Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Call the Manager, Karen

A few weeks ago when the first complaint was registered on Twitter that a certain demographic of women felt that they were being unfairly tarred and feathered, I laughed it off as some woman having too much time on her hands. Seriously Karen?

In fact, I had intended to weigh in with a few jokes, but Damon at Very Smart Brothers beat me to it. And because his deconstruction of that kind of silliness is always funnier, I was content to leave it there. After all, we're living with a global pandemic. I am wearing the same clothes and haven't had a manicure in weeks so it is harder to type. I have my own anxieties about life, so the last thing I need to worry my little head about is whether some ladies on Twitter are organizing mutiny.

But they are. The Karens are displeased. So they have taken to the streets, like this woman in her yoga pants and messy top knot demanding that we get back to work. She has had enough of our loafing. She wants her hair cut and a pumpkin spice latte (I know, we're in a different season, so she wants her green tea frappucinno with soy milk and extra foam) NOW!

Only she can't call our managers to demand that we get fired because they're all at home on the sofa watching YouTube makeup tutorials. Unless someone is deemed an essential worker, we're ALL on lockdown, Karen. We all need a life, a job, and a haircut. We are all trying to navigate a world that has been turned upside down by a GLOBAL pandemic that has made it necessary for Savannah Guthrie to read the news from her basement. How is that not clear?

Oh, that's right...not enough people have died to warrant your inconvenience. You don't know anyone among those 45,000+ casualties. You barely know the single mother who fulfilled your recent Insta-cart order, but forgot the pomelo so now you can't make that recipe you saw on pinterest. (And you showed her by only giving her three stars!) Well, she wants to get her hair done too, but she has to pay her rent which is why she's venturing out in a homemade mask, a sleep cap, and kitchen gloves to shop for your groceries.

But by all means, Karen, complain that we are making fun of your name. That we've made it a slur, equal to the n-word that you dare not say because then Delroy Lindo might show up at your door, and you don't want that smoke...

So no, being branded as a Karen isn't a social media 'lynching' or branding a scarlet letter K on your profile. Your block button works. You don't have to be on social media correcting other people's grammar. You don't have to become the star of a viral racist Tik Tok rant that you and your stupid boyfriend made because you're bored. Oh wait, that was your daughter Becky...

Look Karen, we know it isn't your fault that you have too much free time on your hands, enough that you can take to the streets to demand that we get back to work so that you can get back to your regular complaining and calling the cops.

But before I let you get back to your crusade, let's go on and address your shitty analogy comparing the word you dare not say to being called a Karen. Sexism and misogyny are words that I happen to understand very well, being a woman myself. I also know about being Black, but we won't play the your-blues-ain't-like-mine card because we aren't playing games. Your life isn't at risk when someone calls you Karen...your feelings are hurt. Those are not analogous experiences.
The mere fact that you can take to the streets without a mask toting your homemade signs, brandishing your guns without getting tear gassed or arrested illustrates the very privilege of being a Karen. Trust, Angela cannot take to the streets in righteous indignation over the police shooting her son. Maria can't afford to take off from her second job to protest not being paid a living wage. The nail techs and salespeople who need to go to work are at home in a queue waiting to get through to someone who can process their unemployment checks. There are small business owners who can't get loans because Ruth Chris's Steak House got to the money first. Monica is providing five hours of online instruction for your children and planning an online memorial service for her great Aunt Carole who died alone at the hospital where Miriam has to reuse PPE and wear a garbage bag while treating patients.

But you aren't protesting those injustices, are you Karen? Or Laura. Or Jill. Or Miss Anne. Or whatever the fuck your name is.

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