Privilege Blog

Does It Pass Down To The Children? The WASP Part.

I’ve been asked did I pass my High WASP core down to my children. Complex question. I have been wondering that myself, since this blog has made me think about High WASPs in a way I never did before. Much of what I say in these posts I am only now understanding. I open my mouth and things I think or felt or things my parents said to me just emerge. And then I say to myself, who knew? I have been working so hard for so long, having children, going back to work, working, working some more, that I haven’t spend much time in this kind of introspection. Task-based introspection, as in, dear god what am I going to do about this problem or that problem, well yes. Lots of that. But not so much of the deep meaning of life and self kind of introspection. Not in some time.

But back to the question. The only way I know to answer complex questions is to break them down into their component parts. Did I bring my children up to be High WASPs? We have to look at the WASP part, the High part, and then both together.

By me. Who else would do something this silly? But it had to be navy….old habits die hard.

My children are terribly important to me and I need to think carefully. Let me start with the WASP part. Did I bring my children up to feel like WASPs at all? White Anglo Saxon Protestants?

Society teaches them they are white. Still. Some day maybe that will change for the better. As for the Anglo Saxon Protestant part? The WASPs have dispersed. We are marrying other people. My kids are half Irish-Catholic and I’m an atheist, and we live in California where being a Californian frequently trumps other cultural and ethnic claims. My middle sister’s husband and daughter are Jewish. My youngest sister’s husband is Chilean-California, as in he grew up in Santa Barbara but his parents grew up in Chile. America has an African-American president. To my way of thinking there is no point at all in holding on to the White or the Anglo-Saxon. And Protestant is a matter of choice and faith. Which although I am an atheist I do not condemn in others.

I will get to the rest. Tomorrow. And the next day. You know, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day”. And all that stuff.

2 Responses

  1. Did they know your parents? If they did, they didn’t escape no matter what you are thinking. California or no California.

    PS Their kids might escape. For better or worse.
    PPS I already know the answer to tomorrow’s question. The children in question go to Princeton. I am of the top-tier school breed in the same general generational span. We play the low brow taste game sometimes, but I know how these things work deep down.

  2. Both my parents are still around. And I am eternally thankful for that. And my kids know both my parents. My guess is that you are right, and my guess is that we won’t know how my kids have absorbed all this until they think about it themselves.

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