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Buzzfeed's 'advice' to a woman called Karen

(29 Posts)
EarthSight Sun 20-Sep-20 12:08:37

Saw this today.

www.buzzfeed.com/stephenlaconte/woman-named-karen-wants-to-change-name-memes-advice

What a wanker. He actually called her a Karen for wanting to change her name. So basically he did what the woman was scared that people might do all the time - the fucker judged her for her because she's called Karen. Even some regular readers and fans were surprised and noticed he was harsher and less sympathetic.

Here's a paragraph that stuck out-

There's a degree of irony in your message, because a core tenet of Karen-ism is being so used to things happeningyourway, onyourterms, according toyourrules, that even the slightest challenge to your status quo is viewed as a personal attack. Whether it's abarbecue happening in a public parkor alittle girl selling water on the sidewalk, Karens tend to really lose their minds when confronted with things even slightly beyond their control. And here you are now, so rattled by some internet memes that you're consideringlegally changing your name for eternity. I'm not saying you're being a Karen, Karen, but if the nametag fits......

What I got from his 'advice' is that because other people in the world are racist, she should feel personally responsible for that and suck it up, even though it's nothing to do with her. There are other comments that agree as well. Because some people are black and they get abuse, and they can't change that, this means that an innocent person should suffer? For what? Because it makes them feel better thinking that other people are enacting an indiscriminate vengeance on their behalf over the internet?

The problem with the 'Karen' is that it's a bit like horoscopes. People find a way to make them fit, so it's no use telling women to ignore the haters because those haters might be in the workplace. They might be a sniggering colleague, a dismissive, sexist manager.

I'm enjoying reading people challenging him. Many good responses, this being one -

princessk
This advice was kind of insensitive though... she wrote to you saying she's insecure about these stereotypes and then you basically say she DOES fit the stereotype - not for being racist or ignorant even but just for wanting to change her name?? I normally love your advice but this just seemed rude and mean-spirited... like you weren't really trying to help :/ I say she should change it if it makes her more comfortable/happy

frontrow333
This is the first time I've been disappointed with the advice given. You gave a throwaway "sure, if you want to change it, whatever" so as to attempt to not sound insensitive, and then went on an absolute tirade about how privileged she is. You completely ignored the fact that people named Karen are being incessantly bullied right now (something I would assume you're against), and you made a tremendous assumption that she's doing nothing to acknowledge and change other issues in the world. All you said - in an awful lot of words - was "other people have it worse, so it's not a real problem". Really let down by the response here.

suen413
Your argument is not logical, in my opinion. Because a person's name is Karen, it is incumbent upon them to change the world? Personally, I think that we all have that responsibility, but there is absolutely no reason that the Karens have to be told to lead the fight. Doesn't make sense. Also, find it in your heart to have a little empathy for people. I am very heavily aligned with BLM, but that doesn't mean I can't have empathy for those with smaller problems. Why don't we direct our anger at the problem rather than at people who really don't deserve your criticism?

shannonp4f9a554d6
That was terrible advise. He basically just told her she’s racist for no apparent reason and that she needs to go on a one woman crusade to end racism everywhere. How about instead calling out how horrifically misogynist the Karen meme is to begin with. If someone’s parents named them Hitler they would be in their right mind to change their name, you wouldn’t say “lean into it” or tell them to go on a crusade to end anti-semitism.

jcovcova
This Stephen goon REALLY needs his own name to become an offensive term, possibly to mean "asinine white man" At no point did this Karen woman say that race relations aren't an issue, she just wants not have people make an uneducated assumption based on preconceived notions Ironically enough, you did exactly that, and proved exactly why her changing her name might be a good idea How did this clown get an advice section? I'm aware buzzfeed makes fox "news" credible, but this is pushing it

MyFrogWins
How disgusting is this "advice"? This lady asks for advice about her situation, and not only do you discount her situation by comparing it to others, you throw it back in her face by calling it "a degree of irony"? "Hey, I know you're upset about being mocked for your name right now - but America is racist and you're acting like a total Karen by having your own problems you want help with"? I can't imagine any other advice article doing this... Not just disregarding her concerns, but actively using them against her? Disgusting.

OP’s posts: |
merrymouse Sun 20-Sep-20 12:39:45

Stephen is being paid to produce clickbait.

His only concern is clicks.

queenofknives Sun 20-Sep-20 15:37:49

I really feel for every Karen these days. It's just such a stupid, horrible, misogynistic meme. If my name became a slur, I would be so upset. Anyone would.

WeeBisom Sun 20-Sep-20 15:44:14

I think it was glosswitch who pointed out she’d see a few female journalists who wrote articles along the lines of “I’m not a karen but x is wrong” when complaining about a legitimate thing. Basically any woman who complains about anything or is perceived about even making the slightest fuss is a Karen. I have to say I find it pretty strange that there’s a meme devoted to putting women in their place when they behave in a way that isn’t completely submissive.

Kantastic Sun 20-Sep-20 15:57:05

I archived it because why reward Laconte for living up to HIS name?

archive.is/wip/zQvWX

Sorry that was probably unfeminist of me but, well, I hope he got thoroughly bullied for his name at school. May he never recover and wake up in 3am screaming fits about it for the rest of his life, or until he writes a deep and grovelling apology to Karen.

(Archive link is currently #6815 in queue. I have never seen this before, maybe a bot got in there before me. But I assume it will post eventually.)

slipperywhensparticus Sun 20-Sep-20 16:09:13

Its surprisingly common the abuse you get i might change my Facebook name because it is karen what happens to me when I comment is appalling for example

Online newspaper article shows baby (i think around one) being given beer by the mother she takes a picture loads of people saying she was wrong to do this she and a few others defend there actions saying its harmless there is nothing wrong accusing everyone of being "perfect" I said not perfect but not giving my kid alcohol either the pile on was astounding the "karen intensifies" meme used "really karen?" That's such a karen thing to say shut the fuck up "karen" no one wants to hear you yet other people were calling this woman brain dead moron who didn't deserve children and no one piled on them

They are still going at me now two days later

DriveInSaturday Sun 20-Sep-20 16:25:38

There are a couple of things that get me about 'Karen'.

When I first came across it, 'Karen' was a middle-aged woman who demanded to see the manager. I hate the misogyny and ageism of demonising an older woman for having the temerity to stand up for herself.

Also, the name doesn't work in England - we have just copied the Americanism. Here, in my experience, Karen is a working-class name, not the name of someone who thinks everyone should defer to her.

And now the meme has evolved to make 'Karen' a racist, after the video of a woman threatening to call the police on a man for the crime of being black in a public place. In America again, but there you go. This woman's actual name is Amy. So (not that I am advocating this) why didn't 'Amy' become the name for a racist white woman, leaving 'Karen' free to continue asking for the manager? My theory is ageism again. Amy is a younger name than Karen, so the idea that your lovely BLM-supporting friend Amy might share a name with a nasty racist is unpalatable.

Auridon Sun 20-Sep-20 16:53:52

Women are such an easy target; everyone knows this. Nobody in their right mind is going to stick their cell phone in an angry guy's face to record it out of fear of getting punched, or here in the US, possibly shot.

Angry women are something to laugh at while angry men are something to fear. This whole "Karen" phenomenon perfectly illustrates the double standard.

I wouldn't get worked up about the Karen issue, however. We can't let random internet trolls dictate our emotional well being. These ass hats on 4chan have nothing better to do with their lives than to look for new ways to trigger people. It's where most of this nonsense gets created. Ignoring it is the best remedy, imho. They don't deserve our attention.

slipperywhensparticus Sun 20-Sep-20 17:15:46

Auridon

Women are such an easy target; everyone knows this. Nobody in their right mind is going to stick their cell phone in an angry guy's face to record it out of fear of getting punched, or here in the US, possibly shot.

Angry women are something to laugh at while angry men are something to fear. This whole "Karen" phenomenon perfectly illustrates the double standard.

I wouldn't get worked up about the Karen issue, however. We can't let random internet trolls dictate our emotional well being. These ass hats on 4chan have nothing better to do with their lives than to look for new ways to trigger people. It's where most of this nonsense gets created. Ignoring it is the best remedy, imho. They don't deserve our attention.

Sadly this spills over into my real life not just my online life these are people who know me using my name against me

slipperywhensparticus Sun 20-Sep-20 17:18:01

It doesn't help that I'm middle ages too

SunsetBeetch Sun 20-Sep-20 17:21:38

Buzzfeed is a pile of poo these days.

Auridon Sun 20-Sep-20 17:38:26

slipperywhensparticus - If, as you say, people in real life are using your own name against you, I would call them out on it. It's disrespectful but they may not be even aware of that. In their minds, it's just a joke.

Be honest with them, and let them know that it bothers you. Once they know how you feel, and continue to do it...well, then you have other decisions to make. I think most reasonable people will stop saying disrespectful stuff after you bring it up once, however.

DrDavidBanner Sun 20-Sep-20 18:00:43

SunsetBeetch

Buzzfeed is a pile of poo these days.

But how else do I find where I should go on holiday I'l have based on my favourite dessert?

Plussizejumpsuit Sun 20-Sep-20 18:11:01

Feels a bit rich coming from a young white guy. The Karen type is definitely a thing and it's just a name but I do understand why people would feel uncomfortable if that was their name. One of the good things about the Karen meme is it has highlighted how although women are all victims of partiachy intersectionality is important women are capable of oppressing other women.

I also think it's very interesting that the meme is about an entitled middle age woman. When is men who I see being entitled. At all ages but especially middle aged men. Buzz feed is trash and he comes across like a twat.

SheepandCow Sun 20-Sep-20 18:17:02

Someone should ask Stephen why he thinks it's appropriate to use the name of an oppressed ethnic group, the Karen people, as an insult.

worldrelieffortworth.org/burma-myanmar-karen-cultural-profile

TheMarzipanDildo Sun 20-Sep-20 18:18:41

slipperywhensparticus flowers

God what absolute dicks angry

EarthSight Sun 20-Sep-20 19:23:40

Auridon

Women are such an easy target; everyone knows this. Nobody in their right mind is going to stick their cell phone in an angry guy's face to record it out of fear of getting punched, or here in the US, possibly shot.

Angry women are something to laugh at while angry men are something to fear. This whole "Karen" phenomenon perfectly illustrates the double standard.

I wouldn't get worked up about the Karen issue, however. We can't let random internet trolls dictate our emotional well being. These ass hats on 4chan have nothing better to do with their lives than to look for new ways to trigger people. It's where most of this nonsense gets created. Ignoring it is the best remedy, imho. They don't deserve our attention.

The problem is that first impressions count. Imagine sending in your C.Vs to companies if your first name is Karen. The first flicker they have in their minds before they've even gone through to the C.V or even read your last name is the horrible memes they've seen everywhere online. Imagine starting a new workplace, and having introduced yourself to everyone, you start seeing people snigger a little or make eyes to each other. Then she might hear her name being used as an insult, but feel powerless to do do anything about it, because if she does, she'll be fulfilling her 'Karen-ess''.

It's a psychological straightjacket or barrier for women of that name.

OP’s posts: |
Auridon Sun 20-Sep-20 21:24:08

* EarthSight* - to be perfectly honest, I just don't see this happening. If a hiring boss develops a sudden bias against all Karens, then perhaps his or her company is the wrong company to work for anyway.

My post was not attempting to be dismissive, rather realistic. I have been an avid video gamer for decades. I am a 47 yr old woman. I see so much shit talk directed at women by guys, and it's all based in deep insecurity. They invent "Karens" because they're angry that women don't find them desirable. My take on this is - ignore it. Your hurt makes their day. They are miserable, bitter morons who get pleasure from your pain. Don't give them that. Laugh at their idiocy and laugh straight in their faces.That's how you fight back.

kness Sun 20-Sep-20 21:39:47

@Auridon But it's already happening. I'm on an online group and there are several women saying they're running into problems at work and with job hunting. There was even someone who saw an HR person making a Karen comment on LinkedIn! It's actually happening.

It's all very well saying it's the wrong company to work for, but there aren't many jobs going at the moment and we can't afford to be that picky.

And what if most recruiters start doing it, so there's nowhere left? Name discrimination is a real thing. There's lots of studies been done and I've witnessed it at work. I've even seen a couple of comments from Mumsnetters saying they wouldn't employ people with certain names, mainly names perceived to be working class.

I still don't agree that it's a working class name although for some reason a lot of people on MN keep insisting so. But really this problem is already happening.

kness Sun 20-Sep-20 21:47:20

Then she might hear her name being used as an insult, but feel powerless to do do anything about it, because if she does, she'll be fulfilling her 'Karen-ess''. It's a psychological straightjacket or barrier for women of that name.

Exactly. And although it's much worse for those actually with that name, it's becoming a problem for lots of other women too. Women of all names are starting to feel scared to speak up against anything at all as they don't want to be labelled as a Karen. That's why all women should care about this issue and start calling this shit out whenever we see it. I know it's difficult in things like Facebook groups where there might be a pile-on, but anyone who sees their friends doing it, or who sees a business making comments or putting up signs, please speak up and say something. It's leading to some serious harassment and bullying.

Auridon Sun 20-Sep-20 21:50:48

kness

*@Auridon* But it's already happening. I'm on an online group and there are several women saying they're running into problems at work and with job hunting. There was even someone who saw an HR person making a Karen comment on LinkedIn! It's actually happening.

It's all very well saying it's the wrong company to work for, but there aren't many jobs going at the moment and we can't afford to be that picky.

And what if most recruiters start doing it, so there's nowhere left? Name discrimination is a real thing. There's lots of studies been done and I've witnessed it at work. I've even seen a couple of comments from Mumsnetters saying they wouldn't employ people with certain names, mainly names perceived to be working class.

I still don't agree that it's a working class name although for some reason a lot of people on MN keep insisting so. But really this problem is already happening.

The world is filled to the brim with stupid people, so what you're saying wouldn't actually surprise me.

kness Sun 20-Sep-20 21:54:16

But earlier you said: to be perfectly honest, I just don't see this happening. There are too many people out there who don't believe it's a real problem. It is real. We're already being treated differently in recruitment.

kness Sun 20-Sep-20 21:54:53

So we need to let people know how bad it's got. There really is some horrible stuff going on.

EarthSight Fri 25-Sep-20 10:54:00

Saw this today -

www.afr.com/work-and-careers/careers/how-being-a-karen-can-damage-your-career-20200729-p55gic

OP’s posts: |
TheQuietWoman Fri 25-Sep-20 11:04:24

Reading this makes me so angry. I used to know a Karen (as in, that is her name) when I was younger and I sometimes wonder how she is faring with this grotesque bullying. I judge every single person who laughs about Karens or uses the name to mock women. They are despicable and come across as so utterly and painfully stupid.

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