‘Pakistani Karen’: Internet’s latest entertainment fodder

Woman misbehaves with restaurant workers; says they violated constitution, her ‘medical privacy’ by seemingly asking for her vaccine certificate

A Pakistani version of the white ‘Karen’ surfaced on social media when a woman berated workers at a restaurant because they allegedly asked for her vaccination certificate in Karachi, a video that left Pakistanis both ashamed and amused.

In a viral video, the unmasked woman unleashed fury at an employee of a high-end eatery and told him she was an activist and the employee had violated her ‘constitutional rights’ by apparently asking for a vaccination certificate. The women proceeded to tell the worker that he was documented for violating her ‘medical privacy’, before she stormed out of the restaurant.

Many users likened the woman to a Pakistani ‘Karen’. The word Karen has been used to denote  racist, usually white women, who behave like know-it-alls.

Several users unpacked the technical soundness of the woman’s allegations. A user pointed out that asking for a certificate was not an affront to the constitution. They added that the woman could probably be charged with assault and harassment herself.

Another said that vaccine certificates were public information. She furthered that anti-vaxxers also referred to themselves as activists.

One said sarcastically that calling oneself a human rights activist did not come with the prerequisite to be an actual ‘human’.

Users also hoped for strict punishment for the woman and defended the restaurant workers for not giving in to the ‘Karen’.

A user also said that the woman’s constitutional rights were not challenged as certificates assured that the person was safe for others to be around. She added that the woman was ‘defaming’ activists everywhere.

A user wondered where the video ‘Karen’ made was and what point she was trying to make with it.

One user denied that she was a ‘Pakistani Karen’, instead said that she was the original American Karen, who operated in the wrong country.

Although the exact origins of the word are unknown, ‘Karen’ jokes became a part of the internet sometime last year. The word was typically used to denote microaggressions against Black Americans and misusing white privilege over marginalized peoples. It has now come to incorporate anti-vaxxers as well.