👀 The Karen Conundrum
#272 | Stereotyping is for the lazy
At a hair salon recently, I overheard a couple of loud youngsters call someone a "Karen" because she browbeat her hairstylist with her many instructions and specifics. I didn't see the big deal - some people are particular, but it got me thinking about how this American trope had found its way to my sleepy Bhopal.
Thanks for reading Just One Thing! Subscribe to get every post.
The "Karen" phenomenon grew from a 2017 Reddit post - a man ranting about his ex-wife to subsequently spawn its own subreddit, "FuckYouKaren." This video, my thing for today, explains how "Karen came to exist in a world that detests her, and why -- while we can pity her -- her struggles still don’t excuse the pain she inflicts."
The Karen trope is problematic because it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to the marginalization and silencing of women, particularly those who assert themselves. It dismisses valid concerns and grievances by labelling them as "Karen-like" behaviour, undermining the legitimacy of their experiences.
And this trope is truly worrisome when brown kids from India use it to describe brown women who know their minds.
What do you think?