Baby boomers have been at the receiving end of an epic roasting thanks to Gen Z and millennials popularising the quip “OK boomer.” Having made boomers everywhere clutch at their pearls, it appears that the younger folks have turned their attention to Gen X (aka the forgotten generation between baby boomers and Gen Z).
In the same vein as using “OK boomer” to wave off baby boomers, Gen Z and millennials are now starting to call Gen X the “Karen Generation.”
A “Karen” refers to those privileged, middle-aged white mums who are always asking to see the manager whenever something doesn’t go their way. You know the ones we’re talking about.
Like how “OK boomer” began as a viral TikTok video, the “Karen generation” began when the topic of generational feuds came up in the comments section on TikTok and quickly snowballed when people pointed out how Gen X’ers aren’t entirely innocent either.
“Privileged from the system the boomers set up for them and [are] now acting entitled and working against Gen Z.
“They’re usually racist, homophobic, and transphobic, don’t believe in vaccines or climate change, and are mostly also the parents of Gen Z children.”
When put like that, labelling Gen X’ers as the “Karen Generation”… actually makes a lot of sense. Yes, baby boomers shoulder a heap of the blame for a lot of the wrongs happening around the world right now, such as climate change.
But how else do we explain the worrying uptick in anti-vaxxers, close-minded views on racism and the LGBTQI+ community, the unearned air of superiority that surrounds them, and the tendency to paint themselves as the victim all the time?
This “Karen generation” label is of course yet another generational feud based on stereotypes, which has been going on since human beings came into existence so it’s not really that surprising, nor will the inevitable backlash this label will get from Gen X’ers.
As funny – and satisfying – as it is to have a label for problematic Gen X’ers, “Karen” does carry a gender bias as it is associated with the image of an obnoxious woman.
Whether the “Karen generation” will catch on like “OK boomer” remains to be seen, but we have a suggestion to fix the label’s gender bias problem: Have irritating Gen X women be called “Karen” and pain-in-the-arse Gen X men be called “Derek” because let’s face it, Dereks are the worst.