As white women throwing public temper tantrums to leverage their privilege over others have come to be commonly known as “Karens,” a group of middle aged white women is asking prominent civil rights groups to join them in labeling the nickname, which they refer to as “the K-word,” as a racial slur.
“I cannot think of a single non-white woman who has ever been called a ‘Karen’,” said Karen Riley, founder of the group Karens Against Really Enraging Nicknames, or KAREN. “So it’s clearly racist. If I ever hear anyone use that word around me, you can bet I’ll be calling their manager!”
According to KAREN, only white women are allowed to call each other “Karen” as part of an attempt to reclaim the word.
“Anyone else really needs to refrain from using ‘Karen’ at all,” said Riley. “Even if you’re just singing along with popular song lyrics, or if you claim that you’re using it in a ‘friendly’ way, like saying ‘Kara’ without the hard N at the end, we can always tell your real intentions.”
Of course, not everyone agrees that “Karen” is a racially insensitive term that is used to silence white women. Many argue that it is a fair way to call out the weaponization of white privilege against people of color, such as calling the police on innocent people who are just living their lives.
“Inventing oppression when, in reality, there is nothing happening to us is our natural defense mechanism,” said Becky Taylor, a noted Karen. “If I feel the need to have an innocent black man arrested for parking his car in the street directly in front of my house, I shouldn’t be subjected to reverse racism for it.”
When asked how she would feel if the roles were reversed, Taylor quickly said she had much respect for Aunt Jemima and then immediately called the cops.