Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #151  
Old 02-28-2020, 12:00 AM
needscoffee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,545
If anyone mentioned this already, I missed it - There was a meme going here on the Dope started by erstwhile poster Melodyharmonius about a loser named "Ron". The name came to mean any really dumb, clueless loser. It was very funny, and no one complained about it being sexist.
Ron thread
Ron II thread
  #152  
Old 02-28-2020, 04:06 AM
SciFiSam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beffnal Green innit
Posts: 8,660
I don't think most of the people who actually propagate the Karen meme would deny that it's directed at white women. I mean, that's kinda the aim of it. It's odd that anyone would deny it. Originally it was a specific subset of white women who acted in an entitled way and was just a fun way to take the piss out of them. Now it's gone a little beyond that and can be directed at any white woman who's being a bit uppity. The one time I saw it in a meme about a man, there was also the implicit suggestion that he was being unmanly. It's not the end of the world or anything, but it's definitely being used in a sexist way, and possibly racist too.

Hopefully it'll die out like most memes do. If my name were Karen right now I'd be scared of complaining to management even if the complaint were completely justified. Heck, in some coffee shops you'd probably get sniggered at just for being named Karen at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
If anyone mentioned this already, I missed it - There was a meme going here on the Dope started by erstwhile poster Melodyharmonius about a loser named "Ron". The name came to mean any really dumb, clueless loser. It was very funny, and no one complained about it being sexist.
Ron thread
Ron II thread
It wasn't exactly widespread, though, was it?
  #153  
Old 02-28-2020, 04:41 AM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 37,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I don't think most of the people who actually propagate the Karen meme would deny that it's directed at white women. I mean, that's kinda the aim of it. It's odd that anyone would deny it.
I find it odd the other way. The term is mostly used by white people, so it would be odd if they were racist against themselves. Not impossible--I've seen it. But definitely odd. And I do not think those who use it would think it was.

I go to Urban Dictionary. And while they mention Karen being blonde, not a single definition says she has to be white.

But, since it's Internet culture, I also go by my own experience. I encounter the term on Reddit a fair bit. And never have I seen it be about race, just behaviors. Yes, I will agree that the behaviors are more common with middle class white women, but that's largely due to their position of privilege, and I could see it applying to anyone of any skin color.

The sexist argument I can see, though I personally argued it isn't sexist. I've at least encountered a few uses where I could see someone arguing that the person just dislikes women who stand up for themselves. The debate is whether that is the accepted definition, or just some misogynist asshole abusing the word.

But I cannot agree that the term is racist. It takes a lot to prove to me that a term that is used by white people is actually racist against white people. You'd basically need to show me that these people classify themselves as different from (other) white people, or are denigrating themselves.
  #154  
Old 02-28-2020, 05:08 AM
SciFiSam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beffnal Green innit
Posts: 8,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I find it odd the other way. The term is mostly used by white people, so it would be odd if they were racist against themselves. Not impossible--I've seen it. But definitely odd. And I do not think those who use it would think it was.

I go to Urban Dictionary. And while they mention Karen being blonde, not a single definition says she has to be white.

But, since it's Internet culture, I also go by my own experience. I encounter the term on Reddit a fair bit. And never have I seen it be about race, just behaviors. Yes, I will agree that the behaviors are more common with middle class white women, but that's largely due to their position of privilege, and I could see it applying to anyone of any skin color.

The sexist argument I can see, though I personally argued it isn't sexist. I've at least encountered a few uses where I could see someone arguing that the person just dislikes women who stand up for themselves. The debate is whether that is the accepted definition, or just some misogynist asshole abusing the word.

But I cannot agree that the term is racist. It takes a lot to prove to me that a term that is used by white people is actually racist against white people. You'd basically need to show me that these people classify themselves as different from (other) white people, or are denigrating themselves.
Whether or not it's racist is arguable, agreed. (Though it's funny saying arguable and agreed right next to each other ). The blonde hair thing is very tightly tied in to being white, but I could see the term being used for an "entitled" black or latino woman too even. Or, more importantly, for a woman who isn't actually acting in an entitled way, but genuinely standing up for herself. That's what the term has mutated into. And only for women. Men who stand up for themselves are being manly, standing up for their rights. Women are being uppity Karens.

When a negative term is only used for one gender, it's by definition sexist. I mean, I thought the area 51 Karen meme was funny, but that's because, on rare occasions, even sexist jokes can be funny. They're still sexist.
  #155  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:10 AM
needscoffee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post





It wasn't exactly widespread, though, was it?
?? I specifically said it was a Dope thing.
  #156  
Old 03-01-2020, 05:46 AM
SciFiSam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beffnal Green innit
Posts: 8,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
?? I specifically said it was a Dope thing.
So it's not the equivalent of the Karen meme.
  #157  
Old 03-01-2020, 07:12 AM
you with the face is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I find it odd the other way. The term is mostly used by white people, so it would be odd if they were racist against themselves. Not impossible--I've seen it. But definitely odd. And I do not think those who use it would think it was.

I go to Urban Dictionary. And while they mention Karen being blonde, not a single definition says she has to be white.
Did you miss my earlier post? If you can’t find a single source that refers to Karen as a middle aged white woman, I seriously question your research skills.

A term can certainly be used in a racist manner by members of the race that is targeted. Some of the biggest purveyors of “ghetto” are black people, after all. I find it odd that anyone would find this phenomenon odd. Have you never heard of internalized racism/sexism?

Last edited by you with the face; 03-01-2020 at 07:17 AM.
  #158  
Old 03-01-2020, 05:07 PM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Of course it is racist and sexist. It is a derogative term that only applies to one race and sex.

Some of the responses remind me of Robert Byrd talking about how white people can be n-words too. Anyone can be an entitled jerk but only someone of a certain race and sex can be a Karen.

Whether or not racism and sexism is a big deal when applied to white women is a separate issue.
I simply do not understand this view. If I dislike the typical "Karen" personality, I am not making a statement about white people in general or women in general, white women in general, or even white middle aged women in general.

I am making a statement about a particular subset of people who are mostly if not all white women who do X. I am not saying all, a majority, or a strong plurality of white women do X, nor am I placing a badge of inferiority on any race or sex.

To say that this is racism or sexism simply obliterates any real meaning or limits on those terms.
  #159  
Old 03-02-2020, 07:44 AM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airbeck View Post
I'm still waiting for a single constructive suggestion of how to fix this problem, even if we all stipulate that it is a problem. We are talking about how millions of people behave on the internet. This is not something that anyone has any control over.
The funny thing about the Internet is that irony is so hard to establish.

In a thread about "Karen" being a derogatory reference to someone who wants to fix every damn thing whether it's their business or not, is Airbeck just taking the exact opposite view in a clever way, establishing a persona who wants nothing to be fixed because it isn't anyone's business?

We're through the looking glass here, people. I'm going to go make some memes.
  #160  
Old 03-03-2020, 10:42 AM
SciFiSam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beffnal Green innit
Posts: 8,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I simply do not understand this view. If I dislike the typical "Karen" personality, I am not making a statement about white people in general or women in general, white women in general, or even white middle aged women in general.

I am making a statement about a particular subset of people who are mostly if not all white women who do X. I am not saying all, a majority, or a strong plurality of white women do X, nor am I placing a badge of inferiority on any race or sex.

To say that this is racism or sexism simply obliterates any real meaning or limits on those terms.
Well, would you use it for a man? If you would, you'd be in a tiny minority.

It's also outgrown the usage you're thinking of. Though hopefully temporarily.

TBH, even though they're sometimes funny, I don't really like the name-based memes. In the eighties in England Kevin was a term of insult, and a boy I knew called Kevin suffered hugely from it. It wasn't the only reason for the bullying (which was the most horrendous bullying I've ever come close to - and no, I didn't take part), but it really didn't help. It's not that big a deal, not something worth draconian laws or anything, but it's not a nice thing to do, to make someone feel bad about their name. So I don't share the memes or click like on them.
  #161  
Old 03-07-2020, 05:02 PM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Well, would you use it for a man? If you would, you'd be in a tiny minority.
I would not. I would also not have sex with a man, call a man pretty, buy tampons for a man, buy birth control pills for a man, marry a man, buy flowers for man, nor buy makeup for a man, among other things.

But again, I am not talking about all whites, or all women, or all middle aged people. I am only talking about a subset of white middle aged women who share certain characteristics. To simply recognize certain differences as racist or sexist takes those terms beyond all recognition.

The agreed upon (at least as I was taught) distinction is that you are stating or implying a belief in inherent inferiority of a group, almost always due to genetics.

I can say that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than whites, but that is not racist unless I am arguing that somehow they are genetically predisposed to do that. I can say that there are more male doctors than female ones unless that belief is because those precious little dolls don't want to break their fingernails.

Likewise to say that most people who do X are white middle aged women is racist and sexist is absurd unless I am saying that there is something inherent about both being female and white causes you, once you reach middle age, to do those things.
  #162  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:06 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,081
No male equivalent? Karen's fareing better than Dick.

Also: bonus points for anyone citing a pop-culture use of Dudley that is neither obese nor stupid.

No, Big Dick Dudley doesn't count.
  #163  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:25 PM
Rick Kitchen's Avatar
Rick Kitchen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Citrus Heights, CA, USA
Posts: 18,060
The male form of Karen is Chad. But there is an entire subreddit about Kevins, meaning really stupid men/boys who are too stupid to live.
  #164  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:38 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,081
Nah, Chad is the musclebound meathead jock* (eg, Duke Nukem) that insecure incels think all the Stacys (Stacies?) want.

*Old Scottish name.
  #165  
Old 03-09-2020, 03:26 PM
Jackmannii's Avatar
Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 32,995
This seems appropriate.
  #166  
Old 03-09-2020, 06:55 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
This seems appropriate.
What's wrong with gut flora?
  #167  
Old 03-10-2020, 11:55 AM
Taber is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
What's wrong with gut flora?
I haven't seen it in the wild, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were people overstating the benefits of monkeying with your gut flora, or suggesting unsafe/ineffective ways of monkeying with your gut flora.
  #168  
Old 03-10-2020, 09:27 PM
Jackmannii's Avatar
Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 32,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
What's wrong with gut flora?
Lots of woo in that there microbiome.
  #169  
Old 03-16-2020, 01:39 PM
SCAdian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I'm with them. Never heard of it. To me, "Karen" is a common girls' name.
95% of my social life is carried out on the internet, and I've never heard of it, either. My first thought on hearing "Karen" is usually the '60s TV show.
  #170  
Old 03-20-2020, 04:07 PM
Jackmannii's Avatar
Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 32,995
Karens are in great demand right now. Even the CDC recognizes this fact.
  #171  
Old 03-20-2020, 09:50 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 18,390
Pardon me if this has been mentioned before, but Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack used “Clyde” as a synonym for a square in the early to mid-1960s.
__________________
Uke
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017