There have been more and more stories of "Karens" floating around the internet, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're unfamiliar with the term, well, first: Where have you been? And second, here's a definition:
Wikipedia has a pretty good one pegged down for this recently developed slang term: "Karen is a pejorative term for a person perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary."
But what's a male version called?
Is "Ken" an appropriate term for the male version of a Karen?
The name "Ken" came up in another recent viral story where two white people called the cops on an Asian-American doctor, Khoa Lam, who was just visiting his parents in a housing complex. Lam had recorded the entire encounter because he sensed a "Karen on the loose" after he was accosted by the woman. Shortly after, he was approached by a man who was on the phone with the police. Lam called the man a "Ken" for his actions.
Then there was that St. Louis lawyer couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who stood outside of their home, brandishing guns to protect it from protesters they feared would attack their domicile.
A now viral image of the two soon became the talk of the internet, and countless memes were created of the duo, lampooning them as Grand Theft Auto loading screens, movie posters, and, of course, dubbing them a "Ken & Karen" couple.
I really thought it was a joke that the St Louis couple names were Ken and Karen but it’s not and it’s perfect. pic.twitter.com/3KclVv8nVG— Leslee (@Leslee_Brooke) June 30, 2020
But is that what the male version of a Karen really is?
While it seems like the "Ken" moniker is certainly sticking for a lot of people, there are a number of folks on the internet who have their own ideas. Not everyone seems to be in total agreement, which has become abundantly clear from this recent Reddit post that tackles this very important sociological issue.
User The1_BlueX seems to think that "Frank" is the right term. Personally, I don't think that it fits and there could be some personal bias here, but some of their logic is listed below:
"Frank is a man and everyone needs to know it. You will often see him driving his blacked out Silverado around town just begging for people to pay attention to it. Sometimes he pulls a boat with it but mostly he just drives it to work so that he can impress the guys, who secretly can't stand him."
"Frank is the guy who has to talk so loud you can hear from the other side of a Texas Roadhouse. He also tries to get flirty with the waitresses despite his entire family sitting there with him. He watches football religiously. Alabama is his favorite team, even though he only drove through Alabama once to go to Florida one summer. He constantly complains about millennials."
If there’s a male version of a Karen, it’s this guy pic.twitter.com/v9z5kHDBBv— Dennis Feitosa (@gowithdennis) June 18, 2020
However, there were several people who believe that the male version of a Karen is, indisputably, a "Richard." And they've offered up some pretty compelling reasons why. Like __Miguel_'s description below:
"Stoner deadbeat dad. Wears white wifebeaters, loose baggy jeans at least halfway down their ass, a cap with the visor facing any other direction than forwards, and sunglasses, exclusively and regardless of setting, including indoors."
"Unlike Karen, however, Richard (because Dick seems an appropriate "pet name" for the male Karen) would be unable to care less for their children if he actively tried to, meaning when Karen eventually takes the kids, Richard will feel relieved. Or he would, if he came down from his high long enough to even notice that 1) Karen was gone, 2) the kids were gone, and 3) he had kids in the first place."
I think that the male version of a “Karen” should be a “Jeremy.”— JΛKΣ (@USMCLiberal) June 17, 2020
Anyone object—besides Jeremy?#KarenStrikesAgain
Hey Chad — can I call you Chad? — let’s talk about your definition of “under siege”. Your threat assessment seems a bit overexaggerated (1/2).... https://t.co/NwAeIrCBOg— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) July 17, 2020
But then there are folks who swear that it's Chad, or Brad, Brian, or Jeremy, or Karlos (not sure if I'm familiar with that spelling).
However, it seems that more and more people are honing in on Ken. I think that this tweet below makes a succinct, but infallible case.
Folks, a hill I am willing to die on: the male version of a Karen is indisputably “Ken”. Brad/Chad just want to tell you about a great way to earn passive income, NOT talk to your manager— Connor (@cflynnmusic) July 18, 2020
I mean, it's really difficult to argue with this logic. Seems pretty sound if you ask me.