Claytoonz: Musk you mansplain?
Kids, class is in session. Today, I’m going to educate you on the use of a specific slur. Now, not all of you need to be schooled on this but there are quite a few of you who are ignorant motherfuckers, so you’re the ones I’m really talking to.
The slur we’re going to address today is “Karen.” Everybody has heard this used before but some of you aren’t using it correctly. Wait, there’s a question from the class. Is it always sexist to use the slur “Karen?” The best answer I can give you is, probably. But, there are times when it’s definitely sexist.
A few days ago, one of my cartooning colleagues used “Karen” in a tweet. Even though nobody knew who he was tweeting to or what he was talking about, he got screamed at a lot for being sexist. He apologized and promised never to use it again. Even though nobody knew how he was using it except it was supposed to be an insult directed at someone, it was decided it was sexist. It probably was.
Another question? Yes? What is a Karen? Good question.
First off, a Karen has to be white and female. Now, if you call a dude “Karen,” then you are being sexist. Some men are called “Kens.” And since there is a “Ken” maybe that means “Karen” isn’t always sexist. But, the true meaning of Karen means an entitled and demanding white woman. Now if you want to call a black woman a Karen…never mind. Just do it. I dare you.
Remember that lady in Central Park who called the cops because she saw a black guy? Remember that other time when a white lady called the cops because she saw a black family having a picnic? Remember when Donald Trump asked a black reporter to set up a meeting between him and black members of Congress because all black people must know each other (for the part for a minute where that’s NOT a reporter’s job)? Remember the white St. Louis couple who pulled out and pointed guns because black people were walking in front of their house? Ever see a white person ask to see the manager? Ever see a white person screaming they shouldn’t have to wear a face mask during the pandemic? Those are classic Karen moments.
The pandemic has been ripe for Karens.
A few months ago, I was at my favorite sushi place in town and I was standing in line behind a white woman. She was dressed very nicely as if she came from money, but I wasn’t judging…yet. The wait was taking a couple minutes and as a younger lady walked near us, the nicely-dressed woman, I guess she was tired of standing in line, stopped the younger woman and said she just wanted to get a table and if the young woman could take her to one. The young girl told her, “I don’t work here.” The young girl was Asian. And then I said very loudly, “Good job, Karen.”
I lied. I didn’t say that. I only thought it. I was afraid if I did say that, then the older woman would’ve clocked me, or at the very least, I’d still have to stand in line next to her for a few more minutes. I’m not letting no Karen get between me and my spicy tuna roll. But, I think that would have been the proper use of “Karen.” The older white woman was entitled, believing she shouldn’t have to wait in line, and she assumed the younger woman worked at the sushi restaurant because she was Asian.
What is not a proper use of “Karen” is when you hurl it at a female just because she disagrees with you. Basically, if you’re a Republican, you shouldn’t use it at all. If you’re rich, yeah, just don’t. That word doesn’t belong to you. It’s kinda like when liberals called Don Jr “Fredo,” and then Trumpers started using it for Hunter Biden and Chris Cuomo. The “Let’s Go Brandon” morons can’t create good insults. Case in point: “Let’s go Brandon.” Also, “snowflake,” and “libtard.”
Billionaire Elon Musk used “Karen” incorrectly. Earlier this week, after being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, he called Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Senator Karen,” for saying Billionaire Elon, who’s worth $297 billion dollars, needs to pay taxes.
Elon tweeted at the Senator, “Stop projecting.” What is she projecting? Is that another word you don’t know how to use, Elon? In 2018, Elizabeth Warren and her husband paid $302,227 on $913,000 of income. Between 2015 to 2017, Elon paid $70,000 for those years combined. In 2018, he paid nothing. So, Elon…what is Elizabeth Warren projecting? And that’s when he called Elizabeth Warren “Senator Karen.”
He continued tweeting and said, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason. Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.” Can anyone make sense of that? Who’s the manager in this situation? Was the friend’s mom in a grocery store while screaming for no reason? Also, how is Senator Warren a “Karen”? Did Elon just skip through a few right-wing memes?
Let me point something out to you, Elon: Senator Warren has a very good reason to scream at you. Every American taxpayer has a very good reason to scream at you. And you don’t know how to use the term “Karen.”
Another person who doesn’t know how to use the slur is Joe Battenfield of the Boston Herald.
Battenfield wrote that Elon used the term “perfectly,” in that Warren is a “rich, privileged, older white woman used to getting her way and bullying people around.” Battenfield claims the “richest man in the world wins this round” and then uses Elon Musk’s slur in calling Warren “Senator Karen.” Battenfield copied it from Elon Musk because again, conservatives suck at coming up with their own slang and nicknames, even the ones who are writers, like Joe Butthole (It’s cool that I call you “Butthole” since we’re making up nicknames for people now, right?). It’s like how they always use Donald Trump’s juvenile insults like, “Pocahontas.” Oh, yeah. Elon sent a tweet with a link to that too. So, not only are Elon and Joe “Butthole” Battenfield being sexist here, they’re both racists.
Also, what’s funnier than “Senator Karen” is “Space Karen.” You’d think Elon wouldn’t want to bring “Karen” back. “Space Karen” is catchy.
But, Joe Butthole…how is Elizabeth Warren bullying Elon Musk? Leave it to a conservative to say a man worth $297 billion is being bullied by a woman. That’s pretty Karenish right there, Butthole.
When you receive billions in government subsidies and then campaign against other billionaires receiving government subsidies, that’s when you lose all rights to accuse others of being entitled, Space Karen. When you spread misinformation on a pandemic and vaccines, that’s when you lose the right to call anyone a “Karen,” Space Karen. When you buy spaceships just for fun and as a novelty, that’s when you lose all rights to call anyone a “Karen,” Space Karen.
Note: I apologize to all the Karens I know, and those I don’t, who definitely are NOT Karens in this sense. I especially apologize to Karen Black, who is one of my very best friends (even though she won’t even try sushi and puts ketchup on everything), is about as liberal as I am, is a huge advocate for saving the environment, and is part Jamaican. Hell, even her last name is “Black.” So, my favorite Karen, and one of my favorite people (even though I once caught her putting ketchup on a hot dog on America’s birthday), is not a Karen. The Karens are making it really bad for the Karens. I propose we drop “Karen” and replace it with “Ivanka.” Who the hell knows an Ivanka?
Music note: I listened to the Rolling Stones again while drawing today’s cartoon. Maybe I should have listened to some David Bowie.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.