All About Karen

“Karen,” if you are not already aware, is a term which has recently taken on this meaning:

Karen is a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.

As featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being an anti-vax, Generation X, soccer mom.

In 2020, Karen spread as a label used to call out white women who were captured in viral videos engaging in what are widely seen as racist acts. (

And here’s why you won’t find me using it, except in this piece.

Especially in this time of intense judgment, we can find ourselves judged far more harshly when we are all about judging others. It’s that old, “do unto others” thing, or that “what you focus on increases” principle. You know the ones.

I get it. I can allow myself to get all wound up about the arrogant shopper without a mask or a hyper-enraged couple defending their mansion against unarmed protesters with a gun meant only for the battlefields of war. But what does that do to my sense of peace? Just how does it make the situation any different?

It doesn’t. It increases my blood pressure and adds nothing to the solution. Absolutely nothing.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it would be more effective to take these kinds of situations as a time to remember that just because we believe the law of cause and effect is working for us and everyone else, it doesn’t mean we have to egg it along and lust for the opportunity to watch another person get his or her “just desserts.”

Instead, we can appreciate what we are doing for the good of the planet, our communities, our families, and ourselves. We can be so busy about practicing being better human beings that we have no time or energy to judge others, call out others, or feel it’s our duty to “teach” them.

Play nice, even when others aren’t. And let’s leave Karen alone. She really doesn’t give a rat’s ass anyway, and the only outcome of this kind of confrontation will be increasing our chances for a 15-second spot on national TV, Facebook, or YouTube.

Grandma Esther would say, “Terry, it’s like tryin’ to teach a pig to sing. It don’t work and it pisses off the pig.”

Bless your heart, Karen. Y’all have a nice day, Precious.

Copyright © 2020 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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Terry is counselor, speaker, and award-winning author – find his books on Amazon.

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