Karen is a disparaging term for a white woman who is seen as entitled, privileged, or wanting something that is beyond normal. The term is often seen in memes about white women who some say use their white privilege to get something their own way.
The term has been seen as ageist, sexist, racist, classist, misogynistic and seeking to control women’s behavior. As of 2020, the term appeared largely in media and social media as a criticism of middle class white women, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests.
References[change | change source]
- Nagesh, Ashitha (July 30, 2020). "What exactly is a 'Karen' and where did the meme come from?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
"Karen" is associated with the kind of person who demands to "speak to the manager" in order to belittle service industry workers, is anti-vaccination, and carries out racist micro-aggressions, such as asking to touch black people's hair. But a predominant feature of the "Karen" stereotype is that they weaponise their relative privilege against people of colour - for example, when making police complaints against black people for minor or even - in numerous cases - fictitious infringements.
- Greenspan, Rachel (October 26, 2020). "How the name 'Karen' became a stand-in for problematic White women and a hugely popular meme". Insider. Insider. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- Wong, Julia Carrie (27 December 2020). "The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
The image of a white woman calling police on black people put the lie to the myth of racial innocence