opinion

'My name is Karen. And this week, I've had enough.'

My name is Karen. I’ve been called Karen all my life. I’ve never really liked or disliked my name until recently

The world around us right now is in turmoil, but I think I’ve done pretty well in maintaining a positive outlook. 

Even when my husband hasn't been sleeping because he's worried about how to keep his business viable. 

Watching my son getting on with the new normal of online schooling. Having little or no social interaction with friends. 

It’s my job as a wife and a mother to support my family. But I’m now finding this increasingly difficult. Recently I’ve started to withdraw. My mental health is suffering, and not from the impact of living in a world full of dread and fear. 

Watch: 5 lifestyle hacks to help with your anxiety. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

It’s something that most people wouldn't even think twice about. Why would they? Who cares about Karen?  

Karen is a horrible, rude, entitled white woman who loves to argue her point whether it be right or wrong. She's not that nice mum at school smiling and waving to people, always volunteering to buy teachers gifts or welcoming new parents. She's not me.

I'm the person who dreads opening up social media for fear of “Karen“ shaming. Who is now too afraid to comment on local blogs and hubs in case someone has a different opinion and labels me “Karen”. Every day I’m facing this, and it’s starting to affect how I live my life.

When I walk into a shop to buy something and get my bank card out, I’m constantly on edge worrying that someone will check the name on it and form an opinion of me based on articles posted all over social media.

Do I actually see people sniggering when I pick up a takeaway and give my name, or is it all in my head? I’m starting to feel paranoid that everyone is judging me.

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I feel like I'm under a constant microscope to be doing the right thing, because anything I do or say that doesn’t meet with someone else’s opinion could mean being called out as a “Karen”.

I’m now a person in society who is not allowed an opinion. I’m a non-person due to my name.

When I lay in bed at night reflecting on the day, I’m constantly replaying my words and actions, worrying that I may have inadvertently offended someone. I play situations out in my head over and over again. I can’t switch off and I don’t know how long I can carry on with four hours sleep a night.

Is it just me or do all Karens feel like this?

I can’t raise this with anyone because I’m so embarrassed. How will anyone understand how I’m feeling unless they, too, are called Karen?  

Listen: Mamamia Out Loud discuss whether the "Karen" meme is just another way to make women feel bad. Post continues below.

My anxiety really started to ramp up when I got a WhatsApp message from my close friend, saying "look at this hilarious footage of a Karen in a DIY store. I’m addicted to watching them online. If I were you I’d consider changing my name," followed by several laughing emojis.

I am absolutely distraught. Doesn’t she understand the impact that statement has on me?

People see this as a laugh. Friends say, “don’t worry, you are so far from being Karen.”

But I am Karen. I’ve always been Karen, but now I’m not fun-loving Karen, always thinking of others before myself. Trying to be kind, trying to do the best for my family. Trying to live the best life I can.

I’m sad, lonely, ridiculed Karen, embarrassed to give people my name because I know what they're thinking.

The word Karen is now used as a derogatory term. When is someone going to acknowledge that this is actually offensive in itself? 

But I dare not raise this, because I’m no longer allowed to have an opinion. I’m just Karen. 

Feature image: Getty. 


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