Skip to content

Opinion | Don’t Call Her ‘Karen’

Opinion | Don’t Call Her ‘Karen’

But it cannot be the case, morally or logically, that it’s impossible for a white woman to have a justifiable complaint and impermissible for her to speak up if she thinks she’s been wronged. Yet that is what the term “Karen” implies: that if you are a white woman, your relative privilege renders suspect any complaint you might have; if you try to defend yourself, you thereby prove the case against you.

The same goes true for any woman who, whether out of female solidarity or because she believes an individual doesn’t deserve the slur, speaks up on behalf of a named “Karen.” To give the benefit of the doubt to the accused, let alone to defend her, is to become a Karen by association. When the head of diversity at Uber, Bo Young Lee, convened a forum called “Don’t Call Me Karen,” for an “open and honest conversation about race,” some employees complained on Slack, and one Black employee later suggested at an employee town hall that those types of conversations were “tone-deaf, offensive and triggering.” Uber suspended Lee.

The choice for a white woman is stark: either not to have any complaints or to shut up about those that you do. This is a far cry from the lessons of the women’s movement, the #MeToo movement and a basic sense of justice.

The Karen trope reflects a pervasive strain of misogyny in our culture. “Karen has become synonymous with woman among those who consider woman an insult,” Helen Lewis wrote in The Atlantic in a detailed anatomy of the slur. The journalist Nina Burleigh has also observed the term’s distinct tilt toward white women over 40, long a punching bag in popular culture: “White middle-class women of a certain age are among the last groups one can hurl targeted abuse online without being canceled.” Moreover, she writes, “the fact is, it has never been politically incorrect to trash women as women — that is, women who cannot also claim to belong to another disadvantaged group by virtue of race, body weight, sexual preference or disability.”

No one, whatever their sex, race or age, deserves to be reduced to a negative stereotype. When people — men or women, Black or white or of any other ethnicity — do bad things, they do them as individuals, not as representatives of a demographic group.

Source link

Discover more from Divya Bharat 🇮🇳

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.