Facebook group ‘Karens United’ has been set up in a bid to push back against the stigma the name has developed over the last number of years.
On social media, “Karen” is shorthand for a privileged, white woman who perpetually wants to speak to a manager or speaks down to others, often people of colour.
When a clip of a woman freaking out unnecessarily or being rude goes viral, often the woman is branded a “Karen”. But the term has drawn criticism for being sexist, ageist and classist.
In the description of the Facebook group, which has almost 2,000 members, it reads: “I don’t wear my hair in an inverted bob, I don’t give unsolicited advice, I rarely use coupons and I have absolutely no friggin’ desire to speak to your manager. I’m just a mom trying to juggle my home, my job and my family.
“Can you imagine, you are just minding your own business when suddenly the internet blows up with memes blaming you for everything from causing excess stress for retail employees to destroying the environment. What. The. Everliving. Heck?”
The poster goes on to say they initially laughed along with the trend, but when their children and colleagues began saying her name with a patronising inflection the joke began to get old.
The post continues: “Now I’ve had quite enough. Something needs to be done and if there isn’t another Karen out there brave enough to lead the charge then, by God, I will.
“So, right now, if you are a Karen who is sick and tired of seeing your name associated with offensive memes, I beseech you to join this crusade. We will not stand for this injustice any longer. It is time to fight back. Karens of the world, UNITE!”
Speaking to NBC2, a member of the group said: “Nasty, thoughtless, selfish, you name it. If it’s a bad thing, that’s what a Karen is.
“The funny part of that is the Karens I know, the real Karens, are pretty nice people.
“People are raw and sad and sensitive, and it’s time for us to start thinking about that. Start being nicer to each other.”
Karens in the UK have been pushing back, too. Last year three women called Karen appeared on This Morning to discuss how the meme impacts their lives, with stating that since the Black Lives Matters protests in 2020 the name now carries connotations of racism.
One of the most infamous “Karens” of all time is the “Central Park Karen”, Amy Cooper, who called 911 after a Black man, Christian Cooper, asked her to put her dog on a leash.
Twitter is divided on the issue, with some claiming it’s a “term of abuse” while others push back and look at the term within the wider context of abuse people face.
In the past we’ve had Debbie downers, chatty Cathys, and plain Janes — but it looks like Karen is here to stay.