Dear straight men: don’t hate on astrology

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Horoscopes are harmless—whether they accurately predict anything is irrelevant. What matters is how they help people identify with something and connect with others. 

Nay-sayers argue that horoscopes are purposefully general and encourage people who consume them to engage in confirmation bias. While this argument has merit, making horoscopes almost universally applicable isn’t necessarily bad. It means anyone can participate and relate, even if that relatability is just an illusion.

With religion on the decline in society, people are looking for alternative ways to understand themselves and the world. Astrology is a spiritual method distinct from organized religion and therefore accessible to those who don’t identify with a faith. 

Some people also use it as a form of stress relief or to validate their day-to-day feelings and experiences. However, it can become problematic when people use the stars to excuse bad behaviour or consult them as their primary approach to decision making. 

Another problem is horoscopes becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. When CoStar predicts a bad day, we anticipate a bad day, so it becomes bad. This phenomenon can negatively impact mental health if it gets out of control.

In general, astrology’s issues aren’t inherent, but rather caused by how some people use it. The same can be said for nearly any system of belief, yet despite its relative harmlessness, astrology arguably gets more hate than others.  

Interestingly, there’s a misogynistic undercurrent to the anti-astrology rhetoric. Society consistently belittles things that women enjoy, like romance novels, Starbucks, and makeup artistry. Maybe astrology is so ridiculed because it’s perceived as a woman’s interest.

It’s okay not to like astrology. It’s not okay to dislike something because a lot of women like it—even if your bias is subconscious. 

Among straight men, there’s an ingrained misconception that interests and beliefs must be serious or intellectual to have value. This idea is part of what prevents them from enjoying things like astrology simply for the sake of enjoying them. 

Many men hesitate to learn about so-called “women’s interests” because they’re taught to believe such activities are less valuable. We must raise boys to become empathetic people who care about others’ interests, even if they don’t share them.

If you’re immediately dismissing people who enjoy astrology as “bimbos” and “non-intellectuals,” you’re no better than the girl who won’t date you because you’re a Gemini—if only that irony wasn’t lost on most critics.

As a tool for self-understanding, some feel that astrology isn’t legitimate and would encourage people to pursue scientifically backed approaches to self-discovery. 

Perhaps it isn’t the ultimate tool, but no one can determine the efficacy of someone else’s chosen method of self-discovery. Spirituality is intrinsically individual; we should be careful not to assume we know what’s best for others. 

Adopting astrology as a personality trait can alienate others and most people agree that obsessing over anything is not a good idea. However, having an explosively negative reaction to someone else’s interest is close-minded and disrespectful. 

Astrology is just another form of spirituality—one that people can participate in to varying degrees. For many, it serves the same purpose as other spiritual practices and therefore deserves the same respect. Disagreeing with people is part of life. 

If astrology adds value to your life, go ahead and believe in it—no one else should care. 

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