'Karens' have had enough of being called 'Karens'

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By VT

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Julie Bindel, a journalist, author, broadcaster, and feminist campaigner from the UK has started an interesting debate online on the topic of the 'Karen slur'.

And by the 'Karen slur', she means the usage of the name 'Karen' on the internet to deride a certain 'type of woman' who is seen as demanding and unreasonable.

According to knowyourmeme.com, 'Karen' is a "slang term used as an antagonistic female character in memes."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/Archangel5847/status/1247570162510938115]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/star_queen2018/status/1247207096246063104]]

It adds, 'Karen' is generally characterized as an irritating, entitled woman, sometimes as an ex-wife who took custody of 'the kids.'"

Karen memes generally center around the trope of a woman demanding to speak to a retail worker's manager.

The origins of the meme are unclear, however, it is believed to have stemmed from the less-than-bright character from Mean Girls - named Karen. You know - the character who inspired the Oh My God, Karen, You Can’t Just Ask Someone Why They're White meme.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/EsabilaAliksa/status/934980681578323968]]

Taking issue with the pejorative use of the name, Bindel asked her followers, "Does anyone else think the ‘Karen’ slur is woman hating and based on class prejudice?"

She soon followed the tweet up with: "I’ve got a mate called Karen and I love her, just saying,"

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/bindelj/status/1246800996841467908]]

The tweets sparked a rather heated debate, with some people agreeing with the journalist and others taking issue with her statement - while noting the irony of a 'Karen' taking issue with 'Karen' memes.

One person agreed with Bindel's tweet, saying: "Yes - it’s sexist, classist and ageist, in that order."

Another person said: "That "Karen" is even a concept is about policing women for having the audacity to exert whatever rights they have in a situation (typically for those narratives, as a consumer). The idea that she might be in the right is never considered. She's always a pushy broad to be mocked."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/HadleyFreeman/status/1246812777341169664]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/katrinagulliver/status/1228672060144091137]]

Other users called into question Bindel's use of the term 'slur' to describe the 'Karen' phenomenon.

"What do you think a slur is?" one person asked.

A number of users took Bindel to task over her undermining the seriousness of the term, 'slur', considering 'slurs' are generally terms used to denigrate minorities.

Another said: "White people calling something a slur because it hurt their feelings, while simultaneously and systematically oppressing (knowing and unknowingly) people of color around them daily and weaponizing their privilege is peak Karen, Karen."

A third explained: "“Karen” was a term created *specifically by Black women* to talk about white women’s interpersonal + state violence against us and our communities: calling the police on us for getting coffee, threatening to have us fired, talking down to us at work (where we’re now “essential”)."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/KylePlantEmoji/status/1246866268323319808]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/reallifeblkdoll/status/1246848559871393794]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/aliciasanchez/status/1246846742940848129]]

This is how Bindel responded to the critique: "It is certainly used by enough white men for it to be morphed into a misogynistic slur. Also, those names are classically working-class, and I do object to the classism within this narrative. The ageism too is a massive problem. I think countering racism with ageism is not great.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/bindelj/status/1246814269825355776]]
Related - Our names can have all sorts of connotations that are out of our control. This man decided after last year's controversial Leaving Neverland aired, that he no longer wanted to be called 'Michael Jackson':
[[jwplayerwidget||https://content.jwplatform.com/videos/QNfWJ4xv-Q0L14jDU.mp4||QNfWJ4xv]]

'Karens' have had enough of being called 'Karens'

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Julie Bindel, a journalist, author, broadcaster, and feminist campaigner from the UK has started an interesting debate online on the topic of the 'Karen slur'.

And by the 'Karen slur', she means the usage of the name 'Karen' on the internet to deride a certain 'type of woman' who is seen as demanding and unreasonable.

According to knowyourmeme.com, 'Karen' is a "slang term used as an antagonistic female character in memes."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/Archangel5847/status/1247570162510938115]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/star_queen2018/status/1247207096246063104]]

It adds, 'Karen' is generally characterized as an irritating, entitled woman, sometimes as an ex-wife who took custody of 'the kids.'"

Karen memes generally center around the trope of a woman demanding to speak to a retail worker's manager.

The origins of the meme are unclear, however, it is believed to have stemmed from the less-than-bright character from Mean Girls - named Karen. You know - the character who inspired the Oh My God, Karen, You Can’t Just Ask Someone Why They're White meme.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/EsabilaAliksa/status/934980681578323968]]

Taking issue with the pejorative use of the name, Bindel asked her followers, "Does anyone else think the ‘Karen’ slur is woman hating and based on class prejudice?"

She soon followed the tweet up with: "I’ve got a mate called Karen and I love her, just saying,"

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/bindelj/status/1246800996841467908]]

The tweets sparked a rather heated debate, with some people agreeing with the journalist and others taking issue with her statement - while noting the irony of a 'Karen' taking issue with 'Karen' memes.

One person agreed with Bindel's tweet, saying: "Yes - it’s sexist, classist and ageist, in that order."

Another person said: "That "Karen" is even a concept is about policing women for having the audacity to exert whatever rights they have in a situation (typically for those narratives, as a consumer). The idea that she might be in the right is never considered. She's always a pushy broad to be mocked."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/HadleyFreeman/status/1246812777341169664]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/katrinagulliver/status/1228672060144091137]]

Other users called into question Bindel's use of the term 'slur' to describe the 'Karen' phenomenon.

"What do you think a slur is?" one person asked.

A number of users took Bindel to task over her undermining the seriousness of the term, 'slur', considering 'slurs' are generally terms used to denigrate minorities.

Another said: "White people calling something a slur because it hurt their feelings, while simultaneously and systematically oppressing (knowing and unknowingly) people of color around them daily and weaponizing their privilege is peak Karen, Karen."

A third explained: "“Karen” was a term created *specifically by Black women* to talk about white women’s interpersonal + state violence against us and our communities: calling the police on us for getting coffee, threatening to have us fired, talking down to us at work (where we’re now “essential”)."

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/KylePlantEmoji/status/1246866268323319808]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/reallifeblkdoll/status/1246848559871393794]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/aliciasanchez/status/1246846742940848129]]

This is how Bindel responded to the critique: "It is certainly used by enough white men for it to be morphed into a misogynistic slur. Also, those names are classically working-class, and I do object to the classism within this narrative. The ageism too is a massive problem. I think countering racism with ageism is not great.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/bindelj/status/1246814269825355776]]
Related - Our names can have all sorts of connotations that are out of our control. This man decided after last year's controversial Leaving Neverland aired, that he no longer wanted to be called 'Michael Jackson':
[[jwplayerwidget||https://content.jwplatform.com/videos/QNfWJ4xv-Q0L14jDU.mp4||QNfWJ4xv]]