This Karen is trying to enforce 6 foot distance rules by not allowing anybody to pass her in the aisle until she is done shopping in Walmart🤣 FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER! https://twitter.com/papastanimus
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Karen is a pejorative term for a white woman seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal. The term also refers to memes depicting white women who use their privilege to demand their own way. Depictions also may include demanding to “speak to the manager”, being racist or sporting a particular bob cut hairstyle. A notable example was the 2020 Central Park birdwatching incident.
The term has been criticized for being s****, a****, miso******* and seeking to control women’s behavior. As of 2020, the term was increasingly being used in media and social media as a general-purpose term for middle class white women, especially during the ******* pande***** and Black Lives Matter protests. The term has also been applied to certain male behavior. The Guardian called 2020 “the year of Karen”. Karen doesn’t believe black woman lives in her neighborhood
In African-American culture, there is a long history of calling a meddlesome white woman by a certain name. In the antebellum era (1815–1861), she was referred to as “Miss Ann”. In the early 1990s, “Becky” was used. As late as 2018, before the use of “Karen” caught on, alliterative names matching particular incidents were used, such as “Barbecue Becky”, “Cornerstore Caroline”, and “Permit Patty”.
For the term “Karen”, several possible origins have been proposed. Early uses of Karen as a joke punchline include the airheaded character Karen (played by Amanda Seyfried) from the 2004 film Mean Girls, Dane Cook’s 2005 sketch “The Friend Nobody Likes” on his album Retaliation, and a 2016 Internet meme regarding a woman in an ad for the Nintendo Switch console who exhibits antisocial behavior and is given the nickname “antisocial Karen”. In December 2017, Karen memes regarding entitled women went viral on Reddit, karen, karens, karen meme, karen 2020, angry karen, worst karens, karen moments, karen freakouts, top karen moments, karen compilation, karen complaining, karen compilations, best karen moments, funny karen videos, funniest karen videos, karen’s getting angry, best karen story, viral video, may, viral videos, vine, vines, funny, viral, try not to laugh challenge, daily spice of the internet, tiktok, tik tok, may 2020, funny 2020, funny video, cozy videos, funny vines the earliest being from user karmacop9, who ranted about his ex-wife Karen. The posts led to the creation of the subreddit r/****YouKaren, containing memes about the posts, and inspiring spinoffs including r/karen and r/EntitledKarens dedicated to criticizing Karens.
A more pointed explanation, which involves race, is the expression originates among Black people to refer to unreasonable white women. The term was popularized on Black Twitter as a meme used to describe white women who “tattle on Black kids’ lemonade stands” or who unleash the “violent history of white womanhood”. Bitch magazine described Karen as a term that originated with Black women but was co-opted by white men.
Meaning and use
Kansas State University professor Heather Suzanne Woods, whose research interests include memes, said a Karen’s defining characteristics are a sense of entitlement, a willingness and desire to complain, and a self-centered approach to interacting with others. According to Woods, a Karen “demands the world exist according to her standards with little regard for others, and she is willing to risk or demean others to achieve her ends.” Rachel Charlene Lewis, writing for Bitch, agrees, saying a Karen doesn’t view others as individuals and instead moves “through the world prepared to fight faceless conglomerate of lesser-than people who won’t give her what she wants and feels she deserves.”
The meme carries several stereotypes, the most notable being that a Karen will demand to “speak with the manager” of a hypothetical service provider. Other stereotypes include anti-vaccination beliefs, racism, excessive use of Facebook, and a particular bob haircut with blond highlights. Pictures of Kate Gosselin and Jenny McCarthy’s bob cut are often used to depict Karen, and their bobs are sometimes called the “can-I-speak-to-your-manager?” haircut.
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