all 46 comments

[–]Sebell 21 insightful - 2 fun21 insightful - 1 fun22 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Fear of being called a "Karen" makes women modify their behavior.

So yes, it's a sexist term.

[–]vitunrotta 16 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 0 fun17 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Bit off topic perhaps, sorry about that. I started seeing a shit ton of "Karen" videos on my Instagram and other sites, and my initial thought was - are there really no entitled white MEN doing the exact same thing? How is that possible? It seemed (and still does) unrealistic. I have not seen a SINGLE video mocking white guys shrieking racist obscenities, but somehow I don't think they simply don't exist. How convenient for guys, yet again.

[–]lefterfield 11 insightful - 2 fun11 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I think that is what it's about, but also I think it's an attack on the idea that women as a class are oppressed on the basis of their sex. If white women are "feigning oppression" as I've seen many men say in the comments of those "Karen" memes/articles, then women aren't really oppressed as women. Dismiss the voices of the most privileged women in society, and you effectively dismiss any woman from complaining about sexism.

[–][deleted] 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (16 children)

I've seen about a half-dozen of these threads pre-ban. My personal take is that, yes, "Karen" is misogynist.

And, because you'll probably see it at some point, someone (likely a young random dudebro) will come wandering in to explain that no, it's not misogynist, because there's a Black female version in the Shaniqua meme, and it all balances out in some kind of inexplicable race-sex-meme mathematics.

Wrong. "Shaniqua," "Karen," and "Ling Ling" are all designed and deployed to ridicule and emotionally offload onto women -- because there is no male equivalent of any ethnicity. They're horrible, toxic caricatures of women. We're tricked into accepting them as valid stand-ins (online punching-bags) for very real expressions of pain and frustration.

And it is a trick, because -- obviously -- they're consistently, universally female.

[–]Dragonerne 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (15 children)

True. Did you know DAR instantly called the Karen meme antiwhite misogynistic? So they created a subreddit dedicated to "Shaniqua" and shared videos of black women acting exactly like "Karens" on publicfreakout to expose the hypocrisy. And... of course reddit banned that subreddit instantly claiming it was hate speech.
This is straight up reddit admins admitting that they're completely fine with hate speech memes about white women (Karen) which they wouldn't tolerate against women from any other racial group.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

Did you know DAR instantly called the Karen meme antiwhite misogynistic

radfems figured it out first, I was watching both. people used "karen" for a while in /r/DAR

[–]Dragonerne 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, very likely true.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (12 children)

Sorry, "DAR?"

[–]Dragonerne 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (11 children)


[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (10 children)

Okay, got it.

Why create a "Shaniqua" meme sub, though? That's every bit as misogynistic as "Karen." It's still punching down on women, and doing twice-plus the damage by punching down on Black women. That doesn't help -- it just spreads the denigration and misogyny.

[–]Dragonerne 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (9 children)

People were saying that the Karen meme wasn't sexist or racist at all and that it could be applied to anyone. DAR didn't buy that explanation because its obviously not true, so to show that reddit only allows the sexist and racist meme because it hurts white women, they created the sub for the "Shaniqua" meme which was "totally not sexist or racist at all and could be applied to anyone" -- reddit instantly banned the sub because denigrating black women is not okay, which is true; but it also showed that they know that the Karen meme is racist and sexist and hurtful to white women and they (reddit) like that. They want that on their platform.
They're okay with sexism against white women and they are okay with misogyny against women in general because in the west the disparate impact of misogyny hurts white women the most because they are the majority. Turn the misogyny against anyone but white women and they will deplatform you.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (8 children)

I get the aim, though imo it's ethically devoid, and granted Reddit's standards are fucked. In the US, though, there's no way that misogyny "hurts white women the most" by any set of measures regarding quality of life, health, access to education, or financial well-being. I don't believe you could find any reliable US-authored socioeconomic metric to support that.

(edit for clarity)

[–]Dragonerne 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (7 children)

Imagine you have 2 schools. School A has 5 white women and 95 nonwhite women. School B has 95 white women and 5 nonwhite women. The School District Administration encourages mysogyny in School B and largely ignores School A. This impacts white women the most.

Now nonwhites from either School A or B might live in environments where misogyny is already highly prevalent but the disparate impact of encouragement of misogyny in School B targets primarily white women. Its my opinion that reddit deeply hates white women and that this is why they allow misogyny in general on their platform.

TRA and comments like this ( is part of that entire M.O. meant to hurt white women. They frame it in "context", new language, new definitions, seemingly neutral memes (Karen) but all of them are attack vectors originating from the same root: hatred of white women. What masquerades as genuine concern or seemingly good intentions or "just a meme sis" is simply hatred of white women repackaged to be more edible. They appeal to white womens altruistic and caring side; "please understand", "please think about others than yourself", "please kneel and ask forgiveness in front of black men", "don't call the police if you feel threatend by a black man", etc. All of them subsumed in good intentions and good reasoning to hide the fact that they're meant to hurt white women.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

That might work in a thought experiment with two schools and neat percentages. The ground truth here, though, is that we have intersecting axes of sex-based, race-based, socioeconomic, and georegional inequities. I'm not a fan of the way that Intersectional Theory has been twisted out of shape, but the core idea does helpfully describe how these intersections really do function.

Also, Reddit is not the world, so I don't know how you'd begin to model a population study based on Reddit users and their irl challenges. I have no idea about Reddit "hating white women." If there's any truth to the Venn of platforms like Reddit and incel culture, I'd rather suspect it would be that Reddit hates all women. Where TRAs enter the equation, we're increasingly seeing that they direct a disproportionate amount of hatred toward Black women (on Twitter and Tumblr, at least).

[–]Dragonerne 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (5 children)

Reddit as a company encourages misogyny in general and misogyny against white women, not against any other racial group of women.

Promoting TRAs is a way to keep the current power structure on top through inter-generational dynamics. The Catholic church did the same with those they ordained power. "If you promise not to get children, we give you power in return." This way the power structure is maintained through generations because those that are given power by the regime cannot use any given power to empower their own offspring, which means the power doesn't accumulate over the generations. TRAs serve the same function in modern society.

[–]Cass 8 insightful - 3 fun8 insightful - 2 fun9 insightful - 3 fun -  (10 children)

I remember reading a thread about it on the original GC and someone said it was invented by black women to mock white women. So I think it's racist plus a negative stereotype.

[–]lefterfield 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Far as I can tell it was invented originally by sexist men on reddit. The term was altered to be about race, but that's not the primary issue.

[–][deleted] 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It wasn't. It was first used by Dane Cook in 2005. It later was used by a reddit user fuck_you_karen against the ex-wife. He created the subreddit in 2017 and it took off.

[–]VioletRemi 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It is, here in non-English speaking communities, "Karen" is used as gender stereotype that women are "less smart and more hysterical", and used as a replacement of swear words towards women.

[–]a_74512 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If someone tells you Karen isn't sexist, you can just point to the fact that incels love it. From the mouth of asian male incels, in their own words:

It would be really interesting to see an entire generation of white women being raised ashamed of their whiteness, worrying that they're being too much of a "Karen" (the same way Asian women are raised ashamed of their Asianness and worrying that it will make them a "Ling Ling"). And when those white women come of age, well... it will DEFINITELY be interesting to see what they'll be like then.

[–]quickbeam 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I do think "Karen" has become a misogynist meme. It's currently used by both left and right wing people, so if it ever really did, it no longer has anything to do with being racist/privileged. It's become an excuse to hate on older women. People always wonder why we don't have a name for guys who do similar things and sometimes halfheartedly suggest "Chad" or "Todd." But if they thought for like two seconds they might figure out why our culture hasn't latched onto such an equivalent for men. Also I've seen a "leftist" guy talking about "Karen"s and then calling women the "c" word 2 seconds later, and he definitely wasn't British. So keeping it classy there.

[–]yishengqingwa666 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Yes. It is also ageist.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

^ That too.

[–]au_dela 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

For me, it really depends on context. From what I can tell, the term originated among black Americans as a way to describe racist white women who empower themselves at the expense of those of other races. White men, of course, immediately rushed to appropriate the term into a socially-sanctioned way to speak ill of white women, all while doing nothing to change their own "Karen-like" behavior. They're just more people using AAVE without understanding (or caring) what the words actually mean or why they exist in the first place.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]radcassandra 3 insightful - 0 fun - 6 hours ago It wasn't. It was first used by Dane Cook in 2005. It later was used by a reddit user fuck_you_karen against the ex-wife. He created the subreddit in 2017 and it took off.

It's completely male-created, though. And men rushing to amplify its use is telling, I think.

[–]illegalthoughts 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I feel like it started out being somewhat funny and appropriate - for example, narcissistic women who believe that it's their right to berate and abuse people in retail or what have you. Now the term has been twisted to be used against any woman being "bitchy" justified or not. It's been completely overexpanded and is for sure being used by sexists.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Karen hahaha I know two women by that name and they are both Asian. It is such a stupidisogynist (OK that was typed as stupid misogynist but I'm leaving it) stereotype ugh

[–]ImPiqued1111111 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Meghan Murphy claims that "Karen" originated from a man on reddit who was complaining about his ex-wife regarding a custody battle. Her name was actually Karen. I haven't seen that anywhere else.

I've also commonly seen the assertion that "Karen" originated as a meme to describe racist white women who call the police on Black women.

I had thought that it was an extension to the "I need to see your manager" meme with that particular hairstyle, and later the name "Karen" was attached to that meme.

I'm still unsure which is factually correct.

Whatever the answer, I think it has evolved into something really misogynist that functions to silence and humiliate middle aged and older white women.