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'Did Karen write this?': Some Karen at the Guardian notes the 'Karen' meme has become 'mired in sexism'

So it just so happens that Kurt Schlichter over at Twitchy sister-site Townhall just posted a column on the rise of “Karen-ism.”


Schlichter writes:

The Karenists love this. Love it. And that’s why they are fighting tooth and nail to extend this lockdown in perpetuity. Oh, they have excuses and rationalizations to make it seem like this is for our own good as opposed for their jollies. “Safety.” “Lives at stake.” You know them all. And in theory, those are real considerations. But they are not the only considerations. Not for the Karens – they can want to save lives even as they gleefully get off on their own power – and not for us either. We need to balance all the considerations in deciding when this ends. Safety is an important thing, but not the only thing. If the standard is no life can ever be put at risk, say good-bye to cars, to steak, to swimming pools, to any kind of freedom to make choices. And to the Karens, that’s a feature, not a bug.

Jim Geraghty sums it up nicely:

It also turns out the Guardian also just posted a piece on the “Karen” meme and how it’s become “mired in sexism,” as do all things given enough time.


Hadley Freeman writes that the meme is not just sexist but ageist and classist as well:

Do I really need to spell out the sexism of a meme about a woman’s name that took off from a man griping about his ex-wife and has become a way of telling women to shut up? Yes, there are memes about Chad and Zach, but these have never gained the popularity of ones about Becky, Susan or Tammy, let alone Karen. When I see young (and not so young) white women defending the Karen meme, I’m reminded of the Cool Girl passage in Gone Girl: yeah, I’m not a basic pushy-mum-type woman – I’m a cool girl. Mmm, let’s see how long denigrating your own sex works for you, ladies.

Next, ageism: “Karen”, as we have established, is a mother. One with multiple children, as Vox put it. So we’re probably talking middle age here. Middle-aged women – ew!

Finally, class. Whatever upper-middle connotations Karen might have in the US, in the UK the name is not posh. Try substituting Karen for Emily, Freya, Alice or Isabel and the meme doesn’t work. It is no coincidence that a tweet calling Jess Phillips a Karen was so popular, given Phillips grew up working-class, is a mother and – not wanting to shock anyone here – a woman. Tick, tick, tick.


But it must have caught on for a reason.




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