We have all seen the videos. Some of us suffered real-life encounters in the wild. Entitled, arrogant, nosy, pushy… there's a full casserole of traits for one to experience. In "The Mythology of Karen," Helen Louis writes in the Atlantic Monthly on the origins of an archetype–stereotypically a white woman with that haircut–that came to signify the petty enforcement of imaginary rules.
A restaurant in Sheffield, England, Karen's Diner, now offers to curate a rude and obnoxious Karen experience in the safety of an eating establishment, without the treat of calling the police. Karen's Diner is an actual restaurant.
"There's no Karen like a Yorkshire Karen! Come & experience the Yorkshire Karen's like never before in a place where we pride ourselves in awful service. Head down to 4 Suffolk Road to experience a roast, Yorkshire style and we're not talking about the edible kind."
If you cannot make it to England, the RUDEST restaurant will be taking the entitled show on the road in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, USA & Canada.
For a taste of what to expect, you can check out all the cringy Instagram videos.
Culinary comedy (is not) aside (dish), so lucky you if you have not experienced the annoying and sometimes dangerous behavior and consequences of encountering a Ken or a Karen. Take Christian Cooper, a Black man birdwatching in New York's Central Park: Amy Cooper decided to call the police on Christian simply being he present in her presence, an example of the socialized fear of phobogenic bodies. Though hardly funny for Christian Cooper and others targeted by self-deputized citizen policing, The Daily Show produced this twenty-four minute report, "Kens and Karens: A Tribute to Unnecessarily Calling the Cops," that provides an extensive and detailed review of instances where Black people were specifically targeted, including children, for simply existing.
Trevor Noah introduces us to Permit Patty, Golfcart Gail, and BBQ Becky. Or maybe you already know (a version of) them. Yet these names, rather than pointing out the power that comes with privilege, might have the opposite effect by downplaying the severity, commonness, and possibly deadly consequences of this type of policing behavior. To be clear, Becky, Karen, Ken, Patty, and Gail do not only target non-white people; it is just that the possible outcomes are paradigmatically different.