WASP is a class distinction I have made up for the creative nonfiction, The WASP and El Curandero, whereby W.A.S.P. equals White Anglo Saxon Protestant, equals those McAllen WASP women-including Hispanic women-who 1) have Sunday brunch at the Country Club after church; 2) buy their clothes at Sylvia’s; 3) wear elegant manners to the Museum’s galas; 4) are in the Junior League; 5) have children attending St. John’s Episcopal Day School; and 6) drive white suburbans.
That’s just my perspective. In my particular case, you can add blonde hair and blue eyes, at least my hair was blonde in the year 2000, the time frame of the novel. I want you to notice my WASP reflects those women who were instituted at the top of what the anthropologist, Emile Durkheim, calls social organization (aka they had climbed the social ladder to the top).
Oy'm Enery the 8th Oy am,
Enery the 8th Oy am, Oy am.
Oy got married to the widow next door.
She's been married sevennn times before.
And every one was an Enery-
When King Henry VIII wanted a divorce, the Pope wouldn’t give it to him. So he started his own church: The Church of England, which became Anglican (Anglo); and further translated across the high seas to America as Protestant Episcopalian.
He still beheaded at least 2 wives for being traitors. They wouldn’t let him go hunting. At least that’s what I understood from Wikipedia.
Here are some synonyms for WASP and their (downlinks) according to my take on it.
High Society, or simply Society (19th century America), Fresa (Mexican), Bourgeois (Bohemians), Republicans, (Democrats, although this needs some discussion because the democrats who call republicans “WASPs,” are often “Elites”), Capitalists (Socialists),
The Gentry (19th century England),
Rich (I was taught it is bad manners to call people ‘rich’), Newly Rich Middle Class-New Money (Upper Class-Old Money)
A WASP is not: The Elite (Power Brokers), Upper Class (modern social democracies), aristocracy (pre-20th century Western European), “The 400” (How many Mrs. Astor’s ballroom could hold in Victorian NYC)
Also, look: A WASP is not necessarily a W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) Some of my best friends are Hispanics and they fit into my WASP taxonomy. It’s a class thing.
But don’t expect some of us not to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to reach for that top rung of the ladder; which ladder social anthropologist, Emile Durkheim, calls “social organization.” America is also the land of rugged individualism.
Most importantly for our purposes: A male curandero motivated by fame is not the same as a female WASP motivated by desire for Individuation (and for the curandero). That’s why The WASP and El Curandero is funny.