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The "Karen" meme should be well known to visitors to sites like 9gag. It is a woman who thinks she can complain about anything and thinks she is better than others, typically she wants to speak to the manager because something should be made possible for her.

Know your meme describes it like this:

Karen is a slang term used as an antagonistic female character in memes. "Karen" is generally characterized as an irritating, entitled woman, sometimes as an ex-wife who took custody of "the kids."

Of course, you shouldn't joke about complaining women.

So it didn't take long for articles like this:

The Karen chat stepped up a notch last week when the feminist writer Julie Bindel tweeted: "Does anyone else think the‘ Karen ’slur is woman-hating and based on class prejudice?" Cue a social media firestorm, one I blithely wandered into: "Yes - it's sexist, ageist and classist, in that order." Soon, I had thousands of responses. Some were from people of color, frustrated that the term’s original meaning had been lost and that two white women were denigrating a term they use to describe racism, and fair enough. But they were at least equalled by men gleefully calling me a Karen (“OK, Karen”) and telling me to make them a sandwich. Truly, few things warm the heart like the palpable excitement of men when they find a new misogynistic term they can lob at women with impunity.

Do I really need to spell out the sexism of a meme about a woman’s name that took off from a man griping about his ex-wife and has become a way of telling women to shut up? Yes, there are memes about Chad and Zach, but these have never gained the popularity of ones about Becky, Susan or Tammy, let alone Karen. When I see young (and not so young) white women defending the Karen meme, I'm reminded of the Cool Girl passage in Gone Girl: yeah, I'm not a basic pushy-mum-type woman - I'm a cool girl. Mmm, let's see how long denigrating your own sex works for you, ladies.

Next, ageism: “Karen”, as we have established, is a mother. One with multiple children, as Vox put it. So we're probably talking middle age here. Middle-aged women - ew!

Finally, class. Whatever upper-middle connotations Karen might have in the US, in the UK the name is not posh. Try substituting Karen for Emily, Freya, Alice or Isabel and the meme doesn't work. It is no coincidence that a tweet calling Jess Phillips a Karen was so popular, given Phillips grew up working-class, is a mother and - not wanting to shock anyone here - a woman. Tick, tick, tick.

Of course, if you only think in terms of power theories, you can't get the idea that this meme is catching on precisely because it is a certain type of woman and so it has a certain core. Then it is just another means of silencing women.

On the other hand, one could simply take it as a special form of “toxic femininity”, just as something feminism does not expect: women who think that they have to be treated particularly well and the other particularly bad from this position treat, often with no special basis for it.

I like it:

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