• Bodie English

Group Of Karens Hope For Protected Status In Nation’s Top Courts

In the fast-paced evolution of meme culture and societal colloquialisms, White women by the name of Karen have recently become affiliated as a monolithic stereotype…. (or archetype if you prefer a term to keep up the charade of not being the type of person that reinforces stereotypes based on gender and race). This new term is far from endearing as it carries with it the robust caricature of being of a certain age range from Gen-X to Boomer, being female, white, and having a personality of the bossy/controlling type. If there’s a short coiffed haircut with some highlights, this persona would be a complete Saturday Night Live recurring sketch and enjoy a spotlight on the subreddit r/AdviceAnimals/ for quite some time.

Not to be relegated into such a cartoonish figure and acquiesce to the derision, Karens formed a group and promptly asked to speak with the manager. By manager of course, I mean the Supreme Court of the United States. I reached out to the president of “Karens United,” Barbera Billinger (I know...her name’s not Karen, she had just had enough of being called “Karen” as she told me. “In fact,” as she says, “the majority of members were people not named Karen”, but they had found mutual irritation in being impugned and lumped into the group and given the eponymous name.

The name Karen being associated with the aforementioned demographics can be broken down into some statistical facts. There are nearly 1 Million “Karens” in the world according to howmanyofme.com and the average age of Karens is 53 as seen in this name breakdown from https://www.wolframalpha.com. This places Karen in the end of The Baby Boomers and beginning of Gen-X. Women of this age are the respective parents of the current young adult population presently at odds with the Karens of their lives. It is therefore no surprise that this animosity, compounded by the quarantining of would-be college students suddenly lashing out at their mothers for all things pejoratively authoritative.

Extending beyond the confines of the mother-child butting-of-heads is it’s insertion into the world of meme culture where Karens of the world have suddenly found themselves fielding insults and tongue lashings world wide and more presently as the title suggests, requesting protected status in the form of judicial law.

It came to this point as Karens from all over found their kin on many of the neighborhood social media forums as they shared passive aggressive statements about how other people should raise their kids, how many times a certain car was seen in a certain driveway, and pictures of tarted up women “way too old to be wearing that.” Karens began to feel the heat of their unwelcome public opinions and began to form support groups where they could extend their matronly prerogatives outside the bounds of the nuclear family. When a few super alpha Karens managed to gather consensus among the members, a political action committee was soon formed.

It’s not clear whether or not any court will eventually hear their plea, much less the Supreme Court, but lawyers for Karens United are expected to state their case by showing harm in a variety of smaller courts as they gather momentum and prepare for appeals. Karen Whitman, the legal team’s lead attorney (Her name is Karen, but she’s not a member), said she intends to show that many of the Karens have lost their jobs, been subject to harassment and have even lost criminal appeals as she noted that when the bailiff read the name “Karen,” some of the jury members were seen to have giggled.

Enjoying protected legal status would allow (being a Karen) to fall in behind the other categories such as race, color, national origin, religion, gender (including pregnancy), disability, age (if the employee is at least 40 years old), and citizenship status. It’s hard to see how this conglomeration of Karen-like attributes would be legally identifiable, but according to one legal expert I talked to, “Being picked on because you fit a name, race, age, and gender kinda fits the bill for discrimination on all the fronts of protected status which ironically just makes it harder to claim discrimination.” It therefore might be easier if we simply reverted back to a time-honored and more applicable name for people of all criteria with poor social skills mixed with an air of authority. We should just go back to calling them assholes and leave it at that.

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