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Please can we talk about using the name Karen as an insult?
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NiceKaren · 24/03/2020 21:32

I'm seeing the name Karen being used as an insult all over social media. It started as a meme, but in the last few days I've seen 'Karen' being blamed for panic buying, refusing to self-isolate and general selfishness. My name is Karen and in these tricky times it feels really unpleasant to see my name being used this way. It feels sexist, ageist and most likely classist too. Now I'm seeing it on MN as well and it makes me so sad. I can't help my name and while I used to laugh it off, I'm feeling quite upset by it tonight. Why do people do this?

I suppose I'm just posting for solidarity and wondering whether there is any point in trying to call this sort of thing out? Before, I felt it was just me being precious or unable to take a joke but now it feels quite personal and ugly.

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YangShanPo · 24/03/2020 21:36

Yeah I hate that kind of thing. However I did see on FB a woman called Karen asked why they had to start using the name as an insult and a guy named Dick replied that it beats him why people do this.

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Sackofspuds · 24/03/2020 21:36

Just read the other thread about being a Karen. Bloody rude.

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NiceKaren · 24/03/2020 21:41

@YanhShanPo Thank you! That made me smile. I don't usually mind it, but I suspect emotions are a bit heightened for us all at the moment.

I'm a lot younger than the general Karen demographic and I think over and above my personal feelings it's the casual anger being flung at a whole group of middle-aged women that is concerning me, especially as it seems to be taking a slightly nastier twist these days rather than just being a joke.

Feel like I should start asking to see the manager - never done that in my life!

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corpsebrid3 · 24/03/2020 21:42

They do it with the name Susan too - these names were popular for babies born in the 1970s. IMO they may as well call out that they are focusing on women in their 40s and their dislike of this group.

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CarlottaValdez · 24/03/2020 21:44

It’s massively sexist and ageist. It’s the “hag” of our times. There are always insults to keep older women in their place.

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SarahInAccounts · 24/03/2020 21:45

Susan and Karen are names for 1950s babies not 1970.

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TinklyLittleLaugh · 24/03/2020 21:49

I’m 55 and half my class were called Karen. It was a name that many of the nice/popular girls had. My bestie who died a few years ago of breast cancer was Karen. I really hate the casual stereotyping.

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granhands1 · 24/03/2020 21:51

All the Karens that I know (including me) are late 60s early 70s, I have a cousin the same age called Susan. It's absolutely about mocking the middle aged woman. Telling her to shut up and get back out of sight.

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Trou · 24/03/2020 21:51

Solidarity.
It is ageist / sexist / classist.
People using it are looking for someone to blame for whatever's pissing them off and they might as well say it's middle aged, lower middle class women that's to blame.

It's like, they're too woke to use the 'your mum' style insults of yesteryear, so they've found something similar that they think doesn't make them look ageist and sexist but it makes them both those plus classist as well.

You should never use a personal characteristics that some one was (pretty much) born with to put them down.

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popcorndiva · 24/03/2020 21:52

I have only seen Susan on social media. Usually used to refer to people who call out people on not following all the rules....I guess pedantic people

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granhands1 · 24/03/2020 21:53

Sorry, late 1960s to early 1970s

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Helmetbymidnight · 24/03/2020 21:53

i hate it, it jars every time i see it- and i see it a lot.

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KayakingOnDown · 24/03/2020 21:54

I love the name Karen.

All the Karens I know are in their 30s and early 40s.

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AlexaCrowe · 24/03/2020 21:54

Yep, seen lots of sexist posts and memes about Karen buying too much loo roll and going to the beach and no equivalent memes for all the boys and men coughing and spitting in people’s faces...

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Wallowinginfilth · 24/03/2020 21:54

There's been a big backlash in America against middle aged white women, as people assume they voted for trump.

The statistic 52% of white women voted for Trump is often quoted. Though actually it was 47%.

www.google.co.uk/amp/s/time.com/5422644/trump-white-women-2016/%3famp=true

Since then there have been a lot of jokes about Karen and Susan and people having 'ask to see the manager' haircuts (Confused)

It's over here too now. Never mind that a far greater percentage of white men voted for Trump, that is unimportant, apparently.

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Elladisenchanted · 24/03/2020 21:55

I have a close relation called Karen, the loveliest sweetest person I know. This makes me sad too. Its definitely gotten more prevalent.

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SamsMumsCateracts · 24/03/2020 21:56

I know two 80s born Karens. They hate the Karen memes.

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CastleSalem · 24/03/2020 21:58

I understood it was a reference to a somewhat obnoxious little girl called Karen in Outnumbered? I’ve never seen the series, admittedly, and that may be someone else’s more charitable interpretation...?

I don’t suppose the Wendies of the world were thrilled either when Mn adopted it as shorthand for a false new friend who cuts you out of your friendship group...?

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SidsWife · 24/03/2020 22:01

The male equivalent is Kyle. And Chad.

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CheriLittlebottom · 24/03/2020 22:02

It's lazy thinking. Much like the 'ok, boomer' thing. It's a way of sweeping aside an entire demographic of people rather than engage and argue and THINK.

Pisses me off.

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RedRec · 24/03/2020 22:02

The Karen insult was nothing to do with the girl in Outnumbered. It is a lazy catch-all slur on the stereotypical woman who demands to see the manager and has a severe bob.

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BeetrootRocks · 24/03/2020 22:06

'The male equivalent is Kyle. And Chad.'

Chad I think is the name used by incels for men who get lots of sex?

Not quite the same.

Kyle?

I'm not on much social media, what does Kyle do?

Neither of these names are the names of many many men in the UK either!

To op it's just another example of women being blamed for everything.

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SidsWife · 24/03/2020 22:08

Chad is also used for the jock type.
Kyle is Karen, but male. Usually lower class than Karen though.

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MillicentMartha · 24/03/2020 22:20

And Karen on Outnumbered was fabulous!

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Wallowinginfilth · 24/03/2020 22:21

I agree I loved her beautiful curls

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