The "Karen meme," widely spread throughout social media in the recent years, is usually used to connote a woman, who would ask to speak to a store manager over the slightest inconvenience and throw all kinds of tantrums to get what she wants. More recently, women behaving in s self-entitled way and engaged in racist rants have also been often branded as "Karens".
While an overwhelming number of social media commentators condemn the behaviour of women in “Karen memes," many took offense at the negative appropriation of the name.
Tweets denouncing the use of "Karen" in a "derogatory way" argue it is a form of cyber bullying that should not be perpetuated.
— karen baxter (@aModernMaverick) June 8, 2020
— Karen (@kascull) June 7, 2020
— Diane (@SoCalValleyGal) June 7, 2020
— Dar Weathers (@Lightningrattle) June 4, 2020
Filmed spats between the so-called "Karens" and the police force, as well as fellow customers or shoppers are available to watch on social media. In the light of the outrage at the death of a black American man George Floyd, who was killed by the police in Minneapolis on 25 May, videos of harassment and various verbal and sometimes physical abuse, citing a "Karen" have been widely shared online.
An Instagram account "Karens Gone Crazy" dedicated to such videos, has thousands of followers.
According to the US Social Security Agency, the name was most popular in 1965, while in the recent decade it has dropped in popularity and may soon face extinction.