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  #1  
Old 09-23-2019, 07:29 PM
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Default Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this briefly before, but I'm going to mention it not-briefly now because holy shit, these memes have infiltrated just about everywhere, including supposedly progressive and left-leaning places, and holy shit, I don't get how nobody seems to notice that these memes are explicitly and virulently misogynistic.

Here is Time magazine just today reporting on a bunch of 'humorous' tweets about Tropical Storm Karen, and providing a helpful explanation of the joke for those who weren't already familiar with it.

The stereotype of the annoying, entitled middle aged woman existed before Trump and before the Women's March and before women started running for office in record numbers to do their part to counter Trump. People have always been dismissive of women, especially women they consider past fuckable.

So there's always been a stereotype threat hanging over women's heads right around the same age that men start being perceived as sage and experienced. But I have never seen that stereotype so saturated before. It's usually been limited to MRAs and sometimes customer service forums where retail workers post exaggerated stories about them owning customers.

But it's everywhere now, along with the 'ask to speak to your manager' haircut memes and even the outsized representation of "Becky" in jokes about racist white people. Hell, there isn't even really an agreed-upon name for a panicky racist white man. But it was panicky racist white men who called the cops who murdered Tamir Rice and John Crawford, which I only remember because I had to correct people about those ones. And of course, it was panicky racist white men who murdered them, too. I've seen them called Chad, but that's just a repurposed incel meme. (To be clear, I don't mind there being memes about panicky racist white women. I mind that there's no readily recognizable one for panicky racist white men.)

I am not saying that these memes originated or have been perpetuated directly by pro-Trump operatives. Maybe it was organic. Maybe there was a swell of toxic misogyny that was just ready to burst in virtually every segment of society, and women brought it to a head by becoming more visible and politically active after Trump's election.

But I also wouldn't be one bit surprised if, somewhere during Trump's second term, it comes to light that these jokes and memes were specifically planted by Russian operatives to discredit his opponents.

Either way, intentionally planted or organic, they are pro-Trump propaganda and there is a very good chance they'll get him reelected.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Scumbag Steve is fairly equivalent to Karen. He's more confident than Karen - not just a walking roadblock, he's usually glimpsed leaving problems on the way out - but they're both thoughtless, self-absorbed asshats who ruin everything by breaking unspoken rules and getting away with it.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
Fight me.
OK Karen.

Unfortunately our managers have not been seen for ages.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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Originally Posted by Corona688 View Post
Scumbag Steve is fairly equivalent to Karen. He's more confident than Karen - not just a walking roadblock, he's usually glimpsed leaving problems on the way out - but they're both thoughtless, self-absorbed asshats who ruin everything by breaking unspoken rules and getting away with it.
Hmm, but not quite the same: Scumbag Steve is (by image at least, if not in every single meme) young. What pea's talking about is more specifically marginalising mature* women.

Mature = good when applied to men, riddled with extra questions when applied to women.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

I don't think I've seen Scumbag Steve in the wild in years, though, and it never reached the point where the name Steve could be used as a generic slur like this:

36 Karens Agree: Requiring Schoolkids To Be Vaccinated Is EXACTLY Like Jim Crow - Wonkette

That story there illustrates that the Karen meme can be used to dismiss and deride pretty much any woman speaking out, and that it's infiltrated even supposedly progressiveish, feminist-leaning circles. Those women are mostly younger, so it's not just limited to an intersectional gender + age thing anymore. It's just women now, possibly just white women, but I'm not even 100% sure on that.

In the context of the Wonkette story, yes, they are being stupid and horrible on a number of counts. But different people have different ideas about what's stupid and horrible. People have pretty hostile notions about their opponents on issues of women's health care, the environment, sexual violence, police shootings, gun rights, and lots of other things like that. And now, if those opponents are women, they have a handy, widely recognized meme that conjures up the image of a demanding, ridiculous woman who can and should be ignored and dismissed.

The whole "speak to your manager" interpretation is bad enough. (It's both a self-fulfilling prophesy AND a serious stereotype threat.) But it's become so widely and generically applied that it has morphed into a general perception that women are stupid, shrill, and entitled, and they should shut the fuck up and be more agreeable. That is a very very bad, very dangerous idea to be bubbling to the surface, especially right now.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

can I see an example of a meme? I guess a few more I mean.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

is that Wonkette a satire site? boy, now I know why I avoid all things electronic anymore. Paperbacks are my best friends.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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can I see an example of a meme? I guess a few more I mean.
Karen | Know Your Meme
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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Old 10-04-2019, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Thanks for educating me Joe
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

It's a public service
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

I keep meaning to expand on a few things about this, but this article here covers most of it:

The Mythology of Karen - The Atlantic

I mean, there are aspects of it that have an element of truth.

1. Women, and especially white women, tend to be sheltered, and tend to be taught to fear the outside world. If your parents don't teach you that, your teachers and classmates and friends will. If they don't, strangers will be perfectly happy to step in. Fear is a huge industry, and white women are major targets. So white women ARE sometimes afraid of stupid things because we're constantly told that the world is a terrifying place. It's not an excuse, but it can be an explanation.

2. Women in heterosexual relationships do a lot more housework than their male partners. This includes shopping, so in grocery and department stores and such, women make more purchases. As a result of this, women are more likely to have something to complain about to retail employees. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. But a whole lot of the online "Karen" videos start in the middle and don't really provide context, except sometimes from the person who is trying to get internet points out of it.

So the stereotype can be justified. It didn't come from nowhere. There are a lot of entitled white women who make unreasonable demands of retail employees, for various reasons. That observation is not unwarranted. But the meme has gotten to the point that people sometimes literally just post still pictures of women just minding their own business and then add macro text insulting them.

And the meme itself is ultimately dismissive, from a couple different angles.

For one, it is dismissive of women who are angry or upset about something, particularly when the context is missing or unreliable. Who hasn't gotten angry or upset about someone ripping them off or being unreasonable? It can be perfectly normal and justified for someone to yell at someone who is being intractable about something they're wrong about. The Karen meme, though, all too often just assumes that angry women are the ones who are being unreasonable, even when the other party is angry too. And the irony in there is that the popularity of that stereotype makes it more likely that retail employees will ignore or dismiss women who have complaints, regardless of what they're saying. And that just makes things worse for everyone.

And on the other side of the dismissiveness, even in cases where the women are being unreasonable about retail shit, how is it that women trying to use expired coupons are now in the same category as women like the Central Park dog lady or Emmett Till's accuser, who knowingly and intentionally summon violent, frequently murderous white men to settle minor disagreements or perceived insults? How is that on the same level of someone trying to get a store discount or something like that? That really minimizes women's culpability in racist violence.

Ultimately, though, all you really need to know about the meme is that white men fucking love it, especially ones who consider themselves left-leaning. It's like they've been building up all this misogyny and finally have an excuse to let it all out and join their brothers on the right in their shared hatred of women.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2020, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

I don't want to fight you. Is that okay?

I agree with most of your observations. Just not the Trump part. He doesn't matter - he's just one symptom, among many, of a social malaise.
And, yes, that malaise includes a deep-rooted misogyny.

Women are standing up on their hind legs, making demands, showing dissatisfaction, pushing back. Sometimes they're impolite about it; sometimes they're unjustified; sometimes they make people uncomfortable. So? That behaviour has been normal for men since -- oh, about 30,000 BC. But it's not expected from women.

Much has changed in the past century, including the role and demeanour of females. Not everyone is reconciled to the change.

Every societal shift (as distinct from revolution) is brought about by a popular movement and every popular movement has a vanguard of middle-class, educated, privileged people. Because they are the ones who are aware of a problem, have the leisure to study and reflect on it, have the knowledge to formulate a plan and the means to communicate and organize action. They are also materially secure and not easily intimidated.

Perhaps the 'Karens' are such a vanguard.
Ladies are supposed to be demure, polite, compliant and patient. Colour inside the lines, dress appropriately and obey all the fine print, even if it's in minute Sanscrit, on another page. They're not supposed to demand the service they were promised or the merchandise they paid for. They're not supposed to make a scene.

Well, maybe 'Karens' are the vanguard of new movement: consumers' liberation.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2020, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

idk specifics are important here

Threatening a black guy with calling the cops on him when you're the one ignoring the leash law? Karen deserves ridicule.

Spitting on people because you aren't wearing a mask when you're supposed to wear a mask? Disgusting Karen or Ken w/e deserves ridicule.

Going off about being treated as second class citizen? 404 Karen Not Found. Outburst justified!

Haha I forgot to tell you guys. I was in an unfamiliar Costco type store. I had one of those flat carts. It only had three things on it 'cause they were out of almost everything I needed. I went to the checkout and the line was split between cashier checkout and self checkout, they were roped off from each other. The self check line was short so I got in it. The store's line monitor person told me when I was next that the cart I had wasn't allowed in self check. She opened the rope to the other line which was really long. She wanted me to get in front of all these other people and there were also a whole bunch of people ahead of them! I could tell they weren't thrilled about it, and I really didn't want to cut in line, so I kind of gestured to the lady, couldn't we just make an exception and let me use this cart in the line I'm in. She said, "You don't mind, do you"? This prompted me to mutter, "No, I don't mind". I left the cart straddling where the rope goes and walked out. Heck, I was going to have to go another store anyway. On the way out some other hall monitor said "Sir, sir" and I totally pretended I didn't hear him and just walked out of the store. I gave the guy who checks receipts a big smile and said "No purchase today"! He gave me a nice smile back.

I can be a real asshoe sometimes.

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Old 08-22-2020, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Quote:
specifics are important here

Threatening a black guy with calling the cops on him when you're the one ignoring the leash law? Karen deserves ridicule.

Spitting on people because you aren't wearing a mask when you're supposed to wear a mask? Disgusting Karen or Ken w/e deserves ridicule.
A bit more than ridicule, no? Censure?
But then, assholity is genderless, class-inclusive and pan-cultural. It's wa-ay bigger than the Karen stereotype and far too vague.
this is why I'm not a fan of memetics. A gene is much the same size and shape as every other gene, and has the same function. A meme can start out as a minuscule local fad or behavioural oddity and become stretched to include all sorts of unrelated activity.
Pretty soon, we're all printing the same word in a thousand different thought-bubbles.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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I don't want to fight you. Is that okay?
Uh oh.

We have to feed lisarea fights regularly otherwise she climbs out of her cage.
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Old 08-22-2020, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Has nobody else noticed the new user making substantive comments? What is happening?

:welcome: oxymaroon!
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Old 08-22-2020, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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Originally Posted by viscousmemories View Post
Has nobody else noticed the new user making substantive comments?
Nope, can't say's I have.

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:welcome: oxymaroon!
Glad to be here!:wave: (Who said "At my age, I'm happy to be anywhere."?) :yup:

Goddenuff smilies??
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Old 08-22-2020, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Welcome fellow Canuck!
There are a few of us on here.

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Goddenuff smilies??
We have a few

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Old 08-22-2020, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

So, (not wishing to derail a thread on my first day) about these here Karens --
I've heard of the "thing" before, whether as a poster-child for entitled meanness or a mere gag, but I never actually thought about it.
That article on the possible origins was interesting in that, it seems, other people have thought about it, even been fascinated by, but don't really know what it's about.
I find that troubling: Do we demonize an ever-larger segment of the population, without knowing why we're impelled to do it?
More troubling is the electronic culture that can turn a merely annoying cultural blip into a wide-spread viral meme.
This well and truly is The Age of Pandemics.
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Old 08-22-2020, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxymaroon View Post
Quote:
specifics are important here

Threatening a black guy with calling the cops on him when you're the one ignoring the leash law? Karen deserves ridicule.

Spitting on people because you aren't wearing a mask when you're supposed to wear a mask? Disgusting Karen or Ken w/e deserves ridicule.
A bit more than ridicule, no? Censure?
Yeah, that. Except I think that intentionally threatening a black man with police should be considered real racial violence, and not minimized.

One big complicating factor is that white women are trained to be afraid of black men, so sometimes when they call the cops in non-threatening situations, it's because they've been socialized that way, and they are genuinely afraid because they are afraid of practically everything because they've been inundated with victim blaming and urban legends and over the top warnings about stranger violence all their lives. It's still not an excuse, and women need to step back and think long and hard about how plausible these threats are before they go calling the cops. But it's not always an intentional threat the way it was with the dogwalker.

If you lie and put on an act to police or other potentially violent groups to get them to go after someone to settle a disagreement for you, you are a violent racist yourself and not in the same category as someone trying to use an expired coupon.

And as far as the original customer service style Karen goes, I saw one yesterday that's a perfect example of how absurd that one's gotten. It's literally just a man screaming abuse at a white woman, calling her fat and disgusting, as a young girl looks on. They're obviously in the middle of some type of argument, but you can't tell what it's about or how it started. But despite the fact that he's the one throwing out almost all the insults, she's still the entitled, unreasonable Karen.

Boom, found it on Reddit, with a bonus pile-on in the top rated comments.

Quote:
But then, assholity is genderless, class-inclusive and pan-cultural. It's wa-ay bigger than the Karen stereotype and far too vague.
this is why I'm not a fan of memetics. A gene is much the same size and shape as every other gene, and has the same function. A meme can start out as a minuscule local fad or behavioural oddity and become stretched to include all sorts of unrelated activity.
Pretty soon, we're all printing the same word in a thousand different thought-bubbles.
Hell yes. It's frustrating trying to say anything substantive sometimes, because it feels like you're constantly trying to dodge memes. There are all kinds of words and general concepts that cause instant kneejerk reactions to the point that people will ignore everything else and just react whatever meme it reminded them of. And Karen is such a general purpose one it's easy to dismiss pretty much any woman you disagree with without addressing a single point.

Hell, I've seen arguments that consist almost entirely of two people calling each other Karen.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Jesus why would I click a link that has "Reddit" in it. I know better!
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

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Has nobody else noticed the new user making substantive comments? What is happening?

:welcome: oxymaroon!
Hey, I welcomed Oxymaroon in ... some thread or other ... Stupid Baking.
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  #24  
Old 08-22-2020, 06:49 PM
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ChuckF ChuckF is offline
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

I heard tell there was a bona fide newb around somewhere :noid:
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  #25  
Old 08-22-2020, 06:54 PM
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ChuckF ChuckF is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Karen memes are pro-Trump propaganda: Fight me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
The whole "speak to your manager" interpretation is bad enough. (It's both a self-fulfilling prophesy AND a serious stereotype threat.) But it's become so widely and generically applied that it has morphed into a general perception that women are stupid, shrill, and entitled, and they should shut the fuck up and be more agreeable.
ok ma'am can you please just wait here while I get the :ff: manager.

viciousmammaries to this thrad please, viciousmammaries to this thrad
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