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  #101  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:04 PM
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when I first saw this a year or so ago it was a response to something and it was a picture of the character Karen on will and grace with a snarky response on top and "ok Karen" on the bottom so i thought it was like the "bye felicia" thing ...........
  #102  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:20 PM
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Louis Armstrong's nickname was derived from "satchelmouth," a name he was called as a kid. If anyone else has been called that, it was in reference to Armstrong.
The other famous "satchel-mouth" is Margarete von Tirol (14th century). They were not speaking English, naturally.
  #103  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:26 PM
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You haven't led a full life until you have married a Karen or two.
  #104  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:39 PM
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The lil'wrekker who's on social.media nearly constantly (21yo) says a Karen is: "Every girl who was mean to you in highschool, and is now a middle aged white woman who is mad at the world and doesn't vaccinate her kids."
Exact quote.
Now, I'm not arguing that she knows all but, she is well versed on the internet culture of her generation.
So there's a young persons opinion.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:57 PM
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I've been hearing this reference (as well as "Becky") re: demanding white women since 2017. Where have y'all been?

Here's an example: https://twitter.com/Freeyourmindkid/...717126662?s=20

"You literally came into my mentions and have been trying to change the topic since last night, this is peak Caucasity, Becky."

https://twitter.com/search?q=%40Free...rc=typed_query

This is just one popular Black Twitter account, I can find others. Here's Propane Jane using the term constantly:

https://twitter.com/search?q=%40docr...rc=typed_query

Last edited by JohnT; 02-21-2020 at 05:00 PM.
  #106  
Old 02-21-2020, 05:08 PM
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It's not racist or whatever-ist, it's a descriptive label EARNED by the target. Generic white mom walking down the street? Nobody in their right mind would think, "Ah! A Karen!" because she has not yet started Karening (For those who are unfamiliar with Karen & Becky, it might interest you to know that The Kids are doing grammatically unholy things to nouns & verbs).
Or, to put it another way, they are doing completely appropriate things that have been absolutely normal in English for hundreds of years.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:20 PM
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Dang, I'm glad my real name isn't Karen.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:45 PM
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Post 105, Beck.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:56 PM
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You haven't led a full life until you have married a Karen or two.
I had a Karen-named girlfriend in college for nearly three years. She’s an African-American lady, and no doubt horrified by this turn of events.
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  #110  
Old 02-21-2020, 08:23 PM
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Post 105, Beck.
I saw that. That what I was responding to, albeit facetiously. ()
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:22 PM
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Karen gets shit done by being overbearing and domineering. Calling a politician that seems....like a compliment. And let’s be honest, Elizabeth Warren seems like a Karen.

Now, being called Felicia...that’s not a good place.

Last edited by Sitnam; 02-21-2020 at 09:26 PM.
  #112  
Old 02-21-2020, 09:31 PM
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I had a Karen-named girlfriend in college for nearly three years. She’s an African-American lady, and no doubt horrified by this turn of events.
That all sounds super crazy. Well, here's a question: we all know how Adolf Dassler suddenly became Adi. Is there any evidence of Karen turning into Karenina, Kathy, Kitty, Katya, etc.?
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:26 AM
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nm

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  #114  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:28 AM
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I think the "Karen" meme was funny when it first emerged, but now people are using it to describe any and every case of a white woman (not necessarily middle-aged) being "bad". "Karen" is accused of not just being rude to restaurant waitstaff, but also pushing MLMs, being anti-vax, cheating on her husband, and being a basic bitch who puts raisins in potato salad. It's a catch-all for "stupid woman who gets on your nerves". Middle-age and haircut are optional.

The other day, I overheard a coworker say, "I'm not trying to be a Karen, but I don't like this." Of course people giggled in response. But I think it's kind of messed-up that she felt the need to throw in that qualifier. It would be like a black guy saying, "Not to be Angry Black Guy, but I don't like this." Just because it's kinda funny doesn't make it also kinda sad.

And it does strike me as unfair that there isn't a named meme for bad-behaving men with the same kind of traction.

So I can see why someone why think "Karen" is sexist and racist. But I think the most apt descriptor for it is "shit that's been done to death".
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:36 AM
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And it does strike me as unfair that there isn't a named meme for bad-behaving men with the same kind of traction.
What is stopping you from creating and promoting that meme?
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:03 AM
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What is stopping you from creating and promoting that meme?
You know, you've always struck me a decent guy. But this is a stupid trollish question. Nothing I posted should give you the impression that I'm a fan of memes and that I want to waste time creating/promoting any. So come the fuck on.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:06 AM
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Monstro, you may have forgotten what forum you're in, but fwiw it's worth I thought your analysis was spot-on and perceptive, and I agree that it didn't deserve that pointless response.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:25 AM
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You know, you've always struck me a decent guy. But this is a stupid trollish question. Nothing I posted should give you the impression that I'm a fan of memes and that I want to waste time creating/promoting any. So come the fuck on.
Sorry if I came off as trollish, I honestly thought it was an appropriate suggestion to your statement I was responding to. I won't try to explain my thinking, rather I'll just withdraw my suggestion and apologize.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:33 AM
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That all sounds super crazy. Well, here's a question: we all know how Adolf Dassler suddenly became Adi. Is there any evidence of Karen turning into Karenina, Kathy, Kitty, Katya, etc.?
And then there was Adolph “Harpo” Marx, who mysteriously turned into an Arthur somewhere around 1933.
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  #120  
Old 02-22-2020, 10:38 AM
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I don't think you get it. Calling someone a Karen has nothing to do with that person's name. A Julie or a Linda can be "a Karen", likewise a Karen isn't necessarily "a Karen".
I get it, I just don't think it's cool to pick a supposedly random name and giving it a negative connotation. I wouldn't want to be an Isis right now either (which is a mercifully less common name).

I don't think a lot of people would like to wake up and find out that their name became synonymous with "douchebag" overnight, especially since there is no real source unlike say, Adolf.

Last edited by Ashtura; 02-22-2020 at 10:40 AM.
  #121  
Old 02-22-2020, 11:14 AM
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And then there was Adolph “Harpo” Marx, who mysteriously turned into an Arthur somewhere around 1933.
And then there was Milton "Gummo" Marx, who had fabulous skills at the pool table, notably his uncanny ability at a carom, which gave him a secondary nickname of Carom Marx. Gummo had a bad stammer - the reason he left show business early.

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Although the fourth Marx Brother in age, he was the first to make his debut, pretending to be a dummy in an act with his uncle Henry Shean (né Heinemann Schoenberg) the brother of Al Shean in 1899. Milton was put into a costume with a papier-mâché head and pretended to be a dummy while Henry pretended to work him. The act may have only performed once and was not helped by Shean's deafness or Milton's stammer.
He would say the name as Car-car-car... leading his cruelly teasing brothers to ask, do you mean "Kar-en"? So he was known inside the family as Karen for the rest of his life.

Quel irony.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:16 AM
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Sorry if I came off as trollish, I honestly thought it was an appropriate suggestion to your statement I was responding to. I won't try to explain my thinking, rather I'll just withdraw my suggestion and apologize.
Apology accepted!

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I just don't think it's cool to pick a supposedly random name and giving it a negative connotation.
I don't think it is cool either. Although it is ironic in a way. Parents are chided for giving their kids creative names because "OMG THE KIDS WILL BULLY THEM SO MUCH!!" The Karen thing really does shows that "kids" will pick on you no matter your name.

There's a woman in my building who has the emblematic Karen haircut. Her name is not Karen, but I always think "Karen" when I see her because I'm an idiot. I can't help but think that before this Karen business, her life was a lot easier. But now she probably does have people assuming she's a bitch and treating her accordingly (and as far as I can tell, undeservingly).

Most memes are harmless. But this one, I dunno. I can't wait for it to go away.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:11 PM
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I had a Karen-named girlfriend in college for nearly three years. She’s an African-American lady, and no doubt horrified by this turn of events.
As are two of our best friends, I'm sure; both of them are lovely people.
  #124  
Old 02-22-2020, 05:41 PM
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This thread reaffirms my suspicion that I am entirely out of date, and culturally clueless, while simultaneously affirming my feeling that I am fine with that.

I might be Trisking, if that was actually my name.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:59 PM
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  #126  
Old 02-23-2020, 12:32 AM
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nm dupe
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Old 02-23-2020, 12:37 AM
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Now, being called Felicia...that’s not a good place.
I met a girl named Juleen once. Is there some sort of index, or an updated version of "What your baby's name means"?
  #128  
Old 02-23-2020, 02:00 AM
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For it to be racist, it would have to have been coined to explicitly be about white people. But it wasn't. I've watched its rise, and "Karen" was always just about certain negative traits, not about the color of the skin of the person who had them.

It was explicitly coined about certain women. However, just because that is one criteria for it to be bigoted doesn't mean it's the only one. Another question is "does it disparage [disadvantaged group] in general or someone for an aspect of being part of [disadvantaged group]?" For example, the "mean girl" trope is not generally considered sexist, despite applying to women.

Finally, look at who are using it. Is it the sexists and racists calling out Karens? Generally not. It's not something used by black nationalists or anti-feminists. It's used by feminists and social justice warriors. And they aren't using it to say that white women (who they are) are inferior, nor does it hit on some historic way that white women have been persecuted.

So I say, no, it's not racist or sexist. I get why someone named Karen might hate it, but there's nothing wrong with having a negative term for people who act in this manner.
  #129  
Old 02-23-2020, 09:28 AM
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The Karen meme has jumped species.
  #130  
Old 02-23-2020, 10:52 AM
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I met a girl named Juleen once.
Juleen, Juleen, Juleen, Juleeeeeeeen.
  #131  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:43 AM
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For it to be racist, it would have to have been coined to explicitly be about white people. But it wasn't. I've watched its rise, and "Karen" was always just about certain negative traits, not about the color of the skin of the person who had them.

It was explicitly coined about certain women. However, just because that is one criteria for it to be bigoted doesn't mean it's the only one. Another question is "does it disparage [disadvantaged group] in general or someone for an aspect of being part of [disadvantaged group]?" For example, the "mean girl" trope is not generally considered sexist, despite applying to women.

Finally, look at who are using it. Is it the sexists and racists calling out Karens? Generally not. It's not something used by black nationalists or anti-feminists. It's used by feminists and social justice warriors. And they aren't using it to say that white women (who they are) are inferior, nor does it hit on some historic way that white women have been persecuted.

So I say, no, it's not racist or sexist. I get why someone named Karen might hate it, but there's nothing wrong with having a negative term for people who act in this manner.
If it is not explicitly about white people is it common to refer to Asian, Hispanics, or Black people as Karens?

What about calling black women Sapphire? Is that racist or sexist, after all it describes a behavior and not explicitly skin color.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:26 AM
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If it is not explicitly about white people is it common to refer to Asian, Hispanics, or Black people as Karens?
Mind you, I don't agree with everything in BigT's post. And I do see how Karen can be perceived as racist and sexist.


But I think a good argument can be made that Karen doesn't get thrown at black, Hispanic, and Asian women because Karen-like women aren't heavily represented in these groups. Sure, there are viral videos of women from these groups acting quite badly. But calling the cops on innocent people? Blowing up at retail workers for minor offenses? Putting raisins in potato salad? White women are more likely to be guilty of these acts.


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What about calling black women Sapphire? Is that racist or sexist, after all it describes a behavior and not explicitly skin color.
I don't think Sapphire is the best analogy, since black folks neither created nor perpetuated this stereotype. I think a better analogy would be "ghetto". It is a word used by black folks to insult other black folks who act a certain way.

Is it racist? I think it can be, but there are a other -isms that could also be in play. Like, if someone writes someone off as "ghetto" based solely on their name and race, then it could be racism or classism or both driving their decision-making. I don't know what we gain by diagnosing the specific -ism, though. Either way, a person is being judged unfairly based on superficial qualities.

I can imagine a person being prejudiced against someone who fits the Karen stereotype at first blush. Depending on the person, racism or sexism or both could be at play. That said, just because I can imagine Karen prejudice doesn't mean it actually exists in any meaningful way.

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Old 02-24-2020, 12:09 PM
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Yes, you're being oversensitive. "Karen" is just a nickname for the concept. And it's not just "white bitch" but "entitled white bitch."
In my own customer service experience, and as an observer in daily life, I've seen/heard plenty of "Karen" personalities who weren't white. Some weren't female, either.
  #134  
Old 02-24-2020, 12:40 PM
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If it is not explicitly about white people is it common to refer to Asian, Hispanics, or Black people as Karens?.
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...But I think a good argument can be made that Karen doesn't get thrown at black, Hispanic, and Asian women because Karen-like women aren't heavily represented in these groups. Sure, there are viral videos of women from these groups acting quite badly. But calling the cops on innocent people? Blowing up at retail workers for minor offenses? Putting raisins in potato salad? White women are more likely to be guilty of these acts...

...Is it racist? I think it can be, but there are a other -isms that could also be in play. Like, if someone writes someone off as "ghetto" based solely on their name and race, then it could be racism or classism or both driving their decision-making. I don't know what we gain by diagnosing the specific -ism, though. Either way, a person is being judged unfairly based on superficial qualities...
I think to at least a certain extent, possibly a dominant extent, the entitled "Karen" set of behaviors is attributable to white privilege. If that's the case, as I said earlier - it makes little sense to suggest that you can't call out white privilege where you see it because to do so is racist against white people.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-24-2020 at 12:41 PM.
  #135  
Old 02-24-2020, 01:18 PM
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Mind you, I don't agree with everything in BigT's post. And I do see how Karen can be perceived as racist and sexist.


But I think a good argument can be made that Karen doesn't get thrown at black, Hispanic, and Asian women because Karen-like women aren't heavily represented in these groups. Sure, there are viral videos of women from these groups acting quite badly. But calling the cops on innocent people? Blowing up at retail workers for minor offenses? Putting raisins in potato salad? White women are more likely to be guilty of these acts.




I don't think Sapphire is the best analogy, since black folks neither created nor perpetuated this stereotype. I think a better analogy would be "ghetto". It is a word used by black folks to insult other black folks who act a certain way.

Is it racist? I think it can be, but there are a other -isms that could also be in play. Like, if someone writes someone off as "ghetto" based solely on their name and race, then it could be racism or classism or both driving their decision-making. I don't know what we gain by diagnosing the specific -ism, though. Either way, a person is being judged unfairly based on superficial qualities.

I can imagine a person being prejudiced against someone who fits the Karen stereotype at first blush. Depending on the person, racism or sexism or both could be at play. That said, just because I can imagine Karen prejudice doesn't mean it actually exists in any meaningful way.

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Any stereotype of women in the US is going to apply to more white women because white people are 5x as numerous as any other group. In the absence of actual data any speculation of how prevalent the attitude is among groups is going to fall victim to the chinese robber fallacy, but in my experience middle age women of almost any group are not known for being easy to please.

I'm open to correction but I don't think it is only white people who called women Karens just as it is not only black people who call poor people ghetto. Not every use of a racial slur is necessarily racist but overall by definition racial slurs are racist.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:21 PM
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I had a huge crush on a girl named Karen in high school. For me, the name can never be derogatory. Whenever someone says a women is a “Karen”, I can’t help it: I think to myself, “You mean she’s beautiful and charming?” Even though in my brain I know that’s not what was meant.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:03 PM
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Any stereotype of women in the US is going to apply to more white women because white people are 5x as numerous as any other group. In the absence of actual data any speculation of how prevalent the attitude is among groups is going to fall victim to the chinese robber fallacy, but in my experience middle age women of almost any group are not known for being easy to please.
As a middle-aged women, I acknowledge there is a non easy-goingness to my demographic, but "Karen" describes a specific subset of non-easy-goingness. Just like "OK Boomer" describes a specific subset of eye-rolly behavior and sentiment and thus has a certain image attached to it. When I think of the Boomer meme, I don't see my African print-wearing socialist-leaning, LGBT-ally mother who sometimes has impolite opinions about young people and their shenanigans. I see my socially conservative, Biden-supporting father who thinks Millennials are a bunch of spoiled crybabies...while he cries about his taxes and his Medicare. People with traits like my father are disproportionately found among white men of the comfortable class, so this describes the type of person who "OK Boomer" applies to in my mind.


Quote:
I'm open to correction but I don't think it is only white people who called women Karens just as it is not only black people who call poor people ghetto. Not every use of a racial slur is necessarily racist but overall by definition racial slurs are racist.
It is undeniable that black people are much more likely to be called "ghetto" than anyone else. Just like "white trash" is hurled at white people more than anyone else.

I just spent a very long and excruciating couple of minutes scouring the internet for Karen memes that show non-white women. The women shown in these memes are exclusively white. This is why I don't blame anyone for thinking it singles out white women. To me, the gray area comes from the fact that white women are big promoters of the meme. But I think reasonable people should be able to see how non-white women could use this as a fig leaf to hide their racism/misogyny.

Kind of like what some racists whites do with the word "nigga". "BlaCk pEoPLe sAy wHY caN'T I?"

I don't feel comfortable labeling women as "Karen" because to me, it doesn't feel like a blanket term for any overly entitled woman over a certain age. To me, the insult has become racialized in a way that insults like "bitch" and "queen bee" simply aren't. I don't think other people should necessarily share this discomfort, but I do think they could at least try to understand where it comes from.



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Old 02-24-2020, 04:22 PM
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In my own customer service experience, and as an observer in daily life, I've seen/heard plenty of "Karen" personalities who weren't white. Some weren't female, either.
That's fine, though good customers are all alike. Every bitchy customer is bitchy in her own way.
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  #139  
Old 02-24-2020, 04:34 PM
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Correctness Marches On!


Like many previous commenters, I was entirely unfamiliar with the "Karen" putdown. But I'm pleased to see that it's being called out.

Once we've condemned and banished the harmful racist, sexist, ageist, karenist negative "Karen" stereotype, at long last we can liberate the Heathers!
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:29 AM
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"Karenist" -- I like that! Whenever anyone is mean to me I will call them out as filthy karenists!
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  #141  
Old 02-25-2020, 02:57 PM
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That's not true. A few people have said they have seen it. I will add my voice. I definitely have seen it on Facebook and Twitter.
It is a very common visual meme and in many circles it is commonly used as "entitled white woman" and is rarely misunderstood.

even the area 51 raid memes brought in the "Karen" meme

https://i.redd.it/4hpylq2v85b31.jpg
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
It is a very common visual meme and in many circles it is commonly used as "entitled white woman" and is rarely misunderstood.

even the area 51 raid memes brought in the "Karen" meme

https://i.redd.it/4hpylq2v85b31.jpg
I laughed at that a little too much. Must be getting punchy in my old age.
  #143  
Old 02-25-2020, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Brøther View Post
Once we've condemned and banished the harmful racist, sexist, ageist, karenist negative "Karen" stereotype, at long last we can liberate the Heathers!
Nah

The (non-doper) Heathers just need to be burned at the stake
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  #144  
Old 02-25-2020, 03:42 PM
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Twenty years ago, there were threads here on the SDMB about "Jennifers." Some of the '99ers may recall. At the time I was working with a woman named Jennifer, who was not the most congenial of co-workers, but she was basically OK. I never quite caught on to what "Jennifers" were supposed to be about. I hadn't known many Jennifers in my life. Sent to Catholic schools, and Catholics are supposed to have saints' names. Megan and Karen counted as (ethnic variants of) saints' names, but there is no Saint Jennifer. All I understood about it was that Jennifer was another name whose popularity peaked in the 1960s, so there were enough of them about to become a theme (this was before memes were invented).
  #145  
Old 02-25-2020, 10:00 PM
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At least it's not that drunk bimbo screaming at the cat.
  #146  
Old 02-26-2020, 11:11 PM
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Correction: Jennifer's popularity peaked in the 1970s. Anyway, circa annum 2000 the young Jennifers had grown up and entered the workforce, generating some sort of hoopla over the name. The difference being, although Jennifer and Karen had peaked in naming popularity around the same time, the Jennifers were young women then, but the Karens are middle-aged now.
  #147  
Old 02-27-2020, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Strangely, there's no name for entitled fathers.
A Kevin...?
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  #148  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
Correction: Jennifer's popularity peaked in the 1970s. Anyway, circa annum 2000 the young Jennifers had grown up and entered the workforce, generating some sort of hoopla over the name. The difference being, although Jennifer and Karen had peaked in naming popularity around the same time, the Jennifers were young women then, but the Karens are middle-aged now.
I missed both the mentioned threads the first time around, but I immediately thought of the 2003 song 27 Jennifers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Doughty
I went to school with 27 Jennifers
16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and then there was her
  #149  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:02 PM
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I missed both the mentioned threads the first time around, but I immediately thought of the 2003 song 27 Jennifers:
Indeed. There you go.
  #150  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
You know, you've always struck me a decent guy. But this is a stupid trollish question. Nothing I posted should give you the impression that I'm a fan of memes and that I want to waste time creating/promoting any. So come the fuck on.
I'm going to remember this post at the end of the year when I'm creating my top 10 list.
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