With two months to go until Halloween, the ‘Karen mask’ is already expected to be the hot ticket item for scaring trick-or-treaters.
The mask is the latest spinoff from the ‘Karen Meme’ that began earlier this year portraying women with the first name Karen as an obnoxious, entitled, at times racist person who demands to speak to the manager or calls the police at the drop of a hat. Oh and don’t forget the reverse bob haircut and overshade sunglasses look aka Kate Gosselin from TLC’s Kate Plus 8.
However what started out as a quick laugh has quickly grown into a real-life nightmare for Karens.
A Karen that Pulse FM Midday Host Vanessa Ybarra spoke to in Surrey says the minute she goes to give an opinion on Facebook or complain about something, she’s instantly judged and shrugged off as a ‘crazy Karen’ – (Which I can assure you after talking to her is a lovely, friendly woman!)
The jabs and sneers have gotten so back she’s simply stopped voicing her opinion. Ever.
Listen to the interview below.
Karen from Surrey is one of over 900 members of the ‘Karens United’ Facebook page where women with the dreaded ‘K name’ are banding together to share their stories of the effect the memes are having on their life and demanding and end to it.
“There are a few women named Karen who are literally too scared to say their name out loud in front of a stranger; they do everything they can to avoid having to say their name, ever. That’s how this thing can affect people,” says Karen Van Hook, one of the group’s moderators.
“There have now been several incidents in which women named Karen have had total strangers making fun of them in public, because they gave their name to pick up an order or make an exchange. None of it has ever gone so far as to result in a police report or media coverage, but women who join the group tell us what happened to them.”
Other stories from the site:
– A 69-year-old woman who had done nothing except hand over a debit card with the name “Karen” on it had 4 total strangers in a grocery store laughing at her and making “Karen” jokes, in front of her granddaughter — and not in a friendly way. A similar incident in a Walmart led to the innocent woman named Karen breaking down in tears.
– A woman named Karen who just landed a book deal for a book she’s been working on for 3 years was advised by colleagues not to publish under her real name.
– There have now been two incidents in which employers informed a woman named Karen that they felt too uncomfortable calling the woman by her given name, and in each case insisted on calling her by her middle name, over her objections.
This Pulse listener says she feels for Karens, she does, but at the same time they’re far from the only group frustrated at being painted by the same brush.
What do you think? Do you think Karen memes have just gone too far – or should everyone just lighten up? Weigh in on our Facebook page!