Karens are not always called Karen, sometimes a Becky is called. When BeckyAmes, Mayor of Beaumont, Texas, was photographed walking into the nail salon despite the state - wide stay-at-home instruction, she was quickly found on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit as "typical Karen".
The Karen archetype from the USA describes a certain type of woman: In the meme with which he became world famous, "Karen" wears a voluminous blonde short hairstyle and athleisure wear, vaguely inspired by "LongIsland Medium" Theresa Caputo. A so-called "Karen", as has been continually contoured in recent attributions, usually has several children, is around forty years old, and therefore belongs to Generation X. She is an opponent of vaccination, mostly conservative and religious. She sees herself as a patriot, is a "SoccerMom" and is inspired by the extreme demands with which she afflicts baristas and retail sellers and ruthlessly brings them into difficulties. Hence the connection between Karen and the dreaded sentence " I need to speak with your manager"- I want to speak to your manager.
There are numerous groups on Facebook in which employees from the catering and retail sectors share their experiences with "Karens", for example under the name " Don't be a Karen ". Meanwhile, #karenareyouok is on Twitter. "Karen" is, in short, the meme that embodies the white, female privilege par excellence: loud, self-righteous and rock-solid convinced that you are entitled to something that is (supposedly) being denied.
Karens also existed before, but they were then called differently. In the New York Times , Sarah Miller writes about the mother generation of the Karens, the Lindas and jeans. The early 2000s had Beckys. In 2002 Sir Mix-a-lot rapped about a white woman who was making fun of the figure of a black woman with her girlfriend Becky: " Oh, my GodBecky, look at her butt, it is so big, she looks like one of those rap guys'girlfriends. "In 2018 a woman in San Francisco called the police because a black girl on the side of the road sold water without a license, which earned the caller the name" Permit-Patty ". This may also say something about the timing of the Karen meme. Of course, this can hardly be traced back to an origin, the term "Karen" is definitely not new - it has been on "Black Twitter" for a long time. And an original purpose there is just to caricature white women who abuse their privileges. But had it been as big as now in 2018, "Permit-Patty" would hardly have had an individual nickname, but would have been pulled through the cocoa as "another typical Karen".
This also shows an essential characteristic of the Karen meme: it de-individualized by using a common name as a kind of hateful diagnosis. The woman received as Karen is reduced to a (privileged, white) type by name - something that has already entered the German Twitter and with expressions like "some Johannes or some Annika", "such an Achim" or "another Jürgen" Reddit discourse seems to have found.
However, it would be a short circuit to equate Karen with these German phrases. The large number of variants alone shows that in this country there does not seem to be any agreement about the stereotypes - the defensive reactions are accordingly poor. Whoever is called Manfred or Jochen does not even notice in the end that he means Jürgen.