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The ‘Karen’ meme isn’t sexist, and if you think it is, you’re a Karen

Micah Curtis
Micah Curtis

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

The ‘Karen’ meme isn’t sexist, and if you think it is, you’re a Karen
Memes are as good a lockdown distraction as any – and making waves now is 'Karen,' who always wants to speak to the manager. Some think it’s sexist – it’s not. If you’re a 'Karen,' you’re an entitled brat, whatever your gender.

For the uninitiated, a Karen is someone who tends to throw a fit at a business in an attempt to get extra service. Oftentimes, this is expected to be a middle-aged woman with a very short haircut who often asks to speak to the manager despite the fact that the service given to them has been exactly what they paid for. It is not a new meme at all. In fact, this is the type of person that anyone working at a service job dreads because of their massive sense of entitlement.

RT

The 'Karen' meme even has its own subreddit with numerous examples of Karens.

During my first marriage, I had a mother-in-law who was a Karen. Going to some restaurants with her was a nightmare, because she was constantly giving the staff crap when it really wasn’t warranted. One divorce and several years later, I had plenty of experience with Karens working security in hotels. The type can easily be summed up with the words “spoiled brat.” The observer is left to wonder if Karen didn’t get spanked enough as a child.

Now, from the perspective of any working stiff, memes like this are a great way to let off some steam. Nobody likes dealing with Karen. There’s some people out there that, the instant you spot them, you know they’re waiting to complain about something. That’s Karen. It’s an easy shorthand and an effective one. However, some people are somehow making it out as sexist. To those special individuals who make this claim, you sound like a Karen. Claims of “you just want to control me” or “it’s because I’m a woman” are silly, and what’s more important, don’t apply here.

The classic Karen is a middle-aged anti-vaxxer "soccer mom." But being a douchebag isn’t gender-specific. So in a sense, neither is being a Karen.

Take the 'Target Tori' situation, where an independent journalist tried to get an electric toothbrush for a penny. On that day, David Leavitt became the most famous Karen on the internet. Why? Because he made himself look like a complete and total jerk while trying to cancel some woman for doing her job. Tori ended up getting a massive donation to go on vacation, mostly because there are so many people who were able to identify with her plight.

It has nothing to do with your genitals or your pronouns. It’s all about attitude. So how about we be honest for a moment. Trying to call the Karen meme sexist is being a Karen. You’re trying to distract from your own behavior with a false accusation of bigotry. That’s exactly what these types of people are doing. They’re throwing around accusations and being a brat to get free stuff – like free validation.

News flash. Things have their cost, be it in money or effort. Your anger does not make you entitled to anything, and people within service positions know when you’re full of crap. What’s worse about it is that everyone knows it’s an act. It’s a gimmick. At some point in your life, you threw a tantrum. When you threw that tantrum, someone gave you what you wanted just to shut you up. What they didn’t realize is that they made one of the biggest mistakes they could have made. In that moment, they created a Karen. And, as such, they have doomed the rest of us to having to deal with your misery.

At this point I could just quote the “shut up” scene from the film Wanted, because it fits most people that I’ve ever had to deal with who have the “Karen” designation. Again, whether it’s a man or a woman it’s complete misery. It’s one thing when you pay for a service and the person providing comes up short. It’s another thing to play the most entitled character you can with the expectation that people will give you stuff just so you stop.

This isn’t about gender. It never was. You are a Karen because you’re a jerk. Stop with the false accusations of bigotry, grow a spine, and accept that people don’t want to deal with your nonsense.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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