<

‘Yes, I’m a ‘Karen’ – and I’m sick of being shamed and judged for my name’

Jul 22, 2020
Why can't we stop talking about 'Karen'? Source: Getty Images

I’ve always rather liked my name ‘Karen’. Considering I was going to be either ‘Mavis’ or ‘Mabel’ I think I was pretty blessed. I’ve sailed through life happily answering to ‘Karen’ when it has been uttered in a friendly way. A stern tone would make me feel a little more concerned.

However, myself and several other Karens whom I know have now noticed that our name has been somewhat tainted. In fact, I was commenting on a local community post on Facebook recently when an anonymous person wrote: “Don’t listen to her — she’s a Karen”. And then the Karen stuff started flying!

I’m a pretty level headed person with a good sense of humour, but by the end of the tirade, I felt a little like any marginalised person would feel — bruised, battered and unheard. In fact, I felt I could not comment any more. I had been effectively silenced.

I felt (admittedly, only very slightly) like how a person disadvantaged by slurs against their race, colour or creed must feel. It was quite confronting and upsetting. I had been judged by what people think a ‘Karen’ is like. And it was not true. It was a contrived stereotype.

So who is a Karen? What is this social media contrived phenomena?

From my research, apparently Karen is a type of stereotype for a white middle-class, middle-aged woman who is very affluent. She demands to speak to the manager, is opinionated, drives an SUV, has a bob hair cut with blonde highlights and is highly opinionated.

She also has a cat. She is often racist, uses Facebook and is an anti-vaccination follower.

I was gobsmacked. Why? I actually met some of the criteria, but only a few of them.

I do have a bob, but it is grey and not highlighted. I have a cat. I am white. I am highly opinionated. I do ask to speak to the manager when necessary. However, I drive a humble little Suzuki, I am no where near affluent, I am working class, I am not and never will be elitist or racist, and I’m on the fence regarding vaccination. In fact, all things considered, I think I’m a really nice person.

So, my dear ‘Karen’ friends, and all the other ‘Karens’ out there. Let us fight back and rejoice in and enjoy our ‘Karen’ identity. Let’s start a ‘pro-Karen’ movement!

Do you have a story to share with Starts at 60? We want to publish it. Sign up as a contributor and submit your stories to Starts at 60. Stories written by over-60s go into the draw for some great weekly prizes. You can also join the Starts at 60 Bloggers Club on Facebook to talk to other writers in the Starts at 60 community and learn more about how to write for Starts at 60.

Are you a 'Karen'? How do you feel about viral monikers like this one?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up