Over the past few years, “Karens” have dominated social media with their explosive tirades — which are usually aimed at service industry workers or people of colour — accumulating millions of views when posted online.
The widespread meme describes a specific type of woman (usually middle-aged and white) who weaponizes their entitlement and privilege to make demands beyond what is normal.
This usually involves demanding to “speak to the manager,” inserting themselves in business that has nothing to do with them, or asserting that they absolutely will be “calling the head office.”
An international restaurant chain, called Karen’s Diner, was even modeled after the social media phenomenon and provides service based on the concept of offending you.
One New York Times article calls Karens “the policewomen of all human behaviour,” to paint you a better picture.
A recent study from onlinecasino.ca embarked on the audacious quest to pinpoint what cities in North America are currently grappling with a Karen epidemic.
The website conducted a survey of over 1,800 people in the U.S. and Canada between April 4-5 to figure out where most Karens are living in North America. Survey respondents were asked how often they run into Karens on a scale from 1 to 10.
While the study does identify several “Karen hotspots” across the continent, it also confirms the fact that they’re essentially located everywhere.
The survey found that the frequency of “Karen behaviour” was most prevalent in Alberta out of all the Canadian provinces, with a score of 5 out of 10.
Ontario, Manitoba, and B.C. also came close to the front-runner, receiving a score of six out of 10 each. If you’re determined to lessen your chances of a Karen encounter, you might want to check out New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, all of which received a low score of three out of 10.
Ontario received similar scores to U.S. states like New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North and South Carolina, California, and Texas to name a few.
The top U.S. states with the “highest Karen density” are Oregon, Alabama, and Ohio, each with a score of four out of 10.
Next, the study aimed to discover which cities had the most “Karen” posts on social media per 100,000 households. In this category, Windsor, Ont. received the highest score out of any U.S. state or Canadian province, coming in at 64.83.
Other notable Canadian cities with a high frequency of Karen posts include Victoria (15.86), Vancouver (13.89), Hamilton (13.75), Kitchener (13.20), Halifax (12.88), Ottawa (10.22), and Toronto (10.01).
In the U.S., Austin, Texas managed to come out as the greatest hotspot for reported Karen activity, with a score of 48.01.
The survey also asked participants what the worst Karen behaviours they’ve noticed were, and found that the most common were excessive complaints (82 per cent), mistreating service workers (77 per cent), making unreasonable demands (75 per cent), and demanding to speak to the manager (73 per cent).
You can find the full survey here.