It’s not uncommon to hear horror stories of women being belittled for mentioning astrology on a first date. The consensus by men seems to be that discussing natal charts on a first date is a no-go. But why? Why is the dominant culture so averse to astrology? We try to answer these questions and more in episode 2.
Reality TV, fangirls, romance novels, chick flicks, astrology: Our culture loves to hate stereotypical ‘women’s interests,’ but why? What makes beer-fueled Sunday football more acceptable than a wine glass on Bachelor Monday? And who gets to decide? In this podcast, Kim and Kate will reclaim the power of women’s interests by taking them out of the depths of shame and into the center spotlight.
Kate Franke, Host: 0:00
If you’re going to make generalizations about me and my personality based on one of my interests, you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing astrology girls of
Kim Bates, Host: 0:07
say a louder for the people in the back. That is so good.
Kim Bates 0:17
Hey everyone, welcome to the second episode of the War on Women’s Interests podcast: a podcast where we discuss stereotypical women’s interests and why they are viewed as less than by the dominant culture. My name is Kim Bates.
Kate Franke 0:28
And my name is Kate Franke. For our second episode, we will be talking about astrology and its perception by men and women. So pull up your birth chart, grab a glass of wine and listen in. And we do just want to preface the podcast real quick. We discuss hot topics like sexism and misogyny in this podcast. So not exactly the lightest topics, we acknowledge that not all men think or act in the way that we’ll be discussing, but they do all benefit from it, because misogyny perpetuates a patriarchal society. So we acknowledge that we are not experts on the psychology of sexism in the dominant culture. Rather, we are two women who have experienced many of the things we will discuss in this podcast, it’s important to know that we are not speaking on behalf of all people and the dominant culture. Instead, we are discussing our own thoughts, anecdotes and opinions, along with the research that we found. So with that being said, let’s dive in.
Kim Bates 1:23
Okay, so I think for our viewers, we should first address what are our sun signs. And if you’re not familiar with a sun sign—
Kate Franke 1:30
Your sun sign is related to, like, the month that you were born. That’s the one that you’ll probably know, most commonly. If somebody asks you your zodiac, that’s probably the one that you’re going to say. So mine, for instance, is a Libra because I was born in mid-October. What about you, Kim?
Kim Bates 1:48
I am a Taurus because I was born in mid May. So right between that April 21 and May 21 time. Continuing on now that you know what to expect from our behavior based on our sun signs. So among these negatively perceived women’s interests is astrology. And if you don’t know the exact definition of astrology, or you only have like an image of what the zodiac signs are, here’s a definition by Merriam Webster. “Astrology is the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects,” which sounds like a lot to unpack. So think of it this way. The stars were positioned in the sky, the moment you were born, and that affects who you are as a person, your interests, your personality, and you’ll relate to other people who are born with the stars being in a similar position. Or if there’s a positioning of the planets, it could cause peaceful or tumultuous events in someone’s everyday life are on a great scale like politics. I’m sure you guys have all heard Mercury is in retrograde and how everyone gets emotional or let’s say they lose their keys or bigger things happen in politics.
Kate Franke 2:54
Yeah, and astrology has been around actually, for a very long time. It dates back to the second millennium BC, with Babylonian astrology being the first organized system. And until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition.
Kim Bates 3:10
So now if you fast forward to the present day, astrology is seen all over social media, especially Instagram and Tiktok. Viewers can follow famous accounts that really focus in on astrology, like at Zodiac Boyfriend, these accounts talk about everything from your natal chart to sun signs to personality traits, different signs may exhibit along with relationship compatibility, or may even be able to predict your future.
Kate Franke 3:32
Yes, so definitely some interesting stuff. And I wanted to look into, you know, who follows astrology. A lot of people associate it with, like, a woman’s interest. And so I just wanted to see, like, broken down who actually follows astrology. According to the Pew Research Center, 20% of men and 37% of women believe in astrology. So this does sort of support the idea that astrology is a predominantly woman centered interest. But I also thought, interestingly enough, roughly 30% of every age group from 18 to 65 plus believes in astrology. So it’s not just for like, young people or certain generation, but seems like everybody enjoys it.
Kim Bates 4:14
I mean, I always believe it’s like a harmless hobby, but I also did some digging and found out that according to sciencedirect.com, astrology becomes popular when society is in disarray. So the first podcast about astrology that Spotify put out, it’s called Horoscope Today, and this is a daily podcast that gives listeners a personal forecast, one for each of the 12 signs per day, 365 days a year, that one came out in 2018. And currently, it’s the most popular and it’s the first one that Spotify ever put out. Since then it has branched into a bunch of different languages for listeners in Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia and Germany. And now there are dozens of podcasts all over both Apple Spotify YouTube that talk about astrology, like Allegedly Astrology or The Moon Matters.
Kate Franke 5:00
I actually think the idea that people lean into astrology, like when there’s natural disasters, or there’s a lot going on in the world, re-emphasizes the fact that astrology is rooted in spirituality. Like, I know a lot of people do that in terms of religion. When it’s, like, a very tumultuous time, they, like, look towards the Bible. Or, like, when, like 2020, and the big pandemic, and a lot of people were saying that it reminded them of Moses, I just think that’s interesting. You know, for people who are more spiritual, they look towards, like ,the stars, and what they have to say about these things.
Kim Bates 5:30
I think that a lot of our generation, and a lot of millennials were branching away from more organized religion. And I think that maybe looking to the stars, or the earth feels like a more tangible thing to believe in. As well as I think that when societies in disarray, turning to something that’s like more tangible to believe in, allows people to believe in something bigger than themselves and believe in something that tells them that their life is going to improve, or it’ll be a mess for a little while. And I think that brings a lot of people comfort, because they at least have some sort of idea of what could be happening in a society that that has a virus that has very tumultuous politics, everything down to like just simple breakups or a spat with a friend. I think it brings people comfort that they can hear that things will change. And whether you fully believe it or not, I think that believing in something bigger than yourself, or bringing comfort that things will change is like what’s really inspiring and comforting to people.
Kate Franke 6:29
But I think yeah, piggybacking off of, you know, what you said, Kim, I think there’s also something to be said for the fact that there are physical things like the Earth, the stars, the moon. When a lot of things are up in the air, looking to those actual physical things that can ground you, even though it’s, you know, still debated on how true astrology is, I feel like leaning on something that’s actually physical, real, that you can see, like the moon is grounding and helpful.
Kim Bates 6:58
And I think that since this has been around for so long, there’s so many different sources to look to, and continue to learn about it. I think that that’s a pretty harmless thing to put your time into. If you don’t make it your, like, whole life, then I think it’s just like one of those harmless hobbies. And I think it can be really fun. And I think it also allows people a more controlled way to learn about themselves personally, like I really like astrology. But I’ve always thought that predictions or like, here’s the personality trait of a Taurus feels like a generalization so that a lot of people can relate to it. But while you’re relating to it, you’re thinking back to how that could connect to that paragraph that you read about what your personality is. And I think that allows people to look more inside themselves in a more controlled environment and more laid out for them, they don’t need to start from scratch, it kind of, like, just gives them an idea of where to start and thinking about who they are. And I appreciate that when you look at personality traits of your zodiac sign, it also has pros of your personality for Taurus, very compassionate, materialistic, both in a positive and negative way. And we can be stubborn. So those are like a mixture of both positive, neutral and negative things to like, really look into. I personally relate to the stubbornness. And now I know that it’s something to work on. And just like be aware of.
Kate Franke 8:16
Yeah, and I think also, a lot of people only ever look at their sun sign. And they’ll be like, ‘Oh, well, I’m a Virgo. And it says that I’m supposed to be really organized. That’s not me.’ Your sun sign is your base point, but then you also have your moon sign, your rising sign, like, all of the other planet alignments that can go more in depth and tell you things that are more tailored to you. And I feel like if you never get past the sun sign, you know, you never see that stuff that’s more catered to you. So, I think people should keep that in mind. I know, it’s something that a lot of people forget.
Kim Bates 8:51
We’ve discussed a little bit about our natal chart and what that as you mentioned that earlier, as well as like we keep throwing around the word sun sign. So I kind of want to give people, like, an idea of what a chart is—a natal chart. So essentially, what you would do is you would put in the day you were born, the time and the location, and it kind of gives you a more accurate reading of all of the different planets and what they were doing. So there’s the signs that we’re familiar with. And you’ll see people mentioned like the top three, the big three is what a lot of people call it. So my sun sign is Taurus, and then I have a moon sign, which is Sagittarius, and then an ascendant which is Pisces. But then if you look at your chart, it also tells you what other signs are in your planet. So for Venus, that’s the planet that rules your love life. I have Aries on that. And that can give you an idea of, like, how you love or how you interpret love. Yeah, I think the most popular astrology app is Co-Star, I remember that was like a really big thing. And I know they come under fire for, like, a lot of, like, they give you like daily updates about what’s going on or like quotes, but I know that it’s a good way to like look at your chart and kind of get have more of an idea of what your sun is, or your moon Do you want to give people like a little bit of a taste of like a what a Sun and Moon versus Ascendant is?
Kate Franke 10:09
Yeah, so your Sun sign, like we said, is probably the one that you know best. That’s the one that is based off of, like, the month that you were born. And then, it’ll just give you, like, a general overview of sort of who you are as a person, but then your moon sign—so my moon sign is a Libra as well. And that rules, like, your emotions, your mood, your feelings. So a lot of that, like. internal stuff that you might not necessarily show to the outside world. And then your rising, or some people call it the ascendant sign, is what you present to other people. So this is probably how they perceive you, your style, how you come off to others, that’s going to be your ascendant or rising sign.
Kim Bates 10:53
So that kind of gives, like, a little bit of a taste of, like, what people, like, believe. And I think that’s usually where everyone like starts with those three things. They’re, like, easy to grasp. And you know, I think when people ask you like, ‘Oh, what’s your sun sign?’ It’s like, ‘Oh, I’m a Taurus, Kate’s Libra.’ And then like, from there, if people are, like, really into astrology, they’ll be like, ‘Well, what are your big three?’ And then they can get a better idea. So I’m a Pisces ascendant. So to other people, sometimes that can look emotional, maybe a little introverted. I personally relate with my Sagittarius moon a lot more because I think I’m very stubborn and outgoing, but it kind of gives you a taste of, like, the whole personality.
Kate Franke 11:31
I am a Virgo rising, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Because I feel like other people probably see me as very type A, very organized, getting a lot of stuff done. So I feel like that represents me well.
Kim Bates 11:44
Well, bless up for your Virgo side because I think that because of that a lot of this podcast has been successful. Making schedules, the script, like, thank you very much Ms. Virgo over there.
Kate Franke 11:56
It’s just in my nature.
Kim Bates 11:58
So why exactly do women like astrology? Well, I would say there are many reasons why women enjoy astrology. It helps them understand themselves and others. A lot of women’s magazines like Cosmo and Glamour, have an astrology section, but outside of capitalist media, and helps someone gain control in a world where they feel like they have none. It offers a sense of community and refuge probably because we live in a patriarchal society and there’s less need for men to seek refuge or control because they’re the dominant culture.
Kate Franke 12:24
Yeah, that says a lot that women look to astrology to, like, understand themselves, and the people around them. Whereas, men don’t necessarily—or stereotypically—men don’t really feel the need to have to go and do that. Because society or the dominant culture is more catered to them. So there isn’t that push for them to go and try to understand the world and how it works. And because they’re already the ones in charge, so food for thought there.
Kim Bates 12:52
So why do you think the dominant culture doesn’t like astrology?
Kate Franke 12:55
Oh, man. I came up with a lot of reasons. So thank you. There’s a specific Vice article that was very helpful in this, so shout out to Vice. I read through this article that, you know, asked men like, ‘Okay, why do you dislike astrology?’ You know, ‘What’s stopping you from being able to enjoy it?’ And so one of the first reasons was that they felt like they didn’t have the right to enjoy it. Because-
Kim Bates 13:21
Kate Franke 13:21
I know this is actually very sad.
Kim Bates 13:22
That’s sad. No, come enjoy astrology with us.
Kate Franke 13:25
They said that they thought that it had already been claimed by women so that they couldn’t enjoy it. And they said that if they did try to enjoy it, many of them felt like they were less of a man, or they are being perceived as gay.
Kim Bates 13:38
I already have an argument for that. Plenty of men are, like, religious and other ways. And that doesn’t make them any less of a man. Also, what does being a man or a woman even mean?
Kate Franke 13:46
I don’t know.
Kim Bates 13:47
It’s a topic for a different time, but continue.
Kate Franke 13:49
But another reason that I found is that a lot of men think that women use astrology to pigeonhole them into stereotypes. So like, if men aren’t feeling their best, they claim that a woman will say that’s their cancer placement, or, you know, one of the planets is in retrograde. Or if the man is busy, they claim that the woman will say it’s because of their, like, their Virgo tendencies. So they just feel like it doesn’t give them room to be there, like themselves. So astrology can explain away everything and they’re not like that.
Kim Bates 14:25
I guess my argument for that is like, I think astrology, like with any beliefs, you have to kind of like grounded in reality and your experiences. I’m like, really big on mixing psychology and spirituality together because I think that our experiences do form who we are, but I think I also like to believe in something bigger than myself because it I think humbles me as well as reminds me that like, I’m not the only thing in this world, and I’m not the only person with like feelings. But I can, like, I can see where men are coming from with that. But my argument is also that like, I feel like a lot of our society is claimed by men. So it’s a little interesting to have them have a taste of their own medicine. But at the same time, it’s like, I’m not really big on continuing to put a wedge between our genders. So if you want to enjoy astrology, come do it.
Kate Franke 15:14
Kim Bates 15:15
It’s fun, and it’s harmless. And you know, a lot of the graphics you see and stuff are colorful, that’s fun.
Kate Franke 15:21
Yes, a lot of star imagery. So very pretty. But I guess what I have to say to that point, in particular about pigeonholing into stereotypes, is this also happens to women, maybe not in terms of astrology, but I think, you know, men who judge women based off of their looks, and immediately think like, ‘Oh, they’re hot.’ Or, ‘Oh, she’s not for me. Like, she’s not it.’ I feel like that’s the same concept, which is like, you’re just judging them based off of this one thing about them in generalizing it to their entire personality. This goes for both genders. I wouldn’t say this is, like, a woman-only thing that happens with astrology. Yeah, it’s definitely a prevalent thing that I think both genders tend to do. And I know another thing that I hear often is like, ‘Oh, if a woman is emotional, or something, then a man will immediately be like, Oh, she PMS-ing. Is she on her period?’ It’s like, ‘No, I just, I just have feelings. I am a human who has a full range of feelings.’
Kim Bates 16:24
How dare you?
Kate Franke 16:27
I mean, yes, I may be on my period at the same time, but I can have feelings without bleeding. Okay, so I guess the third reason that I found as to why, you know, the dominant culture and men dislike astrology, is because they claim that women make it their entire personality. A lot of men who were interviewed, I guess, for this article, claimed that they wouldn’t mind if it was a minor interest for a woman, but it would bother them if it was a major interest. It’d be a big red flag.
Kim Bates 16:58
I think, if you ever have to tone down any part of your personality or belief for somebody, that’s a red flag.
Kate Franke 17:04
Yeah, it also—when I read that, I was like, ‘Okay, so who gets to decide how big the interest is?’
Kim Bates 17:10
And who gets to decide what big interest versus what small interest is more acceptable?
Kate Franke 17:15
That’s true. I often hear that guys want girls who have passions; they want girls who like things. And then when we do have something that we like: astrology, then it’s like, ‘Oh, well not that one. Tone it down. That one’s not acceptable.’
Kim Bates 17:29
Yeah, I feel like living as a woman is kind of a double edged sword. And I feel like a lot of us constantly feel like we can’t do anything, right. But I think another thing that people might hate about astrology is I think it’s something that people have taken and, like, run with. And mainly I’ve seen girls, gays, and theys are really into astrology. And we don’t care what the dominant culture thinks. I think we just kind of run with it. I think it’s all over social media. And I think that the community and a solidarity has been built. Like personally, like, I’ve been at parties, and I feel, like, really awkward, and I’ve had people come up to me, and they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, what’s your star sign?’ And I, like, tell them, and we, like, bonded over that. And like the level of interest we have. And then like, let’s say we don’t have anything else in common, we have that. Or at least we’re having a conversation at a party where we feel uncomfortable. I think it just creates a community, and, like, a solidarity, and, like, a positive interaction.
Kate Franke 18:19
Yeah. And I think specifically with the rise of social media apps, like TikTok, if you interact with, like, astrology content, then it’s going to keep showing you astrology stuff. So then you’re going to end up in this niche of other people who like the same stuff as you. So it does end up creating this community. If you follow that passion and you interact with it a lot, and I think that’s what we’ve seen a lot lately. I know I’ve definitely been on Astrology TikTok. It’s a great place to be if you want to check it out.
Kim Bates 18:49
I have been on TikTok so little recently that my ‘For You’ page is just chaotic because it’s like, ‘What do you want?’ Like I don’t think it knows anymore. It’s like, ‘I don’t know what to give you. I don’t know what’s going on.’ I’m not very generous with my likes. So it’s just chaos and ridiculousness. I’m really concerned. I’m gonna get back on dancing TikTok. Like, it’s gonna get desperate and it’s gonna be like, I don’t know what to give you. And then it’s gonna do that. And I’ll be like, this is not it.
Kate Franke 19:15
I’m so out of touch with dancing TikTok. The last thing I remember was Renegade. Is that…?
Kim Bates 19:20
Like the beginning of the pandemic?
Kate Franke 19:24
Okay, so, anyway, a story that I found really interesting was from a woman on TikTok named Rika. And she said that she’ll ask her dates, like, on their first date, if, like, they’re into astrology or just ask any sort of astrology question. And she does it because one she wants to get to know them better. But she also gages how they react to the question. Because if they react badly and, like, you know, do an eye roll and dismiss her for it, then she immediately knows like, ‘This guy is not for me because he’s not being the most supportive.’ And so, that tells her a lot, you know, even if they don’t answer the question, and she had a quote from the video that I thought was so good, and it was, “if you’re going to make generalizations about me and my personality, based on one of my interests, you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing astrology girls of.”
Kim Bates 20:20
Say it louder for the people in the back! That is so good.
Kate Franke 20:23
I know. I love that because I don’t know, I just thought it was so true. And I could see myself doing that, being on a first date and just bringing it up, just to see like, are you misogynistic? Are you supportive of other people’s hobbies? I feel like that’s actually a really good question to ask.
Kim Bates 20:41
Yeah, I agree. Um, so I’m dating somebody, and I absolutely adore him. I think he’s wonderful. And treats me really well, I don’t usually mention like astrology on our first on first dates. And I didn’t with this guy, but uh, many men have told me that it’s a red flag if a woman does bring it up. And he told me that and I just like went off on him. I was like, listen, I think it is a very harmless hobby and belief. I understand where you’re coming from with the whole like generalization. But I think that you should be more open minded, and like accepting and less judgmental. I’m just like, kind of trying very hard to ingrain that into his head. It’s like, you don’t have to believe in it. But you should respect people’s right to choose and their right to be interested in this and pursue it. It’s just simple respect. Like, I don’t like sports. I don’t like video games. And I didn’t like the movie Joker. But I respect their ability and their willingness to be interested in those things and be passionate about them. Even if I don’t share that passion. I respect that they have the choice.
Kate Franke 21:45
Yeah. And I would say, if you do ask your date about astrology on that first date, and they react badly, it’s not to say that they’re going to be awful in the relationship. It is maybe an indicator that they’re less supportive of your hobbies. But you know, there is still room for change. They could it could grow to love astrology, we don’t know. But I just thought that was like an interesting tool.
Kim Bates 22:09
Yeah, I also like was trying really hard to tell them I was like, Oh, you’re a Pisces, and I’m a Taurus. We’re actually like, really compatible in the eye roll that I got. And I was like, Listen, I’m gonna read this to you anyway. And you’re gonna suffer and I don’t care.
Kate Franke 22:23
Hey, as a Libra just saying if there are any Aquarius’s out there. Hi, my name is Kate.
Kim Bates 22:30
I have so many Libra friends. Like I was like thinking about it. And I was like, I don’t know why, but the majority of my friends especially in high school Libras it’s very interesting.
Kate Franke 22:40
I think when you do look into it, like the people you surround yourself with, there are patterns because I noticed that there’s a ton of Geminis and a ton of Aquarius is in my life.
Kim Bates 22:50
You should date one of the Aquarius
Kate Franke 22:52
well they’re like girl friends, you know, so?
Kim Bates 22:56
Yeah, so I got that. I don’t know. I think a lot of my friends are Libras and I guess I don’t know what it is about our personality. I think I like the extroverted us and they’re outgoing. I think I really admire that. But my like absolute best friend in the world. She’s a Pisces. And I don’t know why but like our friendship just like works really well. She’s like an introvert. I’m an extrovert. So naturally, we did the thing where I was an extrovert that adopted an introvert but like yeah, I don’t know what it is about that. But she’s like, that’s one of the best friendships I’ve ever had.
Kate Franke 23:26
That’s good. So I think there are signs that I know quite a bit about, like Geminis. Libras obviously, I’m a Libra, Virgos, but I would say I don’t know a ton about like Pisces Taurus. I would group Capricorns in there, too.
Kim Bates 23:42
I don’t know anything about Capricorns or Aquarius is I really don’t and I really like want to but like the one Aquarius that I did know he did not get along. And apparently that’s very common with Tauruses. And Aquarius is so I was like a Point proven I understand. But I would say that I know a lot about Taurus, Sagittarius Virgos. And like, yeah, like Pisces, stuff like that. Scorpios personally, Scorpio ruined my life. But we don’t need to get into that.
Kate Franke 24:12
Yeah, I mean, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with Leos. So that’s kind of my little bit of a tension sign I have.
Kim Bates 24:25
I also think that there’s a lot of generalizations for like, you’ll hear a lot that Tauruses are lazy, materialistic and stubborn. But I don’t think that’s true. I think we like rest. I think we do like materialistic. I think we do like material things. But I don’t I wouldn’t say we’re materialistic. But we like the finer things in life. And yeah, we’re stubborn, but I just think that like people look at those things like negative qualities for I think there’s a lot of generalizations for Leos and that they are like attention seekers and like to be in the spotlight but a lot of Leo’s that I’ve met have actually been-They’re very outgoing. And they’re very funny, but I wouldn’t say that like they try so hard to be the center of attention.
Kate Franke 25:06
Yeah, yeah. And there are definitely like stereotypes within each zodiac sign, so you might not fit it 100% I know for Libras like, I personally don’t relate too much, like many Libra characteristics, and I have it twice in my big three. But we’re known. Yeah, we’re known for being like very social, very outgoing, into very materialistic things. Because we’re ruled by Venus. We’re known to get like, pretty much always be in relationships. So that doesn’t really describe me very well. But, you know, there’s also other qualities like stubbornness, very into fairness, because, you know, our symbol is the scales. So I feel like that part does represent me a little bit more. But yeah, it’s kind of a give or take with all the different sun signs.
Kim Bates 25:53
Yeah, but if you want to learn more about yourself, um, go look up a natal chart and plug in your information or check out some other astrology focused podcasts. I think that’s all we have for this episode, but be sure to tune in to the next one where we talk about another womanly interest.
Kate Franke 26:07
Yes. And in the meantime, please remember to take up space, enjoy your interest and don’t take anyone’s BS. We’ll see you next time.