Manstrology for the patriachy

(John McCann)

(John McCann)

At any given time on Facebook some contributor website with quick, viral content has a special post for me. “How to tame the Aries in you so that he can light your fire,” the title will say, with super floral fonts, making my naked-girl-eye swirl rapidly.

Or, in keeping with the times, one of those more millennial-focused sites will have an article that claims something infused with a little more #selflove than above. Something like: “How the Aries woman can light her own fire so that he doesn’t have to”.

These newer versions of astrology are usually supported by Instagram images of some unknown, nameless woman who, you know, obviously lives in us all — the damsel in distress kind whose silhouette is lying under a tree, staring at the Perpetua filtered sun that’s ever so slightly starting to set. Graphics like these aren’t exactly the old floral font of yore but these horoscopes are still presented in a highly feminised way.

Science writer Yohana Desta says that the reason women are stronger consumers of astrology is more than just because of gendered marketing. The answer lies of course, in sexism.

This follows the trend of fields like psychology, which perpetuate stereotypes and suggest that men have a larger internal locus of control and women have a larger external locus of control. This means that men have been taught that their destinies lie in their own hands, while women have been taught that their detriment lies at the hands of some external force, like their horoscopes.

Historically, women were not socialised (as men were) to believe that we are in charge of whatever happens to us. We also eventually got to a point where we weren’t so sure men knew what was best for us either.

So what happened? Sexism made us turn to the stars. And why not, right? When life takes a turn for the worse, as it has for so many women, over and over again, we start to look for evidence elsewhere that we’re going to be okay.

But this locus bullshit is about to fall apart because women’s voices don’t only exist in a silo anymore where they quietly read their horoscopes. What will patriarchy do now that men’s internal power has been taken away from them?

When I get treated unfairly because I am a woman, or when I get a lesser salary than my colleague because I am a woman, or when my opinion matters less because I am a woman, well here’s what I know for sure: I know that I can flip through the pages of a Marie Claire or Elle and find my fate hanging there.

There is always going to be someone I don’t even know telling me that there are better things out there for me, and that the Crab or the Ram or the Twins want better things for my life than the men in the world and everything is going turn out just fine.

But oh, how the times they are a’ changin’. And where will men turn to? Who will tell men that the Fish wants better things for them than the women at the office who will not stop filing those sexual harassment claims?

There is no horoscope in a GQ magazine. The last time I trolled through the archive pages of Esquire, there was no evidence of a single page dedicated to the lives and times of a male Capricorn, for example. No “How to” article for the sexist Sagittarius.

The thought of men moving so aimlessly through life with no stars to reach for during times of male-specific trauma has me so hung up that I found myself compiling a simple beginner guide for men called: Manstrology, the horoscope for the male soul.

And so dear fellow humans, here’s what your star has to offer you:

The Aquarius man

You must sit with your thoughts a little, stew in your embedded misogyny. You are just a thirst quencher.

But remember to keep your chin up. You still have a lot of life left to live even though the jig is up.

The Pisces man

The “catch” has become the “caught out”. Women are privy to how you move swimmingly between their world and your own. The illusion is over and this may lead to a pattern of self-doubt and agony.

Fear not, dear Pisces for you will soon discover how much fun this state of constant non-committal emotional torture and self-destruction is.

The Aries man

You are the loudest grunter at the gym, and the biggest cat-caller on the streets and at the bar.

After trying to win the long fight for the right to sexually harass, you have finally admitted defeat and decided to call a therapist — and your mother — to apologise for being just too much testosterone.

The Taurus man

The bull(shitter). You have over-estimated your own self worth one too many times.

Asking a woman for her number and being met with “Have you seen you?” will only lead to frustration and depression. Sit with it.

The Gemini man

No more. No more Mr Nice Guy on Tinder vs Mr Dick Pic on WhatsApp. No one wants to see that. You will face severe bodily harm.

Stay safe. Delete all your apps.

The Cancer man

The little sky crabs are sorry that they crushed your dreams and ignored your destiny but the women in the board meeting had better ideas.

Better luck next time champ.

The Leo man

You will be one of the lucky few that will find true love, and after falling into it, you will try to change that person.

Lucky for you, this will not last long and eventually you will end up living with a robot that brings you little happiness but remembers all the passwords to the dating websites you have been banned from.

The Virgo man

You will finally hear back from that woman you called “mammy” the other night when you were drunk in “da clurrrrb”. Not.

Thank your lucky stars later.

The Libra man

All your dreams are about to come true. You are about to become the first man in the history of the universe who does not think he gets a free pass when it comes to women’s rights and feminism just because he has a daughter.

#Blessed am I right?

The Scorpio man

You are about to launch a successful startup that deals with the heating of the cockles of the male human heart.

The Sagittarius man

Your theories of men being better drivers are about to fall flat because you are now being forced to wear uncomfortable and un-functional shoes against your will because it makes your calves look good.

Hey, at least now you can still continue to skip leg day and look like an upside down triangle. All top and no bottom. It won’t matter.

The Capricorn man

Your star is truly looking out for you. Women have started to tell you that your hairy crack is exposed because your pants are too low and it’s ruining their lunch at the gym.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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