Why Straight Men Hate Astrology So Much

“It strips people of their uniqueness and reduces them to pigeonholed blocks of characteristics,” he tells me. “I don’t like being a real logic lord about it, on some ‘I am the ultimate skeptic! Facts don’t care about your feelings, compadre!’ vibe. However, I do find it really fucking irritating, and the memes are all really annoying and I hate the self-aggrandisement of ‘[Star sign] season, bitches!'”

By that, he means people on social media announcing the calendar entry into a new zodiac sign. From now until the 22nd of November, for instance, it’s Scorpio season, bitches.

“Aren’t you a Taurus?” I ask, knowing full well that he is. ” I tell him that Taureans are often pegged as the sign least likely to believe in astrology.

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 , 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.

But not everyone is onboard. Joe is not alone in his antipathy to the cosmological boom; straight 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.

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

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 Snape from Manchester). And if you don’t, you likely think it’s a load of shit (“If you try to bring up that shit 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?

He replies: “Are you going to tell me this is a very Taurus way of behaving?

A couple of the men I spoke to referenced their dads reading daily horoscopes in the tabloids, realising that any of the vague summaries could apply to them and deciding they would never return to astrology. “It was the first time I’d noticed something so embedded in our culture was surely just bollocks, and it sent me into a tailspin,” says Sam Hill, 27, from Lincoln.

Most admitted being put off because astrology had been so gendered. “As a child, teenchat hookup the females [would go] for tea and biscuits round my nan’s, where the astrology columns of the Mail and the dreaded Sun would be read out with various degrees of mystery and giggling,” 36-year-old Bob from Kent remembered. “Nowadays, [horoscopes are] near the women’s section in the papers or in female-specific weeklies such as Woman’s Own or Take A Break. I can’t remember Esquire or Loaded having such pages when I read them many moons ago.””