For readers who aren’t familiar with the Karen meme, check out this post (language warning) for a description and examples of the genre. But in a nutshell there are two primary themes of the Karen meme:
- An entitled/pushy woman who demands to speak to the manager.
- A selfish mother who kicks her children’s father out of their lives.
Memes are intriguing in part because they allow the expression of thought-crime, very often through humor. They are a natural reaction to political correctness, to vigorously enforced ideological conformity. Before the SJWs can open their mouths to scold you, you’ve already laughed at the meme. So when the scold appears they only make the meme funnier.
In the case of the Karen meme the thought-crime should be obvious. Well behaved women seldom make history, dour faced women’s studies majors lecture us. Sorry, not sorry. But the Karen meme dodges this lecture (while mocking it) in part by seeming to be very specific. The Karen meme is merely about one kind of misbehaving woman, the annoying kind, the kind named Karen, who has a Can I speak to the manager haircut. Yet the kind of bad behavior “Karen” exemplifies is widespread thanks to the feminist/chivalrist revolution.
The Karen meme has been around for some time, yet so far feminists appear to have managed for the most part to avoid the temptation to scold it as sexist. They appear to understand that lashing out at the meme and defending “Karens” as not evil, but the embodiment of feminist virtues would only make the meme more powerful. This is impressive collective restraint in the face of widespread thought-crime, but I wonder how long such forbidden thoughts can be tolerated before feminists can’t contain themselves any longer.