Quarantining has everyone a little on edge. We’re all spending way too much time both a) alone and b) online, and it’s getting to us. Some folks are making weird TikToks. Others are posting pictures of every single thing they cook and eat. And a select few are dropping takes so hot and stupid they simply can’t be ignored.
Does anyone else think the ‘Karen’ slur is woman hating and based on class prejudice?
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) April 5, 2020
We can keep this short: no, Karen is not a slur. The name has become a term used to poke fun at white women in recent years, but it still doesn’t come close to qualifying. A slur is a word used to denigrate someone based on their race, ethnicity, or religion. Slurs aren’t just insults but tools of oppression designed to dehumanize people. This succinct explanation of what exactly “Karen” is puts that discussion to bed.
“Karen” was a term created *specifically by Black women* to talk about white women’s interpersonal + state violence against us and our communities: calling the police on us for getting coffee, threatening to have us fired, talking down to us at work (where we’re now “essential”).
— a Black-passing openly Black Latina. (@aliciasanchez) April 5, 2020
Calling a white woman Karen and facetiously saying she “wants to speak to the manager” isn’t oppressive or dehumanizing. Is it a little insulting? Yeah, maybe occasionally. But so is insinuating Karen is akin to actual oppressive language. In fact, doing so essentially proves the merit of its usage. Saying “Karen is a slur” is peak Karen behavior.
The take and subsequent discussion are dumb as hell, which made it absolutely perfect for Twitter. Within a few hours “Karens” was trending as people got their jokes off. Some were a little too easy. But hopefully they shame this take into extinction.
first they came for the Karens and I said nothing because I didn’t want to speak to the manger
— Mollie Goodfellow (@hansmollman) April 6, 2020
If you think "Karen" is a slur I guarantee it's "cunt" when you're not around
— Rachel McCartney (@RachelMComedy) April 6, 2020
It can’t be a racial slur if you don’t stress the “r” in Karen.
— Kelechi (@kelechnekoff) April 6, 2020
Not many people know this but Lovecrafts cat was named Karen
— lil babushka (@cowgirl_beebop) April 6, 2020