It the past couple of years, the term “Karen” has made its way into everyday vocabulary as an insult. So much so that even news organizations use it in headlines. A “Karen” is a woman, generally white and middle-aged, but not always.
So, what’s wrong with Karen? Karen doesn’t know her place. She speaks up. Karen wants to see the manager when she’s overcharged or gets garbage service. She expects you to follow the rules, too. Karen is suspicious when someone buzzes a stranger into her apartment building. Karen doesn’t shut up.
“Becky” is sometimes substituted for Karen but you get the gist. Women, especially women once they get past being young and hot, are supposed to shut up. Nobody likes a loud-mouth woman. They used to call them “fishwives.”
“Good” girls are quiet girls. They just accept it if you get their order wrong and move on. It’s especially important that middle- class women stay nice and quiet. After all, nice women don’t raise their voices in public.
In the old days, they might stick you in the stocks and throw tomatoes at you. These days, you’ll be tried on social media without a defense and stoned with words by a Twitter mob. Now, some women are allowed to yell and speak up. Usually young women. But some older women get a pass.
Who gets the pass is determined by the Twitter mob. That mob is mostly young and mostly male. They will let you know where your place is, old woman.
Some say that “Karen” and “Becky” are paybacks for “Shenequia” and “Shanannay” stereotypes. Notice what those two gals have in common with Karen and Becky? They’re women with big mouths who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Also notice that it’s not Kevin and Lance or DeShawn and Jamal who need to shut their flapping gums.
You know what this gal had learned in this life? Don’t take crap. Ask to see the manager. And when they try to shut you up, talk a little louder.