Our Favorite Stories About People Named ‘Karen.’ Yes, That Karen.

The Medium Universe would like to speak to the manager about this (in)famous meme

Each week on Medium Rare, I’ll be sharing stories you might have missed that are definitely worth a second look. Got a suggestion for a piece we should feature? Pop it in the responses below!

  • Phoebe Maltz Bovy expertly details why everyone is suddenly talking about “Karen” — the viral meme meant to torch the archetype of an entitled middle-aged white woman — and how debates around the meme’s treatment toward issues of race, privilege, and gender often miss the mark. “The ‘Karen’ question is really the problem with ambivalent spots on the privilege hierarchy,” she writes. “A demographic that has more than some but less than others presents a dilemma in social justice understandings.”
  • Leslie Mac, on the other hand, says the verdict on Karen is pretty cut-and- dried. (Much like her hair, amiright?)
  • What is it like to be called “the whitest, most privileged Karen on Twitter”? Gillian Sisley tells the story.
  • There are so many other issues worth our time rather than wasting it to dunk on Gen X for being the “Karen Generation,” Karen Rawson, Author writes. “Let’s quit with the name-calling and get busy fixing this mess.”

Pandemic Recipe Pen Pals

Okay, enough with the Karens. It’s time to move on to one of the most joyful and heartwarming pandemic-era projects that I’ve seen all week. Writer and illustrator Malaka Gharib gathered together 75 Filipinos from around the world to illustrate postcards with ingredients and instructions about how to make their favorite comfort food. Here’s how it worked:

Each participant was matched with a penpal — and were asked to physically mail their postcard to someone else at the workshop. The idea was, in this age of social distancing, to create real-life connections and bring Filipinos together, literally, through food.

Read her story “Filipinos Around The World Draw Their Pandemic Comfort Recipes” for the full collection of tasty and beautiful recipes.

Editor/writer. Words in GEN, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Intercept, MSNBC, NBC News, NYT, Vice, Vox, and more.

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