LOUIS BURKE Culture | Contact

According to a Sunrise poll and a Domino’s Pizza social media post it is in fact a very hard time to be called Karen right now. 

Hailing from The Netherlands, Karen was traditionally a shorthand name for Katherine, becoming popular in the mid twentieth century, particularly in 1956 where 2% of newborn American girls were given the name.

The oft-used female first name has been making headlines lately as a mocking moniker for uncooperative women who go viral for refusing to wear a facemask, arguing with police or trying to get their neighbour killed. 

While it’s all a bit of fun for everyone except for the victims of Karen behaviour, many Twitter users have called out the term ‘Karen’ as discrimination in their first Twitter use since they tweeted #AllLivesMatter in June.

“Stop calling me Karen, my name is Susan!” stated a local Betoota Heights Karen.

“Do you have a license to film me right now? Because if you don’t you know I could get you arrested and have your income diverted to me.” 

But ask local Op-Shop administrator Karen Bunkle (62), a fundraiser and activist, and she’ll tell you that real challenges aren’t based around people making fun of your western name.

Speaking exclusively with The Advocate, Bunkle explained how she became aware of the Karen meme when the youngest of her foster children shared it with her in between volunteer shifts at an aged care facility and greyhound rescue center. 

“I decided I didn’t want to be part [of that],” stated Bunkle as she knit a jumper for a shivering homeless man out of the wool from her own jumper.

“So I’ve taken a page out of Coon Cheeses’ book and I’m changing that problematic name of mine!” 

Since making this announcement, numerous ‘Honourary Karens’ (aka. ‘Spiritual Karens’) have spoken against the name change with one Twitter user stating: ‘Nooo! Don’t do it! Karen is a heritage name referring to the Karening process! Don’t give in!’ 

Although there has been major backlash in the wake of Bunkles’ announcement she says she will not be swayed and looks forward to having a name that reflects her positive nature instead of one that suggests she’s about to star in a cracking viral video.


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