/Gen Z Is Calling Gen X The “Karen Generation”

Gen Z Is Calling Gen X The “Karen Generation”

“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.”

Posted on November 14, 2019, at 12:52 p.m. ET


Universal Pictures

An iconic Karen movie, Reality Bites.

There’s been much ado about how Gen Z and millennials are slagging off baby boomers with the quip “OK boomer.

Turns out there’s another generational feud brewing.

Gen Z has taken to calling Gen X — once a mere bystander in the generational wars — the “Karen generation.”

As in Karen, the middle-aged white mom who is always asking for the manager and wondering why kids are so obsessed with their identities.

Karens are generally “privileged from the system the boomers set up for them and is now acting entitled and working against Gen Z,” explained Julia, a 23-year-old in Norway. “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.”

The stereotype, she said, is that Gen X fundamentally don’t understand the causes that Gen Z cares about. They also have a tendency to “stand their ground and act like everybody else is wrong and they’re always right.”

“Especially in Norway, where the strike for climate change is going strong, you see parents mocking Greta Thunberg and the other young adults participating because they themselves are not willing to change how they live their lives,” she added.

Julia is one of many young people who have tweeted about Gen X’s new moniker.

The weakest shit is being like “nooo that’s a gen X u can’t say okay boomer to them”, like gen X aren’t Karen’s who abuse us constantly???

It’s started bubbling up as Gen Z began to sort out who is a boomer and who is Gen X.

This timing makes sense. Gen X is now approaching middle age and are generally the parents of Gen Z, which gives teens extra motivation to rebel.

Gen X is known for its ironic detachment and hip nihilism. We consider ourselves the cool ones. But let’s also admit a dirty truth:

Almost all Karens are Xers.

(I blame The Rachel.)

According to the Social Security Administration, “Karen” also happened to spike in popularity around the early 1960s. Gen X’ers are those born between 1961 and 1981.

This all came out recently in the comments of a TikTok about intergenerational fighting.

The TikTok concluded that Gen X wasn’t going after anyone, but the comments heartily disagreed.

“Gen X are just out here telling at fast food and retail employees,” said one person.

“But Gen X is kind of the Karen generation if I’m being honest,” said another.

“Gen X is full of Karens… they’re not saving anyone,” commented Hailee Wong, 17, from San Diego.

The problem, she said, is that Gen X applies its trademark nihilism to issues Gen Z cares deeply about.

“They’re generally our parents, the ones who invalidate the LGBT community or (basically any) issues in the world today,” she said.

“Yes, baby boomers are invalidating people and starting trouble, but Gen X is part of the problem as well. They follow their parents, whereas millennials and Gen Z has seen how detrimental the mindset of generations before them has been and tries to incite change.”

“your sexuality shouldn’t define you” ok Karen then stop letting your conversations consist 80% about your bum of a husband, 10% about your kids, and 10% about your latest MLM scam. I don’t want your doterra and I really don’t want your crap.

I know we been saying ok boomer but y’all can’t let Gen X get away with dumb shit either. They probably still hate gay people, are the generation where Karen’s exist, the ones who got mad about the Starbucks Xmas cup, and buy dumb shit like Hot Wheels edition Camaros lmao

This is all, of course, is based on stereotypes, and generational feuding has been around as long as humans have.

The other sticky thing is that “Karen” has a gender bias. While it can be applied to men or women, the image is generally a shrill woman. Julia agreed that the stereotype is sexist, and she wishes it were more gender-neutral.

“It’s so normal to use female names if you want to create a nagging narrative, as men are never seen as such,” said Julia.