something to consider as we are rightly being annoyed by being identified as Karen and Becky.
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Old 05-09-2020, 07:45 AM
  #24

It rubs me the wrong way,too. I think in large part because it plays into the social rule that women should always be pleasant and nice, take what they are given, not have much in the way of expectations of service, and they should never contradict any authority figure. While the “ask for the manager” types can be very annoying, they tend to be a mix of men and women. It upsets me that women have this stereotype but it’s more acceptable for their male equivalents to expect high standards without a second thought or worry of being a “Karen.” Maybe I read too much into it.
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Old 05-09-2020, 07:58 AM
  #25

Not to question the dominant power group(the younger crowd) and be quiet....the expectations put out there by those in charge. When one challenges it,the Karen name calling begins.

The younger crowd had names thrown at them too. Let's not forget that behavior.
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:00 AM
  #26

My understanding is that the Karen term does not refer to Boomers at all. The term is a negative stereotype used for 40ish, white women who have a certain sense of entitlement and are confident in their ability to get what they want. In my area the term is used for the middle aged ladies who lunch, attend fashionable community Bible studies, and expect access to power and favored treatment because of their involvement in volunteer activities and social connections.

Think of the mother in Blind Side.
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:29 AM
  #27

Huh. i am knowledgeable in "Bye, Felicia" and BBQ Becky and Poolside Patty (always love alliteration!)....and the reference to Karen.

i didn't think the Karen moniker has anything to do with middle-age white women; i thought it was all about being entitled and demanding. at least, that's how i've taken it. i'm sure it would get annoying if your name were Karen.

i love, love, love the bobcat meme! it's been around for a while--not sure if it was supposed to tie-in with the "speak to a manager" women or just happenstance with the chosen name. perhaps it should read: Where's your spray bottle now, lady?
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:14 AM
  #28

What about when we reference a student. Many use a common name, like Johnny.

Liitle Johnny did x, etc.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:30 AM
  #29

I was watching "The Real."
They were talking about a woman who took her kids to playground during quarantine/ isolation.
When policeman told her to stop, she refused and the other Moms ganged up on police officer.
(This is according to The Real ladies.)
Amanda says "A group of Karens is a Privilege."
She went on to say that because the women was a "Karen," she got away with ignoring the police.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:14 AM
  #30

Quote:
I'm part of the generation but don't fit the stereotype.

I taught an African American girl named Karen in 1st grade just a few years ago so I always chuckle a bit and picture her because obviously she's not the Karen being referenced.
I’m part of the Karen generation, and I’d like to think I don’t fit into any mold or stereotype

The only Karen I have ever known is Japanese and for the most part wouldn’t fit the stereotype either......well, she would definitely be asking to speak to the manager, and her hair is short but I’m not clear on the definition of a bob. OMG, I think my Karen may actually fit the stereotype!
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:25 AM
  #31

I can understand that comment made on The Real. The term "A Karen" is sometimes used to speak up against white privilege around here.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:58 AM
  #32

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachnkids
What about when we reference a student. Many use a common name, like Johnny.

Liitle Johnny did x, etc.
Very true!

It's hard to keep up with all the female names being used in this way.

I hadn't heard of "Poolside Patty" or "BBQ Becky," but when I looked it up, I realized I had known about the BBQ Becky incident. Here is an interesting read: https://qz.com/1320154/bbq-becky-per...combat-racism/
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:09 PM
  #33

Hi, Everyone. There is some context missing here. This is not about the name Karen - Though it is a mostly white name from a certain age bracket, there are Black people named Karen. I'm pasting below a post written by Mercy Morganfield on Facebook. "Karen" comes from "Cookout Karen," a term used for nice white ladies who call the police when a large group of Black people get together because she feels "threatened" that something might get "out of control." In white culture, being nice is taught as a virtue that supersedes most others, even if it means being less direct. In Black culture, being direct is taught as a virtue that supersedes most others, even if it means using fewer niceties. Cookout Karen is a know-it-all white lady who demands her way by going up the chain, even if requires special treatment or someone else being inconvenienced (whether she notices or not), all while smiling and saying please. Cookout Karen says that she doesn't see color and says things to her One Black Friend like, "I don't even think of you as Black!" She also holds her purse a little tighter in Black neighborhoods (not because of the Black people, because she's used to the much whiter suburbs and the city is unnerving) and is horrified by blatant acts of racism but a little miffed at the "reverse racism" of Black kids getting affirmative action preferences and thinks that if the Black person had followed directions politely, the police wouldn't have had to ____.

The title is a play off of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf."


"For White Girls Who Considered Suicide When Being Called Karen Was Too Much
I hopped on Facebook and responded to two posts this morning. One response was about Ahmaud Arbery. I had to remind people to say his name. And the other was a response to this whole white girl, Karen debacle. Some feminists equated being called Karen to being called the N-word. And a white friend wanted to know the difference between a Karen and a Becky. As for me, I want to know why the men who shot Ahmaud Arberry are not in jail. You see, we all have our priorities.

What’s in a name—why don’t we start there. To so many black women the offense over the name Karen seems a bit frivolous when we have to remind America to say the names of unarmed black people gunned down by law enforcement or white vigilantes. But being called Karen is what keeps you up at night? At least you are still alive to get offended. Sandra Bland is dead. But okay. I’ll play along.

What is the difference between Karen and Becky? Well, I dunno—what is the difference between Lakisha and Lawanda? What is the difference between having a family name and having to take the name of the plantation where your ancestors were enslaved? Really, when we get right down to it, what’s in a name?

I teach classes to large corporations on interviewing and hiring. I always have a segment on conscious inclusion. Instead of looking at differences—can we look at who is being left out—what perspective are we not looking at? It is almost always the perspective of the people least represented in the workplace in a power position. So Becky and Karen will be included Lawanda and Lakisha will be left out.

In that same class I talk about unconscious biases—we all have them but for some of us an unconscious biases can deny us opportunities while to others it opens doors. A research study took identical resumes and only replaced the names. They found the resumes with traditionally white-sounding names like: Susan, Sally and Brandon were moved forward in the interview process while traditionally black-sounding names like: Lakisha, Tyrone and Lawanda were put on the reject pile. So really, what’s in a name?

Black folks have been using the name Becky to describe that cute, blonde white girl for years—just like white folks use Lakisha and Shanaynay to describe that loud, gum-smacking black girl. Think of all the sitcoms and late night shows where white people make fun of Spanish sounding names or stereotype the black or Spanish person. But you got your Patagonia athletic briefs in a twist over being stereotyped as a Karen?

My grandmother watched a young white man physically remove her grandmother off the sidewalk so white people could pass. He didn’t know her name he just called my great, great, grandmother, Auntie and called my grandmother Gal. You see we have been stereotyped with names since before Karen was a twinkle in Marge and Bob’s eyes. But you are offended by a name?

So funny how those same offended white women don’t think about names until someone is not using theirs. They didn’t give it a thought until someone stripped away their humanity and triaged them to a compartment called annoying white women. People have been striping away our humanity and triaging us to compartments all of our lives. We are followed around in stores because we are stereotyped as thieves, denied loans because we are stereotyped as broke, denied rape kits because we are stereotyped as promiscuious. We feel your pain, Karen, but do you feel ours. For the record, Becky is ditsy and Karen is annoying. That is why the white cat argues with her all the time.

These same women ask to shorten your African or Spanish sounding name when remembering it is just too inconvenient. You can pronounce spaghetti but you can’t pronounce Carmencita. ‘Can I call you Carm?” I don’t know; can I call you Karen? What’s in a name?

Do you know some black people will not name their children black-sounding names. They can’t name their child after their great-grandfather or after their mother because their names sound too black. It took an episode of Blackish to get us to understand the tyranny behind not being able to name our own children what we want to name them. We have to think about the way white society will view them for the rest of their lives. Do you have that problem, Karen? Is that your reality?

So until being called Karen costs you a job, a promotion, makes you get paid less, makes you not get a mortgage or a loan, makes you name your children something else, makes you get chosen last—until that happens—I think you can suck it up, Karen.

Grit your teeth and put on your big girl briefs the way we, in the black community, have done from the minute we got off a slave ship from Africa and you refused to use our African name—instead you called us Kizzy—or lazy—or stupid—or the N-word. Because, afterall, Karen—what’s in a name?

Stereotyping feels dehumanizing doesn’t it Karen. Use this experience to recognize the humanity of others. The fact that you think being called Karen is the equivalent of being called the N-Word is the most Karenish thing a Karen can say, Karen.

I got my first and middle name from my father and I got my last name from the plantation my fathers ancestors were enslaved on. So until you live that experience Karen—until you understand that struggle, you are not oppressed you are just mildly inconvienced. I have to wear the last name of my ancestor’s enslavers all of my life. My enslaver’s name will be on my tombstone. How about you, Karen?"


One more thing: Before you say, "But I'M not like that!" or "I would NEVER!" google the term "white fragility." Do some reading. It's very easy to live in an echo chamber. It's hard to find out how others view you. There's a reason that the Cookout Karen stereotype exists.

Last edited by LastMinute123; 05-09-2020 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:09 PM
  #34

Thank you Last Minute 123. Very informative.
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“Karen”
Old 05-09-2020, 01:46 PM
  #35

Lastminute123 once again your post on this topic is very accurate.

Exactly what I would have typed in both posts.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:04 PM
  #36

Last Minute 123 you've nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.
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Some confusion
Old 05-09-2020, 04:41 PM
  #37

Karen actually started as an incel thing, not like BBQ Becky. She was a reddit wife that took a man’s money and kids and was a symbol of that unfairness to men and how horrible and unappreciative women are. Then it leaked into popular meme land, where Kate (from Jon and Kate) became the embodiment of her. Eventually it stood to mean any demanding white woman of a certain age. While Karen’s are seen as entitled women, it’s not like the crazy ladies who call the police on people of color. Those were nicknames for actual events, and BBQ Becky and Permit Patty really did those things (although those weren’t there real names.) Those were terrible things, but they are two completely different meanings .The only thing that ties them together was one lady trying to equate being called a Karen to a racial slur. I think we can all agree they are not the same level at all. Or I don’t see them as such. It’s like the difference between robbery and mass murder. Both are bad, one is ever so much worse. One is sexist and has origins in that arena from an angry Reddit comedy for men and is completely fictional, and the others are based on real events and those women were promptly shamed , and really, rightfully so.

There is another Becky term that is also incel related (like Chad) that is being confused with BBQ Becky here, i think, but it’s a completely different things as well. Becky is an average girl who wants , nay, pines over hot guys (“Chads”)and they don’t show proper humility to men and boys who aren’t “Chads.” Similar origins to Karen(Reddit), but Becky is a young woman who is made fun of by the “incel” groups for not being more reverent to the “nice” guys. “Stacy” is a beautiful woman more worthy of their attention, but of course she likes “Chads” and the “nice boys” are left in the dust, so she is an object of hate as well.

I agree racism is worse. But this thing where women are the constant enemy in the forms of Becky, Karen and Stacy is also pretty disturbing. It’s nothing to fight to keep. None of it is something we should fight to bring into the future with our children, in my opinion. And I may be in the minority, but women have put up with it for generations and we do need to put a foot down and not play into these games that trolls and bullies created to have us tear each other apart to leave more of the world for them.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:15 PM
  #38

Thank you cricketsong.Lots to think about. Many societies have a problem with the negative naming of ethnic groups . We can't escape from the negativity towards women either. I choose racism as the issue to work on first.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:39 PM
  #39

Thank you. I learned a lot from reading all these responses. It makes me want to listen and understand more.
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Karen
Old 05-10-2020, 06:50 PM
  #40

I do think it is a term of privilege (usually white). I think people use it to point out the absurdity of someone’s actions. It’s not anything against the actual name.
Can it get annoying, maybe, depends on how you hear it.
I hate to hear about how all millennials are selfish and lazy. I have 2 millennial DD’s and their guys. They are all very hard working, upstanding, productive members of society as are most of their cousins that are in the same age bracket.
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The issue with Karen
Old 05-11-2020, 04:16 AM
  #41

Becky is ditzy. Karen is annoying. Bye Felicia is literally a quote from a movie and is just used to be dismissive. All the various alliterative names were created for specific instances. Bbq becky: called cops on black people for barbecuing. Permit Patty: called the cops on a kid selling water without a permit. The list goes on.

While name calling isn't nice, everything is not about you specifically. However, the way our society is set up, it would have you believing that. Last minute123 explained things perfectly. The aforementioned people have/had superiority complexes or just flat out didn't mind their business. Like many, they see us, black people, as less than themselves and routinely make life hard on us by villianizing us, thinking that we are aggressors, deeming us people with attitudes, not believing anything we say or do, and making us wrong for just living our regular lives.

As a woman, I agree that there are gender issues that need to be addressed, but race issues should be first on the docket. So while some may find it annoying to be called a name, try living with that for your entire life in all situations. And it goes well beyond name calling.#
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:54 AM
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