[ CARE-un ]
Often defined by their signature asymmetrical, blonde “May I speak to the manager?” bob, tendency to make entitled requests the world over and penchant for sticking their nose in other people’s business. Karen’s manifest in many forms, but regardless of outward appearance they will make themselves known without fail.
What are some examples of a Karen in the wild?
A Karen is the woman in the grocery store parking lot who whips their phone out to record a stranger, quizzing them as to why they’re parked in a disability parking spot, while the permitting placard hangs in their rearview window. (Fun Fact: Not all disabilities are visible and exactly none of them are your business.)
A Karen may berate a server in a restaurant when an order arrives at the table containing mayo, when they expressly asked for no mayo (they didn’t). Instead of peacefully resolving an honest mistake with the amicable employee who just wants a paycheck, a Karen will choose to elevate it to a code red and demand to see the manager.
A Karen may feel “threatened” by a Black bird-watcher peacefully minding their own business in a public park and decide to call the police on them. Sound familiar? It happened just last year in Central Park. Don’t even get us started on the poor dog.
Is there a Karen inside us all?
As terrifying as it may sound, and all memes aside, we all have the ability to speak up when something seems wrong regardless of appearance or gender. It simply depends on how you choose to wield your power.
As Ben Parker, ala Spiderman fame, once said “With great power comes great responsibility.”
And that’s what separates a true Karen from the rest of us just trying our damnedest to make the world a better place for EVERYONE. Imagine that.
How can I use my inner Karen for good?
Thank you for asking. The key is using your voice and speaking up for the betterment of others, rather than making rash decisions from a limited life experience, viewpoint and with biased beliefs. If you possess privilege use it to elevate the voices of those around you who need it. Namely those members of the BIPOC, AAPI and LGBTQIA+ community whose voices are all too often silenced. In doing this you are already using your inner Karen-esque powers for good.
And that’s more than a lot of people can say. They’re too busy berating the manager at your local grocery store as we speak.
In the spirit of speaking up, If you need help learning how to take up space in a positive way check out our other blogs for some tips. Still having trouble finding your voice? Reach out to us. We know a little bit about standing out from the crowd.