Can I Speak to the Karen in Charge?

It’s tough to be a good-natured and unironically-named Karen in 2020. Much like “Becky, Chad, and Kyle” before her, the term ‘Karen’ has become a popular proxy for the stereotype of middle-aged, middle-class white women who hold anti-vaxxer and racist views, have unreasonably self-entitled demands, and embodies “can-I-speak-to-the-manager” energy.

As Oscar Wilde puts it in Chapter 17 of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ – “names are everything”. Why has Karen joined the unfortunate ranks of unfavourable labels? Professor Kate Burridge, Chair of Linguistics at Monash University, elaborates on Drive.

Disclaimer: Photo of Kate Gosselin does not imply she exemplifies the ‘Karen’ archetype. The bob haircut she sports is often associated with ‘Karens’ in pop culture.

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