I came across an article that claims to be a discovery of the MGTOW (men going their own way) movement, OPINION: MGTOW, which quickly reveals willful ignorance and sophistry on the part of the author, Scarlet Fuentes. I’m going to comment on some excerpts from her hit piece. After briefly introducing the topic, she includes two posts by random users on the website mgtow.com:
“By the age of twelve at the latest, most women have decided to become prostitutes. Or, to put it another way they have planned a future for themselves which consists of choosing a man and letting him do all the work.” -Estheryah Vilar
“How in the HELL could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 AM by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush his teeth and hair and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were expected to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” -Charles Bukowski
These are both examples of what is known in their community as “red pill rage”. MGTOW consider it a common step along the path to self actualization that occurs when a man realizes that he is unhappy with the way the world is.
I would like to first point out that I found these posts on MGTOW.com. This was not from some supporter’s blog or a random guy’s social media page. It is on the official site for MGTOW.
Either Fuentes is a liar, or she honestly thinks that a movement of people “going their own way” would have an official website: ludicrous.
After seeing this blatant bitterness and outright hatred toward women, I was kind of shocked and rather repulsed. How could a grown man support or subscribe to such beliefs?
I think they are pretty understandable reactions to, for example, a traumatic divorce. These are not the beliefs held by the MGTOW community as a whole. As I said above, the thought leaders of the movement recognize the red pill rage as a necessary stage that some men must pass through.
One man’s support for MGTOW centered around his opposition to marriage. He rejected the institution entirely, even going so far as to compare it to slavery (outspoken feminist Julie Bindel came to mind). At best, from his perspective, it was a “bad business decision.” He is not alone in this belief. Marriage is heavily criticized on the MGTOW website. The basis for this criticism seems to come from the idea that a woman is only looking to marry in order to elevate her economic status. This and taking half of her husband’s earnings once the union has been terminated. In other words: women are gold diggers.
This misrepresents the MGTOW position, not to mention adding a smear by comparing the man with Julie Bindel. A more accurate statement of the MGTOW position would be that divorce laws give women an unfair share of men’s resources and do not give men fair access to their children. In fairness to Fuentes, she goes on to say as much, though claiming the statement for her own.
While not every divorce is the same, the anger that results from this common scenario is understandable. With that resentment and anger, the appeal of something like MGTOW is quite strong. However, blaming an entire gender or an institution for one’s poor relationship choices is hardly justified.
MGTOW as a whole do not blame women. Rather, they blame the current system, which was enabled by men. Given that 50% of marriages end in divorce, suggesting that divorce is merely the result of poor relationship choices is hardly justified. MGTOW believe the system incentivizes divorce, as evinced by the fact that two thirds of divorces are initiated by women.
Marriage, at least in western society, has always been much more than just a financial matter. To view it solely in this manner is to ignore its proven value of social and economic stability. It discards the religious aspect for people of faith, but more significantly, there is no consideration with respect to raising children. The poverty alone single parenthood has caused is undeniable. But of course having children would also be “bad business” when viewed through this lens.
MGTOW don’t disagree with this. They believe that the institution of marriage has been corrupted. If it could be reformed, making it “good business” once more, there would be far fewer MGTOW.
In doing more research, the parallels between MGTOW and modern day feminism became more and more apparent. Both movements have clear disdain for traditional gender roles. Both vilify the opposite sex while claiming to help their own. There is also an element of fear-mongering. MGTOW demonizes women as greedy, manipulative and useless. Feminism vilifies men as sexist oppressors if not outright sexual predators. Both movements foster suspicion and distrust.
But they are fundamentally different in that feminists want to impose their beliefs and enact laws that favor them, whereas MGTOW just want to be left alone. Equating the two is pure sophistry.
According to MGTOW, “real men” go their own way. Men who choose to marry are internalized misogyny [sic]. who deviate from the feminist narrative, accusing them of “ feminists have attacked women [sic] Any reasonable person knows that not all women are out to steal men’s earnings and obviously not all men are misogynistic or abusive. While both sexes have their shortcomings, these movements demonizing them does nothing to benefit society. It doesn’t do their targeted audiences any favors either. We’ve seen countless instances wheremerely “chumps.” [sic] The message is the same: support and agree with our way of thinking or you’re a sellout.
There is no “MGTOW” that can be quoted in this way. The movement is made up of individuals. Many MGTOW acknowledge that women are not “out to steal men’s earnings”. Rather, all women have the opportunity to use their advantage in the courts, should they choose to. MGTOW seek to understand male/female psychology, to see things as they are, rather than demonize. I have never heard a MGTOW say that if you disagree, you’re a sellout. More often, they will wish you the best.
While MGTOW is nowhere near as visible as feminism, fighting an ideology with essentially the same ideology is not only purposeless but continues to fracture and already divided society.
MGTOW is not an ideology. It is a philosophy. The MRAs (men’s rights activists) are the movement who are fighting the feminist ideology. MGTOW are simply withdrawing from the game. Their purpose is self actualization. They have largely given up hope for society. Shaming them and calling them male feminists is not going to make them come back.
Disclaimer: I am not a MGHOW. I remain happily married after 30 years.