“Karen” died today. Or maybe yesterday, I can’t be sure.
All I know is that when I was alerted to the existence of a Wikipedia page for the term Karen, I knew it was time to move on. I predicted this would happen. When it found its way into the Caucasian lexicon, I knew “Karen” would join formerly cool terms like “lit,” “bae” and “Khéya Wíta” in the graveyard of things that were cool until white people discovered it.
Although Wikipedia describes a Karen as a “a pejorative term for a woman seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal,” that is not quite accurate. Wikipedia is correct when it explains that African-American culture has “a long history of calling a meddlesome white woman by a certain name.” However, all Karens are not meddlesome and all annoying white women are not Karens.
The headline might be misleading, but the scientific term for the different kinds of female “Oh no!”-sapiens are much more complex. To explain these differences, we contacted lexicologists, anthropologists and people who know that joker-joker-ace is the correct way to play Spades. But, since everyone responded by saying “Stop playing on my phone,” I decided to lean on the expertise of the founder of the field of wypipology to outline the different types of privileged white women.
(noun); a white woman who has not evolved into Karenhood. Ex: “I hate when I have to work on a group project with an Ashleigh.”
As we previously explained, most Beckies fall in the age range of 25 to 52. Before then, a white woman is capable of metamorphosing into any one of these categories.
Ashleighs are usually generic, store-brand white women who have given themselves an air of exoticness by changing the vowels in their first names. Most Ashleighs belong to a white sorority when they were in college and worked at their father’s company before marrying a guy in middle management, going into their cocoon and emerging as an adult Becky. That’s when they cut their hair and start shopping at “boutiques.”
Ashleighs are not very intelligent and wield their privilege as if they just discovered a superpower, so they can be quite heavy-handed with it at times. For instance, Marjorie Taylor Greene is stuck in a perpetual state of Ashleighness and Ivanka Trump was raised to be the queen of the species, so she will never move on to Beckydom. Some Ashleighs, like Miley Cyrus and fill-in-the-blank Kardashian, are yet to be determined.
Identifying Call: “Excuse me?”
(noun); a white woman who uses her privilege as a weapon, a ladder or an excuse. Ex: “A random Becky hit me up on Twitter to explain why not all white women are racist.”
In The Root’s groundbreaking research project “The Five Types of Becky,” we explained that Beckies fall into different categories. Damon Young’s in-depth explainer noted that they exist “in a state of racial obliviousness that shifts from intentionally clueless to intentionally condescending.”
I know this sounds a lot like what you call a “Karen,” but they are two different things. Beckies weaponize their privilege as a defense mechanism, while Karens use white supremacy as their weapon of choice. A Becky will burst into tears when the police show up to shield herself from the consequences of her actions, but it is rare to find teardrops falling from a Karen’s mascara-lined eye sockets.
For instance, when cops questioned the reasoning of the volunteer park ranger known as Barbecue Becky after she called the cops on a Black family who was minding their own business, she bawled like a white woman watching Titanic. A true Karen would have taken matters into her own hand, kicked over their barbecue grill and dared those belligerent negroes to say a goddamned word.
Don’t debate me on this. It’s in the dictionary.
Identifying Call: “I was just trying to help.”
(noun); a law-abiding citizen who polices Black bodies in her spare time. Ex: “I was going to teach my social studies class about slavery, but a Carol told the principal I was teaching CRT.”
Everyone knows a Carol.
If you’ve ever wondered who keeps snitching to your supervisor when you arrive three minutes late to work, it was probably a Carol. If you’ve ever had the police called on you because you look “suspicious,” if you check the 911 tape, it came from a Carol. If you ever received a note on your windshield because you parked in front of someone’s house, that was a Carol. Carols love writing notes.
They are known for being passive-aggressive so, unlike Karens, they don’t respond to criticism by weeping. Instead, they are the first responders who will summon up white tears before they even start their shenanigans. Carols are very sensitive, so they will sometimes fabricate claims of injury.
Carols are usually stay-at-home moms, so they have a lot of extra time on their hands to volunteer with the charity drives, her church’s women’s auxiliary club and the PTA. In fact, anthropologists estimate that Carols are responsible for 69 percent of bake sales, 86 percent of potlucks and 92 percent of all people crying at school board meetings about Critical Race Theory, mask mandates or Black Lives Matter flags.
While those activities may keep the average person busy, Carols spend most of their time not minding their business because they are cursed with a condition that renders them unable to stay in their fucking lane. They don’t live in houses or apartments, they don’t make stuff and they don’t grow things; they live in homes where they do activities like crafting and gardening.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s Carols who want to speak to the manager.
Identifying Call: “How dare you come into my home...sniff...”
Don’t fuck with Karens.
Unlike Beckies, Karens are very aggressive. If a Becky is a panda, then Karens are polar bears—the whitest and most dangerous of the species. While a Becky will call the cops and a Carol might report you to human resources, a Karen might take matters into her own hands and attack. Being attacked by a Karen does not require any provocation.
Karen’s aren’t even always physical, they might just take the initiative to bar you from entering or exiting a space (which, technically, is kidnapping in some states). As you know, white women generally believe that everything belongs to them but Karens are more territorial. And not all assaults are Karen strikes. Any white woman can lash out, but only Karens will go to their graves believing they were right or asserting that they were in danger. A real Karen will never apologize for her actions. The best you will ever receive is “I’m sorry if my actions offended you.”
Identifying Call: “The constitution says I have a right to...”
(noun); a former Becky, Carol or Karen who is past her prime Ex: “A Maggie told me that Donald Trump won the election!”
When most strains of white woman get older, they become Maggies.
Maggies are like the polar opposite of an Aunt Bea. They don’t just have privilege, they know how to use it in ways you would never imagine. A Maggie won’t call the police on you, nor will she attack you. They are much more evil than that. Maggies call their congressmen. Maggies get elected to school boards and then ban Black students from breathing. Maggies will circulate pictures of your kids on the Nextdoor app and tell people they are breaking into homes. Maggies will overturn an election. Seventy-one percent of the women at the Capitol insurrection were Maggies.
Until we do more testing, we can’t say for sure if Most Maggies are alcoholics, but they often seem drunk. Maybe it’s meth. Or pills. Or whiteness.
Most often, Maggies are the managers Carols wish to speak to.
Famous Maggies: Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sarah Palin (a former Ashleigh). Any white woman who thinks “leftist” is a bad word.
Identifying Call: “The n-word”*
*Not the actual n-word. Maggies invented the phrase: “The n-word.”
(noun); a meddlesome white woman who has expired, yet still somehow lives. Ex: “I can’t believe that old Miss Ann hasn’t died yet!”
Who do you think raised all the Maggies who raised the Karens who are raising future Ashleighs?
When you see pictures of white women screaming at classmates integrating their schools, those women are still alive. Even if they weren’t so egregiously racist back then, a lot of old white ladies grow more racist with age. It’s almost like racism is a fine wine. Or a cancer.
But Miss Anns aren’t just racist; they are openly proud of it and will say the most racist shit as if they were reading the weather report aloud. I once had an old lady ask me why so many “nigras” carry Bibles to church when most nigras can’t read. But you can’t slap the shit out of an old white woman. (Technically, you can but that would mean you would have to touch them and old white people’s skin feels like paper-thin slices of provolone cheese. It’s nasty.)
Miss Anns are nosy as fuck, too. They’re always asking you about something that’s none of their business. Especially shit going on in your yard. And they do it in the most racist way possible.
Miss Ann: I haven’t seen your son mowing the lawn in a while. Is he OK?
Me: Yes, he’s in college.
Miss Ann: OK! I thought he might be in jail or something!
Me: In jail for what, Miss Ann?
Miss Ann: I don’t know, you tell me why all you Black fellas do what you do.
Famous Miss Anns: Carolyn Bryant Donham (Becky Emeritus), Kellyanne Conway’s skin, any white woman over 70 named Hazel, any white woman over 70 named Pearl, Any white woman over 70.
Identifying Call: “He’s a nice colored fella.”