Saturday, March 20, 2021

Psychology of Karen III: The Punisher Karen Sub-type

A recent Reddit thread on r/entitledpparents has pointed out yet another "subtype" of Karen, which I am dubbing "the punisher Karen", or type III. It shares traits from both type I and type II

A type I Karen behaves out of entitlement and views everyone else beneath her. Type I Karens are the subject of "I don't work here, lady!" stories, as they often have the "Serve me!" attitude. This type of Karen may use physical attacks but often will summon others to do their bidding, usually by lying about being attacked. 

A type II Karen (vigilante Karen) behaves out of "moral superiority" and is out to ENFORCE the rules that she perceived as important, without regard to social norms of propriety. When an old feeble man using a cane falls, your instinct was probably to approach to help. But to a type II Karen, the infirmity was a sign of public intoxication, so without checking, she called the police on a disabled old man being helped up by his son. (another Reddit topic)

Yet a third type of Karen has characteristics from both prior types and thus needing a new classification. You'll see why I chose "punisher Karen" while I relay the whole story

TL;DR version: A female server at a restaurant was serving Karen and her husband. At first, the encounter was normal. Then Karen complimented the server about her hair, and asked where she had her extensions done. The server did not use any extensions, so she stated so. Karen expressed incredulity, "Nobody's hair is that thick."  Karen decided the server was lying, and when the server turned to leave, grabbed her by her ponytail, apparently trying to "rip it out" to prove the server's lying. After a few seconds, Karen's husband intervened, and the server was able to escape. The couple was banned from the restaurant immediately. 

You can see that Karen's attack motivation was "punish a liar", because "she knows a liar when she sees one", which seems to make her type II. Yet the judgment was a very personal reason, not doing the society any good (unless you REALLY generalize about lies), which seems to make her more of a type I. That's why I decided this deserves a new type, though it's possible it exists as a subtype of type II, as the Punisher (comic book character) really is a vigilante.  Yet, most vigilante Karens do not resort to physical attacks, but Type I Karen's do. 

Upon further reflection, I believe the most famous Karen, aka "Central Park Karen" was really a type III, not type I. TL;DR --a man (who happens to be black, but shared her surname) asked Karen to please leash her own dog in the leash-required area of the park, she called the police claiming he had threatened her, even though he was filming the entire encounter and no threat was ever muttered. Apparently, Karen was offended that someone would dare to tell HER to follow the rules, and she must "punish" the offender by lying to authorities. 


What can you do about a Type III Karen? 

If you were attacked, disengage immediately. Escape and evade. If necessary, defend yourself if the attack is physical. If you were merely threatened, start recording something on your cell phone, even if it's audio only. Summon the authorities yourself and get the incident on record, WITH your proof and your side of the story. 

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