Let’s all Irrationally Overreact. It’s in Style.

I recently got into big trouble. It was a case of what I have come to call the Amateur Terrorist Posse of Do-Gooding Vigilantes. ATP-DGV. I’ll have to think of a better acronym, and soon. Ok, I was on the NextDoor app. This is an app for people that live in the same town to talk about: Oh,  I lost my cat, or Oh, I’m having a yard sale, etc. 

A lady named Sarah posted something like: “ I just want everybody to know, I was driving down the road and this lady in front of me was stopped at a stop sign,and she jumped out of her car and started striding angrily towards this other lady. She described the first lady as a “gray-haired, middle aged lady.” (I assume, Caucasian) The second lady was described as  an “older black lady with a headscarf who was picking recyclables out of the garbage.” So, without having any idea what was going on here, Sarah feared the older black lady was being racistly bullied by the gray-haired middle-aged lady, so she leapt out of her car and accosted the gray-haired middle aged lady and asked her what the hell she thought she was doing, after which a lot of confusing finger-pointing ensued between the two ladies on the street who seemed to want to both indicate that numerous garbage cans on the street were overflowing and they both blamed one another. But then again, maybe not, because nobody said anything coherent in the whole exchange. It ended with the gray-haired middle-aged lady speeding off in her car in a huff and the older black lady just going back to what she was doing.

Sarah warned everyone on Next Door: “We have to get this lady!!!!”

Numerous people then added to the thread saying they were going to–and this is not a joke–go out on the street and shout “Karen!” and videotape all the grey-haired middle-aged ladies they saw on the street in an attempt to find this horrible woman and put her in her place. One person even suggested calling the police next time you see “a gray haired middle aged woman.”

Seriously. I had to intervene.

The whole “Karen” thing is just an incredibly sexist thing that pits women against other other women (the “good ones” versus the “bad ones”). This is so obvious to me that it doesn’t even bear explaining, so I’ll skip it. But now we’ve got an amateur posse of people who have sworn (publicly!) that they’re going to terrorize middle-aged women (karens!!!) with their video phones.

And now they’re threatening to call the police on, literally, ME.

(And about ten thousand other women in this town) A group of my neighbors have just threatened to terrorize ME next time they see me on the street. I’m not the lady in the story, but if I haven’t seen my stylist in a while, I do fit that description.

I had to say something.

So I wrote, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the cop shop when someone calls in saying, ‘A lady shook her finger at another lady! come quick!’” Now, I could have been more helpful, I guess, but whatever. After this, you would not believe the barrage of hate-texts that fingered me as, basically, a racist for not going along with the Great Karen-Hunt of 2023. The moral of the story is: apparently,


But isn’t the fact of someone irrationally overreacting kind of the initial problem Sarah was trying to solve? And isn’t that also one of the great ills in society right now? And isn’t it the very cause of all of the terrible racist killings that have happened this past year or two? Yet this cross-section of society seems to think the only way to respond to someone irrationally overreacting is to ALSO irrationally overreact. We all seem to be suffering from the same disease. At any rate, I put the Amateur Terrorist Posse of Do-Gooding Vigilantes on notice with my little texts. For whatever good that did. People!

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