‘For the love of God, stop lecturing all of us’: A Facebook group of Karens is pushing back against the stereotype

·2-min read
Video of the viral incident in Central Park, New York, in which Amy Cooper (pictured) phoned 911 on a Black bird watcher (Facebook/ChristianCooper)
Video of the viral incident in Central Park, New York, in which Amy Cooper (pictured) phoned 911 on a Black bird watcher (Facebook/ChristianCooper)

In recent years, the name “Karen” has become a pejorative term for a white woman who appears entitled or demands that things be done her own way.

But a Facebook group with almost 2,000 women named Karen is pushing back against the stigma attached to their name and asking for people to be “nicer” to one another.

Karen Feldman, one of the women in the private Facebook group called “Karens United”, told US news network NBC2 that the name’s poor reputation “definitely doesn’t make me feel better” about her name.

“Nasty, thoughtless, selfish, you name it. If it’s a bad thing, that’s what a Karen is,” she said.

In contrast, she said the real Karens she knows “are pretty nice people”.

“People are raw and sad and sensitive, and it’s time for us to start thinking about that,” Feldman added. “Start being nicer to each other.”

The description of the group on Facebook said: “I don’t wear my hair in an inverted bob, I don’t give unsolicited advice, I rarely use coupons and I have absolutely no friggin’ desire to speak to your manager.

“I’m just a mom trying to cuddle my home, my job and my family… I honestly want to know why my name is suddenly associated with all things middle-aged and uninformed. Is there a Karen who is responsible for this faux pas?

“Let’s hunt her down and reeducate her, but for the love of God, stop lecturing all of us.”

The origins of the “Karen” stereotype are uncertain, but it is believed to have started as a meme among black Americans as a way to satirise the racism levelled at them by white women in particular.

One of the most famous examples of a “Karen” was Amy Cooper, a white woman who called the police on Christian Cooper, a black birder, when they got into a disagreement at Central Park over her dog being off the leash.

After a video of the incident, in which Amy told authorities that an “African American man is threatening my life”, she was fired from her job at an investment firm, charged with one count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, and forced to surrender her dog temporarily.

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