New misogyny has many forms

This article on Feminist Current by Meghan Murphy looks at the Karen/Becky meme and argues it has officially gone too far

The male centered progressive left has successfully made woman-hating trendy.

Today, yet another “Karen” video went viral online. This time, it seems a woman flipped off a male driver, one Karlos Dillard, who then followed her home and filmed her as she melted down into hysterics, posting the video online, which included her home address and license plate. Over eight million views later (sure to be more by the time you read this), and Dillard is selling t-shirts based on the incident.

It seems this is a hobby for Dillard, who has posted other similarly antagonistic videos, accusing women of “racism” (despite no evidence of racism) in an attempt turn Karen virality into profit. Other t-shirts for sale on his Instagram profile include one with the words, “Karen… Are you OK?” and another reading, “Keep that same energy, Karen.”

The Karen meme has been misogynist from the getgo, originating from an anonymous male Reddit user, Fuck_You_Karen, who was angry at his ex-wife, named Karen, for taking custody of his children. In 2017, his misogynist rants became a subreddit, r/FuckYouKaren.

Recently, the meaning of “Karen” was said to refer specifically to middle class, middle aged white women who are so entitled they ask to speak to the manager when perturbed, but has since morphed into a specifically racist white woman, who “weaponizes” white, female fragility against largely black men. This connects to sexist tropes that claim women use their emotions, vulnerability, and tears to manipulate men.

Last week, journalist and editor Jonathan Kay tweeted a “Wanted” poster he’d come across in Toronto, depicting a young, blonde, white woman. The text below her face mocked her as a “Basic Bitch” — privileged, entitled, and unwoke. The image and text presents “Becky” as dangerous — the new enemy. The A.C.A.B. (All Cops Are Bastards) logo on the poster implies it likely was produced and distributed by young anarchist men.

What began as a joke has become more than that, and has moved into explicitly misogynist (and, in my opinion, dangerous) territory.

“Becky,” which originated as a means to refer to basic white women — the Uggs-wearing, Starbucks-buying, pumpkin spice-loving kind — probably young, probably blonde, probably not working class. Like “Karen,” I never found this to be particularly offensive, as I had little desire to defend boring people who love Starbucks, but what was once a joke has become something much more egregious. Read more

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