KUCHARUK: “Did you hear the one about Karen?”

“Yes! You mean the lady who called the police on the kids playing in the yard because they were too loud?
“Yes…I mean no. That lady was a ‘Karen’ as well, but I was talking about the ‘Karen’ who went into the hospital for something but refused to wear a mask and therefore was asked to leave and then made a big stink about it because she shouldn’t have to do something that she doesn’t want to do even though it was to protect herself and others in a HOSPITAL”.
“Oh…..yes, I did hear something about that over the weekend. There are just so many ‘Karen’ stories these days that it is difficult to keep up”.
I am not sure where the ‘Karen’ moniker came from, but that is all that I hear about these days. You can follow hashtags like #KarensGoneWild and see insane smart phone video of women (always women….because ‘Karen’) who apparently have no concept of living in harmony with society.
There is the, “I want to talk to the Manager Karen”, the “Not in my backyard Karen”, the “Could you please enjoy yourselves somewhere else because the kids playing is giving me a headache Karen” and the “It is my RIGHT to NOT wear a mask Karen”. There are other Karen’s but you get the drift.
Can a man be a ‘Karen’?
Definitely. There is no doubt about it. I wonder why they do not have their own hashtag #KenGoneWild?
Why do we see only a handful of those video’s? Is it because if you began to video a man you would more than likely have it forcibly removed from your hand?
I am not excusing the true ‘Karens’ of the world in any shape or form, but do you ever wonder what would happen if we stopped filming long enough to fully understand why they are reacting in such an insane manner?
Granted, some are just entitled, miserable, racist human beings, but not all of them. Some are ill-informed about society, some are ill-prepared for society and some are just ‘ill’.
If we look at it from an empathic perspective, perhaps we can better understand what made Jennifer become ‘Karen’ at the grocery store/hospital/school/workplace.
Jennifer has been homeschooling her children and working full time from home. She has no sense of control over her life because of COVID. She has been isolated for 6 weeks receiving her groceries via delivery and has not been able to see her extended family for the same time-period. Her youngest is teething and doesn’t sleep a wink which means that Jennifer doesn’t sleep a wink. Finally, she is able to go out to the store by herself. She walks in and is faced with a person in a mask barking orders and asking questions: “Have you been out of the country? Do you feel sick? Use the hand sanitizer! Put this mask on! Follow the arrows!
Jennifer feels intimidated by this first non-family human interaction.  Jennifer feels embarrassed. Jennifer feels boxed in. Jennifer doesn’t know what to do.
Jennifer pulls an Incredible Hulk and becomes ‘Karen’.
She goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode and chooses to fight.
She lets go verbally and word vomits. Every single cell of her body is saying, “Let it out Jennifer…..let it out!”
She is now in a complete lather and there is that, “Go big or go home” moment that she knows she can never return.
It’s showtime at Walmart and the smart phones are now recording.
Jennifer knows that she has pulled a ‘Karen’ and is now feeling shame but there is no way out of this situation – she keeps going.
Finally a security guard arrives and escorts her out of the building. She sits in her car and realizes what had just happened. She realizes that she snapped in front of her friends and neighbours. She is embarrassed and humiliated over what she has done.
Jennifer didn’t leave her home thinking that she would become a ‘Karen’. She didn’t know that the lack of control she was feeling in her own world would translate into her literally losing control.
I am not saying that there shouldn’t be consequences to crappy, ‘Karenesque’ behaviour. I am just saying that everyone has a story and things might not always be how they appear.
There are going to be more of these types of outbursts because of this COVID stress bubble. Are we going to stand by and film or are we going to try and help educate, empathize and inform. Maybe we can help?

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