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‘Karens United’ Facebook Group Launched To Protect Their Name

Michele Theil

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‘Karens United’ Facebook Group Launched To Protect Their Name

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

A Facebook group called "Karens United" has been set up by women named Karen to protect themselves from the stigma that is associated with it.

In recent years, the name 'Karen' has become synonymous with privileged white women who ask "can I speak to a manager" in an entitled tone of voice, often speaking down to the staff, particularly people of colour.

The Karens United Facebook Group is a private group for people named Karen. (Credit: Facebook)
The Karens United Facebook Group is a private group for people named Karen. (Credit: Facebook)

It was also used regularly in the aftermath of last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, which saw videos being posted of white women or people aggressively confronting people of colour simply for standing on the sidewalk, walking through a park, or being outside their own homes.

These clips are posted on social media all the time, often going viral, with the woman being branded a 'Karen'.

However, the term has been criticised for being disparaging, and for being sexist, ageist, and classist, particularly by Julie Bindel, a writer for The Guardian.

The Guardian writer Julie Bindel criticised the 'Karen' term on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)
The Guardian writer Julie Bindel criticised the 'Karen' term on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)

The Facebook group currently has over 1700 members, and writes in its description: "I don't wear my hair in an inverted bob, I don't give unsolicited advice, I rarely use coupons and I have absolutely no friggin' desire to speak to your manager. I'm just a mom trying to juggle my home, my job, and my family."

These are all common traits associated with Karens.

"Can you imagine, you are just minding your own business when suddenly the internet blows up with memes blaming you for everything from causing excess stress for retail employees to destroying the environment? What. The. Everliving. Heck," the description continues.

The woman who began the group explained that many Karens initially laughed at the trend, but now it's "quite enough" as "something needs to be done".

She continues, "Right now, if you are a Karen who is sick and tired of seeing your name associated with offensive memes, I beseech you to join this crusade. We will not stand for this injustice any longer. It's time to fight back. Karens of the world, unite!"

While the 'Karen' meme began in the U.S., it has made its way over to the U.K, with three women named Karen appearing on This Morning to discuss the impact that the meme has had, including implications of racism.

Some women have said using the term 'Karen' is rude, insensitive, and can be considered "a term of abuse" but others disagree, particularly in the contest of the racial abuse that people of colour have faced in the past.

A black woman, who is also named Karen, emphatically said that it is not a "term of abuse".

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Though using certain names to describe personality traits is not new – think Debbie Downers, Chatty Cathy, and Plain Jane – the 'Karen' meme has divided people who fall within differing gender, class, and racial categories.

This new Facebook group is now aiming for anyone named Karen to have a space to vent and be around other Karens, as well as trying to 'reclaim' the name, as certain marginalised groups have done in the past with slurs used against them. However, while 'Karen' is not necessarily considered a slur in comparison to other slurs, some people may still take offence to usage of the term.

Topics: Life, News

Michele Theil
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