Elon Musk sits outside, staring blankly into the distance, wearing a shirt reading "occupy mars"

Elon Musk Will Forevermore Be Known as ‘Space Karen.’ Here’s How It Started.

So Elon Musk is Space Karen now? Yes, you read that right.

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If you were on Twitter Thursday night, hoo boy—after the news that hundreds of remaining Twitter employees had quit and headquarters was shut down, the whole place had the feel of a rave taking place on a spaceship careening toward the sun. Everyone knows they’re going to going to be engulfed in flames, but no one knows when exactly it’s going to happen, so all the partiers just running around blurting out their secrets and trying to find out who has crushes on them.

It was epic. I have a hangover and all I did was scroll social media for awhile.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, some anonymous hero used a projector to plaster a series of messages onto the outside of the Twitter HQ building.

The message says “Elon Musk,” and then scrolls through a series of epithets: bankruptcy baby, supreme parasite, petulant pimple, apartheid profiteer, dictator’s asskisser, lawless oligarch, insecure colonizer, cruel hoarder, space Karen, mediocre manchild, pressurized privilege, petty racist, megalomaniac, and worthless billionaire.

They’re all pretty great burns, but “Space Karen” is the one that has captured the imagination of the entire Internet. Someone has already photoshopped a head of coifed blond hair onto Elon’s picture:

A tweet showing two portraits of Elon Musk with styled blond hair.

Apologies if Twitter has gone dark by the time you read this, and the tweet above has disappeared.

Why Space Karen? The word “Karen” originally meant a white woman leveraging her privilege to hurt and belittle people of color, whether it was by calling the police on a Black man or demanding to speak to a service worker’s manager. Now it’s kind of morphed into any obnoxious white woman (which, yeah, allows white men to use it in a straight-up misogynist way—for example, one guy tried to make “Librarian Karen” a thing when a librarian wouldn’t let him in the library without a mask). So the implication is that Musk is acting entitled, selfish, and high on his own power trip.

And the space part? Well, remember that Elon thinks he’s going to colonize Mars. Or does he still think that? I can’t keep up with this guy’s whims.

Anyway, there you have it—if you’re wondering where Space Karen came from, it’s the brainchild of someone in the California Bay Area with a projector, beef against Elon, and a lot of imagination.

Update! Real space people named Karen are not happy

Biologist and NASA enthusiast Dr. Karen James points out that she was Space Karen first. Add that to the ever-growing list of things that Elon has ruined for people.

James points out that there’s an astronaut named Karen L. Nyberg who also deserves the moniker.

So maybe this whole situation has a silver lining: today you learned about two genuinely cool Space Karens.

(featured image: Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>