Jacinda Ardern appears calling opposition leader a ‘Karen’ during parliamentary debate
Asia Pacific Focus

Jacinda Ardern appears calling opposition leader a ‘Karen’ during parliamentary debate

On Wednesday, during a hot debate in the Parliament over the hate speech laws. New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said that the opposition leader Judith Collins could be called a “Karen”. 

Judith Collins, the head of the opposition party, has contended unequivocally against changes to the nation’s hate speech laws, saying the new laws could signify “individuals feeling offended having the option to condemn others who make them feel insulted.”

“Karen” is a term that became popular on social media, describing a working-class white lady who acts in an entitled, pushy, demanding, and privileged way. 

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Parliament had been discussing New Zealand’s new hate speech laws, with Ardern’s administration proposing more rigid punishments for provoking discrimination and violence. The proposal comes in light of the deadly 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks. later a Royal Commission inquiry concluded that the law didn’t satisfactorily manage hate crimes or hate speech and suggested more grounded measures.

The term or meme ‘karen’, which many references dictionaries listed as the word of the year in 2020, has divided reactions. Some believe it’s sexist, while others say it’s a placeholder for talking about the casual racism and privilege displayed by some white women.

Karen word went viral online due to a number of reasons including incidences when a White woman would call the police over small inconveniences caused in a mall, store, or cafe.

New Zealand‘s Jacinda Ardern stated that she couldn’t help contradicting “Collins remark on Twitter that in some way or another it will become illegal to consider calling somebody a ‘Karen’.” “It’s incorrect, and I am sorry that implies these laws won’t shield that part [Collins] from such a case, Arden added, The Independent reported.

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