The Other McCain

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Astrology and ‘Heteropatriarchy’: Two Things That Don’t Explain Your Problems

Posted on | January 16, 2017 | 3 Comments


“Mercury in retrograde” — as soon as you hear someone offer this as an explanation for something, back away slowly and quietly. You’re dealing with a dangerous kook, and sudden movements might set them off.

“Mercury in retrograde” is a dye-marker of belief in astrology, and you don’t want to be in the proximity of anyone foolish enough to believe such ridiculous nonsense. Belief in astrology is like theosophy or voodoo or Keynesian economics — a hallmark of poor judgment. Bad things happen when you start hanging around losers like that. Avoid them.

Go take a look at the Twitter search results for “Mercury retrograde” and you will notice that it’s almost entirely women. You can explain that however you wish, but doesn’t the unusual prevalence of belief in astrology among women also tell us something about feminism?


Like astrology, feminism is a quasi-religious belief system that tells people that their problems are caused by circumstances beyond their control. It’s not her fault she didn’t get hired for that job, feminism tells the young women — she’s a victim of sexist discrimination. The college girl got drunk at a frat party and did things she regrets? That’s certainly not her fault, feminism tells her — she’s a victim of “rape culture.”

Or maybe Mercury was in retrograde.

Feminism offers a ready-made excuse for anything a woman might be unhappy about, so the feminist movement attracts a lot of unhappy women who need excuses for what’s wrong with their lives.


Last spring, when protesters disrupted a Milo Yiannopoulos event at DePaul University in Chicago, one of the most vehement members of the hate-filled student mob was Kayla Johnson, who is majoring in African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul (annual tuition $37,626). This fine young scholar also has a blog and, two weeks before her disruptive behavior at Milo’s speech, Ms. Johnson wrote this:

This Mercury in Retrograde has been indeed very tiresome on my mind and body. Both of them keep racing and my spiritual self is crouched in the corner witnessing it all. I am a mess and it’s present all up in through my Mercury (communication)… What worst timing?? This retrograde makes it difficult for me to nurture my romantic, friend, and family relationships. Because I am a Sagittarius experiencing this, it becomes very difficult for me to articulate all of this jazz to people without them thinking I’m crazy. Instead, when I communicate with folks I appear moody, defensive, and reactionary. But its really my frustration for my lost of words, incomplete thoughts, and far fetched ideas. And I just don’t know how to articulate it all quiet yet. But I accept the challenge to learn, because Mercury Retrograde is also about deep self reflection.

The proper term to describe this is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

If you attribute your personal problems to being a Sagittarius during Mercury retrograde, your irrational belief will tend to prevent you from taking effective action to solve your own problems. The same is true of students who claim to be oppressed because Oberlin College “functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.” Like astrology, this kind of social justice belief system functions as a ready-made excuse for failure and unhappiness, a claim of helpless victimhood that is an obstacle to self-sufficient autonomy. Perhaps you remember feminist Emily Depasse.


In April 2016, Emily Depasse bragged about teaching sex to 12-year-old boys in Baltimore during the #ShoutYourStatus campaign to “destigmatize” sexually transmitted diseases. DePasse graduated in 2015 from Maryland’s Salisbury University, where she majored in Gender and Sexuality Studies, doing her senior project on “The Secret Sexual Revolution at Salisbury University in the 1960s and 1970s.” Not long after graduating, in July 2015, DePasse was diagnosed with genital herpes. This was an entirely private misery for Ms. Depasse until Ella Dawson and her feminist comrades decided to launch the #ShoutYourStatus campaign, the rationale of which was to end the “stigma” of herpes. And so Ms. Depasse was emboldened to go public with the fact that (a) she was infected with this incurable virus, and (b) she was talking about her diseased genitalia with seventh-graders.


What kind of person thinks this is a good idea? A fool or a feminist, but I repeat myself. It appears that the inspiration for #ShoutYourStatus was a campaign in September 2015 to “destigmatize” abortion. The #ShoutYourAbortion campaign was a response to efforts by Republican members of Congress to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. In other words, it was about partisan politics, and the angry fat woman Lindy West and her feminist comrades were unlikely to make abortion more popular. Most people consider abortion a very bad thing and, even if they don’t believe abortion should be illegal, they don’t enjoy being reminded of this grisly procedure. The fact that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, gets hundreds of millions of dollars every year from federal taxpayers is not a winning issue for Democrats, and Lindy West’s hashtag campaign wasn’t going to change that.


Nonetheless, #ShoutYourAbortion in September 2015 became the inspiration for the April 2016 #ShoutYourStatus campaign. Do you think Ella Dawson’s tweets persuaded many undecided swing voters?


Is this the kind of rhetoric that changes hearts and minds? Or do you suspect that, to the extent that anyone outside the feminist bubble was aware of Ella Dawson, they were horrified by #ShoutYourStatus? Despite this, Hillary Clinton wrote Ella Dawson a letter praising her and, when Ms. Dawson made that public, everyone was free to connect the dots: Hillary Clinton wants your daughter to be a herpes-infected slut.

Was this an unfair interpretation of facts? Were voters wrong to suspect that Democrats are pro-promiscuity and thus, pro-herpes? Shouldn’t we guess that Mrs. Clinton’s endorsement of Ms. Dawson’s herpes celebration was a net negative with many voters? However, no one inside the feminist bubble can see this objectively, for the same reason Scientologists cannot be objective about L. Ron Hubbard.

Feminism is essentially a religious cult. Members of the cult are unable to step back and examine their value system from a critical perspective and, no matter how irrational their beliefs, or how damaging the consequences of acting on those beliefs, they remain fanatically devoted to the feminist cause. Fanatics only listen to their fellow fanatics, and this echo-chamber effect tends to alienate feminists from normal people. Trying to convince Ella Dawson that making her name a synonym for “herpes slut” is a bad idea would be like trying to convince Mohamed Atta that flying a Boeing 757 into a skyscraper was a bad idea. Belief systems that are fundamentally irrational — like feminism or radical Islam — tend to attract people with a psychological predisposition to fanaticism.

This is why the prevalence of belief in astrology among women is a clue to the nature of the feminist movement. Emily Depasse, the herpes-infected feminist who teaches “human sexuality” to seventh-graders, also has a mystical belief in the influence of “Mercury retrograde.” And the magazine Teen Vogue, which employs anti-Trump feminist writer Lauren Duca, also promotes astrology as “spirituality.”


Teen Vogue‘s astrology columnist Ashley Otero is the author of such articles as “Why Virgos Resonate So Much With Beyoncé” (Sept. 16), “Your New Year’s Resolution Based on Your Zodiac Sign” (Dec. 22), and “Exactly What’s In Store for Your Relationships This Week, According to Your Horoscope” (Jan. 13). What are Ms. Otero’s credentials to provide this astrological advice? She got a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from Florida International University in 2010 and, three years later, received her master’s degree in oriental medicine from the Acupuncture and Massage College, which is located in a Miami shopping center, above an eyeglass store and next door to a Subway franchise.


Through her site Temple Healing Arts, Ms. Otero offers such services as “Alchemical Transformation through Astrological Guidance”:

Astrology is an ancient tradition revolved around interpreting the correlation between celestial bodies and events here on earth. A sacred practice, astrology aligns us to the synchronicity all around us — offering perspective, wisdom, and guidance. . . .
Utilizing an integration of modern psychological astrology with practical ancient techniques, I primarily interpret natal charts with a focus on exploring the psycho-spiritual constitution while offering an outline of monthly/yearly themes and events. By recognizing these patterns and themes, you gain perspective on the kind of fabric your life has been made of so far and can decide, with greater confidence, how you want to proceed.

What could be learned about my “psycho-spiritual constitution” from the interpretation of my “natal charts”? I’m not sure. Perhaps being a Libra explains my determination to provide rational balance against this mystical nonsense, but probably my zodiac sign has nothing to do with it. My profound skepticism toward astrology and all other such occult beliefs — Tarot readings, “channeling,” etc. — is based on a lifetime of observation that fools who believe in this kooky stuff are dangerous.

There is such a thing as evil in this world, and when people start dabbling in the occult, they’re opening the doors to that evil. You may think astrology is harmless nonsense, but once people buy into that nonsense — “Mercury in retrograde!” — what will they buy into next? It’s like drug addiction. If you’ve seen a few people completely wreck their lives through substance abuse, you become wary of claims that drugs and alcohol are harmless. Similarly, if you’ve known people whose interest in the occult led them into madness, crime and self-destruction, it’s not so easy to laugh off astrology as harmless. The Bible repeatedly condemns occult practices (e.g., Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Nahum 3:4, Revelation 9:21). Indeed, a reliance on astrologers is condemned specifically by the prophet Isaiah as among the sins of Babylon.

Secular readers who disdain scriptural authority are apt to disregard the Bible’s condemnation of sorcery and necromancy and astrology, but we cannot ignore the fact that occult beliefs are now flourishing in our culture at the same time that destructive ideologies like feminism are flourishing in our politics. Why is this? Because the same hate-filled atheists who insist that Christianity must be excluded from our culture (thus enabling the proliferation of the occult) also insist that they have an exclusive monopoly on moral virtue and political wisdom.

Ella Dawson attended elite Wesleyan University (annual tuition $50,612), a school named for a famous Christian evangelist, but which now promotes an anti-Christian ideology of progressive “social justice.” Ms. Dawson majored in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, a department chaired by Professor Victoria Pitts-Taylor, who this semester is teaching “Sex/Gender in Critical Perspective” (FGSS 200):

The study of feminist and queer thought on sex/gender and sexuality offers a critical lens through which to examine social structures and social problems, inequality, difference and diversity, identity and the self, belonging and community, and the possibility of social change, among other topics. This course will offer a broad introduction to the field and provide a foundation for further study of specific areas of interest. The primary goals are to (1) explore the multiple ways feminist and queer scholars have understood sex, gender, and sexuality; (2) explore different methods and styles of feminist thought and expression; (3) situate these in time and place, with attention to historical and cultural contexts; and (4) explore the intersections of sex, gender, and sexuality with race, nation, and other categories of difference. The course will cover aspects of first-wave feminism (e.g., suffrage and the abolitionist movement), second-wave feminism and critical theories of sex/gender, and contemporary feminism, including queer theory, intersectionality and race, and transnational and postcolonial feminism.

Professor Pitts-Taylor’s class is also part of “Queer Studies” at Wesleyan, a program run by Professor Margot Weiss, author of the 2011 book Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality.


One wonders what the pious Methodists who founded Wesleyan University as an all-male college in 1831 would think of the school’s 21st-century queer feminist curriculum. But there are no Christians on the Wesleyan campus for the obvious reason that no Christian parent would spend $50,612 a year to send their child to such a school.

If you want your kids to become herpes-infected queer feminists, they can do that a lot cheaper at a state university. In the same town as Wesleyan, Middlesex Community College tuition is less than $4,000 a year, and tuition is only $14,066 a year at the University of Connecticut, about an hour’s drive from Wesleyan. If you live in Connecticut, your kid could go that route and get a bachelor’s degree for less than the cost of a single year’s tuition at Wesleyan. Ah, but Wesleyan is “elite,” which is why parents who want their children to become elite queer feminists are willing to pay so much to send their daughters to Wesleyan.

The Special Snowflake™ will never encounter anyone at Wesleyan who is not also part of the Special Snowflake™ elite. Wesleyan is a sanctuary of Special Snowflake™ privilege where the rich girl can prepare for her privileged future by enjoying a four-year hiatus from real life while being indoctrinated with the trendy theories, opinions and attitudes currently prevalent among the progressive elite, for $50,612 a year.

If a graduate of Wesleyan has better career prospects than graduates of the Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, this is not because of anything taught by Gender Studies professors at Wesleyan, but simply because rich kids always have better career prospects.


Oh, look: Ella Dawson advocates political violence to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the University of California-Berkeley.

These kooks like Ella Dawson are dangerous, I say, not only because they promote bad ideas, but also because they seek to suppress dissent. Having been sheltered in their Special Snowflake™ cocoons of elite privilege, the kooks cannot cope with encountering reality. Those of us who live in the real world do not have the privilege of exempting ourselves from criticism by labeling disagreement as “fascism” or “heteropatriarchy.” Because the feminist cult enjoys a protected status in academia, however, young kooks like Ella Dawson are not accustomed to defending their counterfactual beliefs against informed critics. Feminism is always a lecture, never a debate, and so feminists seek to silence opposition — even endorsing violence to maintain their hegemonic dominance on campus.

The smartest way to deal with feminists is to avoid them. Bad things happen when you hang around losers like that, and you don’t need an astrologer to predict you might get herpes in the transit of Uranus.




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