Summer in D.C. Brings out the 'Skinterns'
Here in the District of Criminals, it’s the season of sultry, sweat-stained humidity. The city by the Potomac is famous for its almost-unbearable summers. As the seasons change, the sun turns into an incredible weight, the air becomes impenetrably musty, and public transportation starts to reek of unwashed bureaucracy. If more proof was needed the Devil makes his home in the nation’s capital, you need only experience the unfiltered heat in non-air conditioned metro trains.
Summers in D.C. are defined by a simple routine: trudging through the heat in the morning commute and enjoying the wonderfully cool nights, sitting out on bar patios knocking down snobbish craft beer. It can be a slow, leisurely living. But like a David Lynch film, there is a dark side hiding beneath the innocuous surface -- and I’m not referring to the everyday chicanery of government activities.
Starting in May, interns swarm the city like the locust plague in Egypt. They infiltrate nonprofits, lobbying firms, and most intensively, Capitol Hill. Always bright-eyed optimists, they show up at happy hours with eager faces, ready to hobnob with anyone who can offer employment.
It would all be innocent enough except for one element: the revealing workwear donned by the young ladies. By the millennial crowd I’m forced by nature to be amongst, this trend is affectionately referred to as “skintern” season. Many female interns who come to the city, either still in college or freshly graduated, find it necessary to dress skimpy and gather as many gawking stares as possible. Even worse is that men of all ages are more than happy to indulge.
The whole experiment in objectification wouldn’t be so terrible if it weren’t so desperate. It’s possible to show curves and some skin while being tasteful. Unfortunately, the sexified look adopted by many female interns is rarely pulled off in a way that doesn’t appear tacky or just plain uncomfortable. These aspiring job seekers often stumble around in their high-heels, clearly inexperienced in the art of poise. Their faces are overly caked in makeup, legs too skinny to look good in overpriced skirts. Instead of presenting a look of refined grace, the “skinterns” come off as polished arachnids barely able to coordinate steps as they bounce between bars looking for gullible dunces to buy them drinks.
This brief description only accounts for what’s seen in public. Lord knows what kind of depravity goes on behind closed doors. Washington, D.C. is full of incompetent managers who, in all likelihood, achieved their high-status job title through seduction; or simply because they are pleasing to the eye. And that unmeritorious practice applies to men as well; though it disproportionately benefits women most of all.
As hard as it is for prudent individuals like myself to accept, the world runs on sex. The interchanging of bodily fluids may as well be its own currency swap. Men lust after women; women use their attractiveness as a weapon to get ahead. It’s a fiendish game that breeds success at the expense of a deeper intimacy.
As competitive as the job market is, young female interns sell themselves short by reducing their talents to satisfying base level pleasures. Counting on promiscuity to get you ahead is the equivalent of relying on a time bomb to not blow up in your face. It may seem easy to impress wealthy lobbyists by showing some thigh, but it’s degrading. To be used as an item for sexual gratification doesn’t garner any respect. It diminishes one’s inner humanity and reduces the body to a cavity for exploitation.
We’re constantly told by leftist egalitarians that the Sexual Revolution has moved us forward to a better, more just society. The reality is very different. The relaxing of social mores concerning sex, and encouragement of free love, has actually taken us back in time.
In her masterful work Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time, classics scholar Sarah Ruden observes how widespread sexual depravity was in Greco-Roman culture. Back then, prostitution was not viewed as a happy-go-lucky occupation for women. Prostitutes were largely seen as less than human; as property to be owned for the duration of employment. Oftentimes they were beaten mercilessly. As Ruden writes, “Greek vase paintings show men beating [prostitutes], evidently for fun.” In one Greek story, Lisper, a pimp, refers to one prostitute as having been “dragged” and beaten “silly.” He offers to trade her for food, and recommends that any buyer “bruise your goods up any way you want,” referring specifically to a young sex worker. Horace, the Roman poet, sums up the world’s oldest profession in his Satire 2, writing “she struts the wares with no disguise, [A]nd openly displays the things she’s selling.” He compares the choosing of hookers to the buying selling of “horses.”
I mention prostitution because, in essence, that is what sleeping with superiors amounts to in the D.C. job market. Men talk approvingly of overly-sexual girls in the open, but privately look down on their behaviors. “Slut” and “whore” aren’t terms of endearment. They are repeatedly used as pejoratives for a reason. At the end of the day, few self-respecting individuals look to lasciviousness as an admirable feature.
The encouragement young girls receive from modern feminists to disregard basic sexual norms is harmful because it undermines the beauty of real intimacy. As Milan Kundera wrote in his great novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, fidelity to one person gives “a unity to lives that would otherwise splinter into thousands of split-second impressions.” That’s precisely what the sex-fueled D.C. culture creates: an environment void of transcendent meaning because life’s most precious moments are taken for granted. They are corrupted by the powermongers and moral relativists who would destroy traditional virtue if it means a better paying job.
“Skintern” season is the shameful byproduct of a culture already rocked by the Sexual Revolution. Contrary to popular belief, much of Washington D.C. doesn’t exist to govern the nation. The leading occupation in the city is whoring. Whether it be make-work jobs in unconstitutional bureaucracies or using a young intern as a personal sex cushion, the general disposition is one of exploitation and greed.
The fresh-faced graduates who come to the District every summer rarely get a lesson in what it means to work hard and succeed. Instead, they learn how to take advantage of lust to get ahead. I suppose it makes sense given the ascendance of progressivism. The great American ideal of meritocracy is plainly absent in the city responsible for looking after the country.