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The Evolution Of The Name Karen And How It Became A Multifaceted Jab




The Manhattan district attorney says he will prosecute Amy Cooper, who called police after a black man asked her to leash her dog in New York's Central Park.
The Manhattan district attorney says he will prosecute Amy Cooper, who called police after a black man asked her to leash her dog in New York's Central Park.
Christian Cooper/AP

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It’s a tough time to be named Karen. The name has quickly evolved into a well-known insult or jab to describe entitled white women. According to a piece in the Atlantic, it’s also been used heavily during the course of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The piece explains how the name was used to describe a woman who protested shelter in place orders and openly denounced science. But it’s also been used to describe women who constantly ask to “speak to the manager” when they’re displeased, those who constantly complain and even those who take advantage of their white privilege in seemingly dangerous and cringeworthy ways. For example, the internet deemed Amy Copper a Karen after she  called the cops on a bird watcher in Central Park in New York, a black man, and falsely accused him of threatening her. The name has become a powerful and  multifaceted tool used in language.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss the evolution of the name Karen. We want to know your thoughts. How do you use the name, if at all? What do you think about it? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Kaitlyn Tiffany, staff writer at The Atlantic; she tweets @kait_tiffany