Okay, Karen. It’s a phrase everyone with internet access has likely heard. Gen Z service workers love throwing the term around at their most unpleasant customers—more specifically, their overly entitled female customers. However, what about men?
What is the male version of a Karen? Does it even exist? Sadly for fast food workers everywhere, they do. What’s more, this article’s going to uncover them here today. First, let’s trace the fascinating history of the Karen meme, to discover her equally entitled male counterpart.
What Is a Karen?
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Everyone may be throwing the term ‘Karen’ around, but how many people can describe what it actually means? Who is this Karen person?
The term originated where most hilarious pop culture references do — the internet. In recent years, it’s become a widespread meme to describe a specific kind of white, middle-class woman with privileges. However, just having privileges doesn’t make a Karen.
In order for someone to truly be a Karen, they have to wield their privilege like Thor’s hammer, using it to smash people they perceive as being ‘beneath them’. This usually involves them belittling service employees, and demanding to speak to the manager for the smallest inconvenience. Recently, it has also come to mean refusing to wear a mask in public or getting vaccinated.
On the most serious level, a Karen is a white woman who will openly discriminate against minorities. They will throw around racial slurs, or make outrageous racist comments. In extreme cases, she may even racially profile minorities and call the police on them such as in the case of Central Park Karen.
There are other criteria that define a Karen, such as being white, middle-aged, or having a specific, bleach blonde bob haircut. However, the privilege aspect is the most important part of this stereotype.
What Is the Male Version of Karen?
Karen may be synonymous with middle-aged white women, but women aren’t the only entitled ones around. Men can be equally nasty, yet they seemingly don’t have a pejorative to call them out. Or do they?
In order to make Karen universal for all genders, the internet has tossed around a few names for the male version of a Karen. The most popular contenders are Kevin, Greg, Ken, and Terry. Ken and Greg seem to be favorites, while Kevin is associated more with men who lack a few IQ points. On the other hand, Terry is most similar to Karen in terms of 20th and 21st-century naming trends.
Like Karen, Terry was a popular name in the late 50s, before steadily declining by the 70s, only to disappear by the 2010s. However, Terry doesn’t seem to have the same negative associations as Karen does.
In summary, what is the male version of Karen? So far, we don’t have a clear answer. However, knowing the internet and the ever-increasing trend of entitled baby boomers, that is going to change very soon.