DC Intern Diaries

I'm a female 24 year old DC permanent intern. You name it and I've probably interned it. I'm also a graduate student in DC.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ann Coulter on dating in Washington, DC

From George Magazine...
By Ann Coulter

The really appropriate setting for writing an article about dating in
the nation's capital would be home alone in my D.C. apartment on a Saturday
night. By chance, however, I'll be in New York this weekend. By chance,
I've been in New York every weekend for approximately the previous 147 weeks,
give or take a few shuttle mishaps. But since all my stuff is in D.C., I
do have to drop in occasionally. Consequently, I've become a minor
authority on dating in Washington. Maybe not on dating exactly but one crucial
element of any date: "the ask."

Boys in Washington don't know how to ask for a date. What they do is try
to trick you into asking them for a date. They say, "I know you're really
busy, so call me when you'd like to go out to dinner" or "Call me when you're
back in Washington" or, my favorite, "Are we ever going to get together?"
What are you supposed to say to such completely insane things? I've never
figured that out, which is why these conversations tend to end in hostile

"Call me when you'd like to go out for dinner" isn't asking for a date;
it's asking me to ask you for a date. For male readers in Washington, asking
for a date entails these indispensable components: an express request for a
female's company on a particular date for a specific activity. Oh yes,
and the request has to be made to the female herself.

Roughly once every two weeks, I get a woman on my answering machine
asking me if I'd like to go out with some dumb-ass male friend of hers who's
too afraid to call me himself. (For those outside Washington, I'm not

This isn't a screeching, hate-filled, anti-male screed. It Is a
screeching, hate-filled anti-D.C. screed. There's no large sociological point about
relations between the sexes here. It's Washington. I know this, because
while D.C. males are on my answering machine with vague announcements
that they've called, I still get messages from boys in New York saying, for
example, "I have tickets for the opera next Friday. Would you like to

Males in every other city know how to ask for dates. So it's not me;
it's not feminism; it's not the millennium. I've begun aggressively inquiring
of every female I come across:"Pardon, but have you noticed that boys in
Washington don't know how to ask for dates?" The consistent response has
been a raft of stinging denunciations too numerous to catalog here. If I
were asking something preposterous, like "Say, have you noticed all the
alligator carcasses in the street lately?" I wouldn't be getting such
emphatic affirmations every time.

Recently, I asked a female on Capitol Hill about this, and she said
right off, as if I were a psychic, "We were just talking about that on
Saturday night!" She had been discussing it in a mixed crowd and reported that
the boys began hectoring the girls-C'mon, this is the twentieth century.
You're modern women; you can ask for dates. I asked her if waiting for women to
ask them for dates had worked for these guys. No, they just sit around with
friends, year after year, waiting for their theory to play out. This is
also how government programs are conceived and tested, so it makes perfect
sense that only in Washington are males still waiting for action on the no-ask
dating plan.

In fact, the incapacity of the D.C. male to request a date is the
perfect synecdoche for this whole pathetic city. There is a total absence of
normal civilized conventions in Washington. The customer is always wrong, the
cabs don't have meters, and complete strangers ask for the sports section of
your paper on the subway. In every real job I've ever had, it was a
convention for the boss to give a Christmas gift to the people who work for him. In
Washington, minimum-wage staffers take up a collection to buy Christmas
gifts for the senator and chief of staff.

There's a reason boys asking for dates is a convention of civilized
society. First, someone's going to have to face rejection. It may as well be the
aggressive, testosterone-pumping, hunter male. Speaking for myself, I'll
take 69 cents on the dollar (or whatever the current feminist myth is)
never to have to ask for a date. But the whole point of this convention is to
reduce, if not eliminate, the need for rejection anyway. The entire
dating system runs on implicit understandings. If the hunter male doesn't like
a girl, he doesn't call. That's the end of it. If the hunted female
doesn't like the boy, she's unavailable without a good excuse three times in a
row. No explanations, no hurt feelings. When you start fiddling with a
centuries-old system like this, you're just asking for trouble. If you
can't operate by covert signals, you're going to get horrifying,
misery-inducing explanations.

Second, no one makes any money in D.C. From this, I deduce
that young men should make loads of money. There may be grating aspects
to 20- and 30-somethings earning kazillion-dollar bonuses, but at least
wealth gives them the self-confidence to ask for a date. Third, TV is reality
in Washington. Restaurants close at 8 P.M. A few really, really late-night
places stay open until nine or 10, but even these sometimes close
unexpectedly at eight. (In addition to being always wrong, the customer
is an impediment to the serious business of Washington, which is watching
TV.) So everyone is home watching TV all the time. Like many New Yorkers, I
never had a TV, but I got one when I moved to Washington. The peculiar thing
about watching TV after a long lapse is that you are actually aware of TV
changing your perception of reality. I've started subconsciously associating men
of the cloth with murderous Nazi conspiracies, for example. I've got a
million more television-induced perception shifts, but the relevant one here is
that females are invariably the sexual aggressors on TV. The typical romantic
overture on the small screen is boy meets girl, girl drops dress.

TV hasn't ruined me yet, though. My romantic fantasy is still this: Girl meets
moving-company guy, girl moves back to New York.


At June 9, 2005 at 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(a) Ann Coulter, despite her numerous, abundant personality flaws, is arguably attractive. What troubles me is all the ugly or dull DC girls who will use this article to blame their inability to get a date on "DC guys."
(b) Ann may be right, but circulating this will no doubt serve to perpetuate man-hating -- the exact thing that has led to the problem of guys not asking girls out.
(c) I'm a DC guy, and I don't often ask girls out, because I don't often find one interesting and attractive enough that's worth it in this town. I'm sure if I was surrounded by aspiring models, actresses and artists like in NYC, I'd ask girls out all the time. But let's face it - aspiring career professionals - i.e., the girls that live and work in DC - tend to be more likely to be man-fearing, dogmatically-feminist blocks of ice. Once you get out of the whole Capitol Hill-K Street-Law Firm world - I suggest students and waitresses - girls can actually be worth asking out. But as for the rest of you dress-alike, business casual, incredibly dull DC girls - don't hold your breath for a date until you (a) stop taking yourself so seriously and (b) learn to develop an iota of self-expression.
(d) George Magazine hasn't been printed since March of 2001, this article is hardly timely.
-DC Guy

At March 11, 2006 at 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ann Coulter is a man.

At June 28, 2006 at 4:55 PM, Blogger Pagan Marbury said...

I have been looking for this article on the web for literally years. You must have hand-copied it from the actual magazine. Thank you for posting this to the web.

P.S. Salon Magazine did a rebuttal piece called "Ann of a Thousand Lays"- it's worth a google.

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