The “Karen” meme has quickly spread like wildfire across Twitter. It’s a more easily referenced offshoot of the previously unnamed “I would like to speak to the manager” joke that was more broadly associated with tannie haircuts and Ray-Bans than anything else. Now that there’s a name for it, it’s easier to crack a joke, especially at the expense of those who seem to embody the trope’s worst attributes. The typical Karen is a white woman, enraged at some kind of slight, especially those that the Left finds ridiculous or appalling — like the alleged stereotype of white women calling the police on black men for existing.
This so-called Karen archetype has been defended as a sort of last stand for polite society. Karen would just like things to work right for once — who doesn’t want that? Her attitudes feel especially prescient given that we live in a world where things seem to be going wrong more and more often. When people that don’t speak your language or share your customs cause you problems in your everyday life, creating friction in the most mundane of activities, it might seem right to just scream and demand some kind of intervention by the authority in charge.
It is easier now to defend Karen from a position of white positivity simply because the term, like many, has been bastardized beyond recognition by leftoids of various stripes. “Karen” is devoid of any meaning beyond “white woman with an opinion I dislike” to the Twitter crowd, much like “boomer” simply came to mean “old person with an opinion I dislike” to the same group. To see white women ruthlessly mocked and attacked is enough for many of us to feel the need to defend them.
There’s just one problem with this. Karen is not a last stand for a nice, white country. Karen is a last stand for the status quo she grew accustomed to in the last several decades, a world in which her entitlement went unchecked and the underclass she could boss around didn’t talk back. The Karen archetype doesn’t have much of an identity, if any, beyond herself. She will harass white teenagers and Mexican fast-food workers with equal zeal. A Karen is merely a blandly conservative AWFL — they differ solely in the types of people that they love to complain about to the authorities.
It’s a sad reflection of the society constituting the United States that identities are now based almost entirely on who you think it’s appropriate to narc on. This is the result of a legal system and more general social morality that upholds egalitarianism and “blind justice” as a supposed virtue. When a member of your ingroup behaves “badly,” it’s in your interest to shield them from social or legal justice, especially if you believe the behavior they engaged in is not actually worthy of punishment. Conversely, the legal and societal codes of conduct can be used as a tool for raining down hellfire upon your enemies, as the Left has done to the Right for years.
Karens, functionally, form an ingroup of one. They got comfortable with the generally amenable heydays of the 2000s, and learned that they could often use the social punitive system to get what they want out of a given situation. They lack any real frame of reference for how life should be except for the way that their life has been. The peak of civilization for the serial complainer was the invention of social media, since they could now make scenes in front of the entire Internet.
Consider the sorts of situations that we inevitably see Karen in. They’re always upset about minutiae that are products of the decadent American experience, whether it’s her coffee order, her grocery coupons, or wily teenagers who dare to socialize on her barren cul-de-sac. She might be more benign than the average AWFL, who directs her attention towards more sympathetic targets — especially people on our side. But we stand to gain nothing from defending the neurotype of a bitchy woman. Her choice in victims is wholly incidental. We share no common ground with these types, as a Karen is more interested in maintaining a social order that is predicated upon immigration, wage-slave service positions, and a very atomized social structure. She doesn’t realize this, and will often appear to be opposed to such things, but this posturing falls apart upon any close examination.
Suburban housewives with bad attitudes lead very isolated existences. They have a comfortable roost they can return to, insulated from the other people, with whom she only engages during her errands. She’s dependent on some kind of serf class — whether that’s created by importing third-worlders or depriving her own kind is irrelevant — to do her bidding when she ventures out, and she gets very upset when this coddling atmosphere is disrupted. Karen isn’t raging against the death of the West, she’s raging against the logical outcome of the systems that previously made her lifestyle possible. Her unsustainable, typically male-funded and government-subsidized free ride is crumbling before her very eyes, and she’d like to speak to the manager about it.
Our movement is not built upon defending white women’s access to cheap and sugared coffee. It is built upon struggle, and will require dismantling just about everything that Karen knows and loves. Her life philosophy is bourgeois by nature — she wants a long, comfortable life, and is enraged by the denial of those things, not by the breakdown in social order itself. To assume we can court these kvetching mobs by couching our rhetoric in cheap, insincere platitudes about efficient grocery store checkouts would be exactly that — cheap and insincere. Karen isn’t interested in anything we have to offer — duty, honor, resilience — so why should we interested in anything that Karen has to offer?
It’s natural to be defensive of the social norms that prevail in your country of birth. That’s what a lot of this intellectual movement is shaped by, and why we might sympathize with those upset that it’s all going to hell. But it’s also important to recognize when these norms are not rooted in healthy, manageable modes of production and association. The United States has not been building resilient societies since at least the end of the Second World War, and especially not since the passage of the Immigration and Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s. The things that seem to popularly constitute the American lifestyle depend upon cheap labor, outsourcing, and micromanaging the sensibilities of vocally disruptive groups. Karen ultimately stands for nothing other than deracinated consumerism and her own indignation. The outspoken women of the day are little more than feminists attempting to lord power over their perceived inferiors. The backlash they’re receiving now was and is inevitable — it’s not enough just to be a woman anymore, as there’s plenty of aggrieved groups below them in the progressive stack.
An all-too-common error made by white nationalists is one that many white people make in their daily life. We like to assume the best of people, and in our case, we like to assume that almost all white people can be convinced of our ideas. We’re often willing to accept some very defective people simply because they express sympathy for our stated goals, and we also spend a lot of time rationalizing our pursuit of individuals that want nothing to do with us. Revolutionary movements have always been made up of a small minority of fighters. There’s no need for us to white knight for or court the interests of groups that are irredeemably damaged by the trappings of modernity — especially not bob-cut, middle-aged women with chips on their shoulders.
Karens are, by and large, an unpleasant anomaly in a society that is sick to the core. To defend them on the basis of astroturfed, idealized interests in a white society that they do not hold is to risk credibility and hazard guilt by association. At the end of the day, a bitchy woman is not some kind of Joan d’Arc weaponizing her shrill protests against the neoliberal global order.
She’s just a bitchy woman.
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