The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Reliable Warning Sign of Craziness

Posted on | November 16, 2018 | 1 Comment


Interest in astrology is evidence of irrationality. Nothing could be more obviously false than the claim that all people born under a particular “sign” share the same traits and are linked by a common destiny, so that by knowing my birthday is Oct. 6 you could say, “Oh, a Libra!” and then make generalizations about my personality and provide me with a horoscope that predicts what will happen to me today. Demonstrating the falsehood of astrology is a matter of simple math. The year I was born, there were about 4.3 million births in the United States, which means there were approximately 360,000 Americans born under each of the Zodiac signs that year. What commonalities of personality, or what similarities of fortune, could I possibly share with all of the other 359,999 Americans born as Libras in 1959? Yet this is the basic claim of astrology. It is manifestly absurd, and no sane person could believe in it.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of crazy people in the world who can’t understand what’s wrong with such ridiculous superstition and — surprise, surprise! — many of these people are queer feminists:

Over the past two to three years, astrology has shifted from being a niche interest to a major point of enthusiasm for many women and queer people. Broadly, VICE’s channel geared towards women and the LGBTQ community, gets a huge amount of traffic from astrological features and horoscopes. Other media platforms for women have noticeably ramped up astrology content from filler to the forefront. In the UK, Google searches for “birth chart” doubled between November of 2013 and November of 2018. Since September of 2017, there’s been a steady increase in people searching “astrological compatibility”. All that interest has given publishing a boost: sales of mind, body and spirit books are booming; in 2017, sales rose by 13 percent in just a year.
Swipe through a dating app and you’ll soon find a woman who’s included their sign in emoji in their bio as shorthand for personality traits, likes and dislikes, and an indicator for compatibility. . . .
[S]traight men seem to be frequently apathetic or adverse to astrology. In a 2005 Gallup UK poll, just over twice as many women in the UK believed in astrology compared to men (30 percent to 14 percent of a data pool of 1,010 people). A 2017 study by Pew Research Centre found that 20 percent of adult men in the US believed in astrology, compared to 37 percent of women.
If you’re a straight man with a lot of female friends, you probably tolerate astrology (“It’s gotten to the point where I’m sharing Virgo memes in the group chat like ‘lol, me’, but I still don’t like it,” says Adam from Manchester). And if you don’t, you likely think it’s a load of sh– (“If you try to bring up that sh– with me, I’ll think you’re a mindless bimbo,” Tom, 25, London). There are obviously women and LGBTQ people who feel similarly, but why is this attitude so prevalent among straight men in particular? Is it because astrology is generally seen as a “women’s” interest?

No, ma’am, it’s because straight men know that crazy women are trouble.

Why are you 28 and unmarried, Hannah Rose Ewens? Isn’t it a fact that you struggle with mental health problems? Isn’t your “bisexuality” merely a rationalization of your inability to get a boyfriend? And why, in addition to astrology, are you also dabbling in tarot readings? Well, I didn’t need to do a Zodiac chart to know these things about you, Ms. Ewens, I just spent a few minutes browsing your social media and it’s pretty obvious why heterosexual men avoid you. A quick scan of your Instagram account would be sufficient to convince any shrewd observer that you’re a kook.

Is it a coincidence that interest in astrology has increased during the same timeframe as the increase in interest in feminism? I think not. For a woman to believe she is a victim of heteropatriarchy is as irrational as believing that “Libra” is a meaningful category. Both feminism and astrology appeal to irrational impulses, and take advantage of confirmation bias to create a cult mentality, an echo chamber that automatically delegitimizes (and thereby excludes) voices of skepticism and dissent. As a devotee of astrology, Ms. Ewens thinks of herself as possessing esoteric knowledge that makes her superior to anyone who doesn’t share her belief, and the same is true with regard to her feminist worldview. (Did I mention she’s a Labour voter?) So the real question is not, as Ms. Ewens would have us believe, “Why Straight Men Hate Astrology So Much,” but rather why she can’t recognize the folly of her own superstition. Does it really make sense for her to put her Zodiac sign in her dating-app profile? This is the kind of gesture — like her dyeing her hair pink — calculated to frighten away any male with common sense.

Men really should be grateful for the self-identifying gestures by which crazy women alert us to their craziness. Aposematic hairstyles, facial piercing, tattoos — as much as men might lament these fashionable self-desecrations, at least when you see a woman with pink hair (or notice the Zodiac sign in her Tinder profile) you have a fair warning that she’s a dangerous nutjob who’s probably on Prozac and/or Xanax.



One Response to “A Reliable Warning Sign of Craziness”

  1. Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove
    November 18th, 2018 @ 10:04 am

    […] The Other McCain offers reliable warning signs of craziness […]