Can we please stop misusing the name "Karen"?

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Mendalla

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I should probably post this someplace more public (and still might), but I am increasingly uncomfortable with use of a real name as a kind of insulting catch-all for angry, bigoted white women. The fact is, there are many nice women named Karen out there. One of them even designed the logo for this site. We have worked together for probably a decade now and she is a wonderful woman who does not deserve to have her name used an an insult. I was friends with a Karen or two in the past, too.

I would go further and suggest that the use of real names as insults should, in general, be a no-go zone.

I don't see it used here much and I hope people might give some thought to what I am saying before using it. What if someone on here really is named Karen? How would you feel if your name was used as an insulting, catch-all name for some undesirable group?

Interested to hear your thoughts, especially if you feel like defending what seems to me to be indefensible misuse of someone's name. Because it would really have to be one hell of a defense to my mind.
 

Luce NDs

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We should not be karan any more ... thus that lady dying in front of the train in Moscow! Anis careen 'n out of shape ... formless voids ... there she is gone!
 

BetteTheRed

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Well, there's some similarity to the issue of ISIS using an acronym that is a common Middle Eastern women's name.

I read a suggestion the other day that we replace the pejorative Karen with the pejorative Ivanka. I could better get behind that. I have a number of friends named Karen, and not a one of them is a Karen. My cousin in England calls his beloved (who occasionally has Karen tendencies, particularly with the Waitrose's charge card) his "Doris". Her name isn't Doris...
 

Redbaron

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I also know a number of people named Karen, and none of them fit the stereotype that the name now seems to call to mind.

I remember in years past (pre-internet days) that the name Zelda was used for such a stereotype. I don't recall ever meeting anyone by the name Zelda, but I'm sure that anyone named Zelda might have taken offence to that.
 

Mendalla

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I also know a number of people named Karen, and none of them fit the stereotype that the name now seems to call to mind.

I remember in years past (pre-internet days) that the name Zelda was used for such a stereotype. I don't recall ever meeting anyone by the name Zelda, but I'm sure that anyone named Zelda might have taken offence to that.
The videogame character and Zelda Fitzgerald are the only ones that come to mind.
 

Mendalla

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, there's some similarity to the issue of ISIS using an acronym that is a common Middle Eastern women's name.
Not to mention a goddess that some neo-pagans include in their rites and beliefs.
 

ChemGal

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I know a Karen really well. Near the very beginning of COVID, I think before we really had any restrictions in place I sent her a meme as a joke. I think I threw in 'bet you haven't seen this yet' as a joke because at least 5 of her friends had shared it already.
Before March it was kind of roll my eyes at it a bit and laugh a little, COVID and some of the BLM stuff has really made it go way out of hand.

I don't really see the demographic connection, almost all of the Karens I know are younger than me, not older and I thought the stereotype was of someone in the Gen X age group?
I was trying to think of who best represents 'Karen' as a celebrity and the best I could come up with was Kate Gosselin - not that I think we should swap it for Kate.
 

Redbaron

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I remember reading a spoof of political correctness some years ago, that suggested the phrase 'cerebro-atmospheric individual' to replace the word 'airhead'. Still not a good thing to call anybody, but maybe better than someone's name.
 
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I also know a number of people named Karen, and none of them fit the stereotype that the name now seems to call to mind.

I remember in years past (pre-internet days) that the name Zelda was used for such a stereotype. I don't recall ever meeting anyone by the name Zelda, but I'm sure that anyone named Zelda might have taken offence to that.
It was a meme that started, depicting Karen from Will and Grace. Maybe if people named Karen knew that, they'd take it in stride. Ironically, getting twisted out of joint about it only plays into the stereotype and would get Karens being called "Karens".
 

BetteTheRed

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Question, Kimmio, are eastern women named Isis getting "twisted out of joint" about their name?
 
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Well, there's some similarity to the issue of ISIS using an acronym that is a common Middle Eastern women's name.

I read a suggestion the other day that we replace the pejorative Karen with the pejorative Ivanka. I could better get behind that. I have a number of friends named Karen, and not a one of them is a Karen. My cousin in England calls his beloved (who occasionally has Karen tendencies, particularly with the Waitrose's charge card) his "Doris". Her name isn't Doris...
ivanka works well.
 
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Question, Kimmio, are eastern women named Isis getting "twisted out of joint" about their name?
No. That's fair. They were named after a goddess then they had the same name as a violent terrorist group. Hardly the same. Karen refers to an uppity entitled woman who wants everything her way. They are making fun of women like that - and the Karen character was very entitled, in a funny, satirical way. Isis is a much more serious situation.
 

BetteTheRed

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Right, and none of the Karens I know fits that description. How is one fair, one unfair?

Would "Ivanka" be better?
 
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If I called called you, in jest, a Nervous Nellie because I think you're over-reacting - would that insult people named Nellie? Were the Mary Janes upset that their name was slang (and English) for marijuana? Are the Poly-Annas upset if they're not naive?Are the Hunters upset because they're vegetarian? Are the Charitys upset because they're self sufficient? Are the Hopes upset because they're pessimists? Etc. Those are such small potatoes problems - they need a better sense of humour.
 
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