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Karen and the Generational Divide

(731 Posts)
LucilleBluth Tue 23-Feb-21 13:01:30

My very good friend kept sending me TikTok videos via whatsapp and told me to get on it. I resisted but last week I decided to have a look what it was all about.

Now I’m 40, friend is 42, both white and degree educated with teenagers and primary aged DCs. It would seem that according to this app that middle aged white women are the actual devil. I’m from a working class background and friend is MC.

I’ve never seen younger people be so vitriolic against people they don’t know. It’s definitely misogyny and ageism but dressed up as being woke???

I can’t quite figure out why or where it’s coming from. Any sociological explanation for this?

OP’s posts: |
LucilleBluth Tue 23-Feb-21 13:04:25

Just to add, white is used as an insult as is Karen.

I saw a video yesterday of a man screaming at an old woman and filming her, all the comments were along the lines of ha ha white Karen. I couldn’t figure out the context.

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Tue 23-Feb-21 13:05:56

Same old, same old in shiny new clothes.

LolaButt Tue 23-Feb-21 13:07:44

Karen is an attitude. Not an age. Yes the original stereotype was a forty plus woman with a particular haircut, complaining to the manager.

But from what I’ve seen on TikTok it has evolved into being a description of a man or woman of any age, behaving in an entitled fashion.

I agree that the root of it is grounded in misogyny.

apalledandshocked Tue 23-Feb-21 13:12:37

There are seriously mysogynistic aspects to the popularity of the Karen meme. But also the Tik-Tok algorithm decides what to show you and will show you new videos based on what you have watched before/what you have watched all the way through etc etc. Therefore if you are watching a lot of anti middle aged woman stuff (in despair I imagine) it will keep sending you more. So you wont necessarily be getting a representative idea of what all teeneagers on Tik-Tok are posting.

augustusglupe Tue 23-Feb-21 13:13:06

I'm 56 and you've just said what I've felt very uncomfortable with for ages.
Yes, they're a nasty bunch. The hashtag 'Be kind' brigade are actually more judgmental and small minded than any generation I've known.

LucilleBluth Tue 23-Feb-21 13:15:21

I can only speak for myself but I’m only really finding my voice now I’m getting older, I don’t put up with stuff like I would have at 25. I wouldn’t have asked to see the manager 10 years ago but I would now, so to speak.

It’s like just as women get more powerful it’s time to knock them down.

OP’s posts: |
Helmetbymidnight Tue 23-Feb-21 13:17:07

It's gross misogyny.

Sexist men love it, as do not very bright women.

BobbinThreadbare123 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:17:16

It's just another way to 'burn the witch'. A woke, modern way, apparently.

LolaButt Tue 23-Feb-21 13:20:56

It’s not about asking to see the manager. It’s about some people who ask to see the manager and scream at them, rather than have a constructive conversation.

I think you can read into the whole concept however you please. I’m not defending its origins.

apalledandshocked Tue 23-Feb-21 13:21:24

But as far as dressing it up as being woke. Do you remember about 15 years ago or so it was the working/lower classes that were the cause of all racism (not saying there isnt racism among those groups, but many of the systemic problems of racism (higher maternal mortality rates and poorer medical treatment of black women, policing and criminal justice bias, bias from emplyers etc etc) came from higher up the social hierarchy. But that was used to justify making fun of "chavs" etc etc, "because actually we are the good ones because they are racist". Plus it meant those same people could give themselves a pat on the back and be convinced that they werent the problem (even if they were a wealthy business owner whose senior management was all white but the cleaners coincidentally werent for example). It actually allowed people to push genuine problems around racism back under the carpet while pretending they cared.
Same process happening here, but the target is different.

Ponoka7 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:27:28

" I’m only really finding my voice now I’m getting older"

As do most women, which is why we are then branded, bitter/jealous/dryed up hags. There's an agenda behind this. Middle aged women are the only group you could do this to on SM. It's part of every day sexism.

Joinedjustforthispost Tue 23-Feb-21 13:29:43

I’m 34 op and still don’t get tik tok, I feel to old like it’s for teens. Every time a woman disagrees with someone or has a different opinion they get labelled a Karen. I feel like saying oh wow I’m a Karen you are so unique calling a woman that!

NutellaEllaElla Tue 23-Feb-21 13:33:04

Yeah this Karen insult is fucking rank misogyny and still people defend it, like, it's so obvious they just look stupid IMO.

doublehalo Tue 23-Feb-21 13:39:43

It's now ok and applauded to openly express hate and violence towards women.

The wokesters are absolutely vile. I don't know why they are so full of rage considering they've mostly had very privilegded lives and have nothing to gripe about.

tellmewhentheLangshiplandscoz Tue 23-Feb-21 13:41:45

Middle aged women are the only group you could do this to on SM.

////// This.

And I really feel for women who are called Karen, it must be awful to hear your name used like this.

Guavaf1sh Tue 23-Feb-21 13:44:35

I think the male equivalent is Kevin. Karen and Kevin. Shorthand for a form of entitled self important behaviour - I didn’t think age was a factor in it. This sort of puffed up self importance has been mocked forever in different forms - that lady with the hearing aid in Fawlty Towers springs to mind

ErrolTheDragon Tue 23-Feb-21 13:50:23

LolaButt

It’s not about asking to see the manager. It’s about some people who ask to see the manager and scream at them, rather than have a constructive conversation.

I think you can read into the whole concept however you please. I’m not defending its origins.


Maybe that's how it started but now it's just a lazy sexist and ageist put-down.

Chocolatechocolatechoate Tue 23-Feb-21 13:51:16

I know I'm gonna be shot down here but oh well. I really don't see a problem and I think a lot of people on here love to play the victim.
Karen isn't an insult for EVERY middle aged woman. It's an insult given to a woman that displays very specific horrible behaviour.
Like if you've received bad service and want to make a complaint that doesn't make you a Karen. But if your harassing people or going of for no reason then yeah you're a Karen and you deserve to be called out for that behaviour
If you don't act like a dick then you won't be called a Karen and you'll have no problem it's very simple

BobbinThreadbare123 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:54:27

@Chocolatechocolatechoate if you were saying that 5 years ago, I would be in agreement with you. I reckon the 'definition' has expanded though. It's no longer just used for ribbing over-enthusiastic restaurant-complainers.

Helmetbymidnight Tue 23-Feb-21 13:55:01

It's an insult given to a woman that displays very specific horrible behaviour.
No, it isn't. It's used constantly when women over say 40 express an opinion that a man (or not very bright woman) on SM dislikes.

If you don't act like a dick then you won't be called a Karen and you'll have no problem it's very simple
That's rubbish.

the whole thing is riddled with misogyny - I see men I disagree with ALL the time on social media, are they called Karen or Kevin - no. Women? Yes. Told to shut up, Karen. etc, etc.

VinylDetective Tue 23-Feb-21 13:55:11

tellmewhentheLangshiplandscoz

Middle aged women are the only group you could do this to on SM.

////// This.

And I really feel for women who are called Karen, it must be awful to hear your name used like this.

You are joking. Seen what millennials have been saying on social media about boomers for years?

7Days Tue 23-Feb-21 13:58:05

The problem is, one person's acting like a dick is another person's not being a doormat.
If someone doesnt like you/your demographic they'll conflate the latter with the former and insult you somehow.

The problem is, a lot of people just dont like middle ages women who stand up for themselves.

CoffeeBerry Tue 23-Feb-21 13:59:13

It's an excuse to be ageist and sexist. Middle aged women are no more guilty of being entitled/rude/racist etc than any other age group. In fact I've experienced more aggression from men than women.
I saw someone post on a company social media account that they'd ordered something a few weeks ago but not received. That was all they said and they were called a Karen. How dare a middle aged woman ask for something she's paid for. Ageism and sexism.

Chocolatechocolatechoate Tue 23-Feb-21 13:59:51

How is it different tho to older people calling millennials snow flakes and telling them to shut up?

It's honestly so ridiculous to take it to the level of saying it's misogynistic and ageist. Tbh it makes people look like more of a Karen when they get so outraged over it. You don't have to agree but that's how it is

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