The last Vice article I reviewed (see How Helping Women is Hurting Women) referenced an older article on men going their own way (MGTOW): This Group of Straight Men Is Swearing Off Women. It turns out to be a hit piece.
All over the world, straight men are making the conscious decision not to be involved with women. This isn’t a decision in any sort of metaphorical sense. These men are literally cutting women out of their lives, completely. It’s not a spiritual choice—like becoming ordained as a Catholic priest—nor is it a socioeconomic problem, like Japan’s herbivore men. It is more of an ideological celibacy, one that crosses both national borders and religious divides. And the basic reason is the slow crawl toward gender equality.
As MGTOW are fond of pointing out, Title IX committees and the family courts favour women over men. In the areas MGTOW are concerned about, its more of a rapid slide away from gender equality.
MGTOW have a serious problem with feminism. To them, the feminist movement has all but ruined our society, and it just doesn’t make sense to participate in the dating game because women have been, in their eyes, programmed to ruin a man’s life. Around every corner they seem to see one-dimensional women who are just out to take their well-earned money and stick them with kids who aren’t theirs.
This is a fairly serious misrepresentation of the position of many MGTOW. First, most of them do not blame feminists as much as they blame the rest of us for allowing feminists to enact their agenda. Also, MGTOW are, as a rule, far more concerned with women taking their kids from them in divorce than they are being stuck with other men’s children.
Also false rape accusations: They are fucking terrified of those gosh-darn prevalent false rape accusations.
Being concerned about false rape accusations is eminently reasonable. Calling them “gosh darn” minimizes the fact that such accusations (false or not) can and do ruin men’s lives. Just ask Bill O’Reilly or Harvey Weinstein.
At first glance, it’s easy to lump MGTOW in with typical Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) who also believe that female oppression is a myth and that it’s actually males who are oppressed—but that’s not the case. The two groups differ significantly in how they make sure those tricky, tricky women don’t pull any of their devious tactics.
Now its time to slime the MRAs. Yet MRAs (rightly) point out that there are places (like Saudi Arabia) where female oppression is a much bigger problem than it is in the west. They are also correct in saying that men have real problems and are treated unfairly in some ways. And for doing this, they are chastised by feminists and the media for being misogynists.
While MRAs are out to fix the problem through action and activism, members of MGTOW hold self-preservation above all else, and because of this the majority of the community seems to have decided to bow out. They’ve had enough, and they’re taking their balls and going home.
Most MGTOW hold self actualization above all else, not mere self-preservation.
A major rule with Men Going Their Own Way is that no women are allowed in the community—something that differs from MRAs.
Well, it is men going their own way. Women are welcome to consume MGTOW philosophy, but they can hardly be men, unless you subscribe to the feminist myth that sexuality is a social construct.
The group also has a penchant for anti-Big Government rhetoric, but, in all honesty, that isn’t the most surprising thing in the world.
What is surprising is that anyone isn’t anti-Big Government. The US has already borrowed and spent 20 trillion dollars. Did you get your money’s worth?
Also, one can’t simply proclaim to be a MGTOW. There are stages. In fact, numerous MGTOWs have proposed that members of the community can track their growth with something called “The Four Levels of MGTOW.”
This is bullshit. There are no rules. Any man can claim to be a MGHOW. Of course, if he is married (like me), he is unlikely to be taken seriously. [Note: I’m not and do not claim to be part of their movement.]
Celibacy, which they refer to as Men Going Monk, is another option discussed routinely on the forum especially among the devout going their own way. For the extremely religious, being MGTOW causes a little bit of a conundrum. You can’t have sex out of marriage, but you have also vowed not to get married, so you’re essentially up virgin’s creek without a paddle. Going monk isn’t just for the religious—some men have also talked themselves into celibacy because they can’t have sex without love but can never love a woman.
The expression is “going monk”, not “men going monk”. MGTOW do not believe that you can’t have sex out of marriage. The implication that men have “talked themselves into” going monk is pejorative. If men decide to become celibate, who are you to criticize?
Like Men’s Rights Activists, some followers made their way to the MGTOW community out of completely spiteful reasons, but others have found themselves in the group after tough situations. Some have lost their kids in a custody battle and others have had their lives shredded by divorce proceedings. Some of these men credit the brotherhood they find within MGTOW as the catalyst that stopped them from ending their lives.
MRAs and MGTOW are not generally spiteful (though the author of the article certainly is). Men who come to MGTOW after being wronged in a divorce may unsurprisingly have hard feelings. This is seen by many MGTOW as a transitory stage on the journey to a life detached from women.
But most of it is pretty out there. Everyone but themselves and their brethren are blinded by the “feminist agenda” and are a “goddamn blue pill” or, my personal favorite, a “mangina.”
What a worthless, fact free criticism.
Once you move past the basic anti-feminist/blue pill rhetoric, any major similarities between MRAs and MGTOW come to an end. Their actions differ hugely. While the MRA’s victim complex parlays itself into a loud and screechy anger, a MGTOW’s anger is quiet and seething.
Most MRAs I’ve watched (Karen Straughan, for example) are anything but loud and screechy. Clearly the author of Vice’s article is completely clueless. MGTOW, when they have left their red pill rage behind, have little anger (or time) for women.
MRAs haven’t taken kindly to MGTOW culling their members with this kind of talk, so there exists an animosity between the two. But there’s also yet another men’s group that views them as a second-class movement: pick-up artists. The “hyper-masculine” culture of pick-up artists just doesn’t mesh with men who have decided to no longer pursue women. An article on Return of Kings, a PUA website, calls MGTOW “The creeping cult of male loserdom” and goes on to disparage the community.
MRAs I’ve listened to don’t have a problem with MGTOW. PUAs calling anyone losers is the pot calling the kettle black, IMO.
The “manosphere” snake is starting to eat itself.
Not that I’ve noticed. However, see my post Fractured Feminism: Is Identity Politics Failing? for an example of how feminism does seem to be eating itself.
However, MGTOW isn’t the revolutionary movement many of its followers hold it up to be, nor is it even a new concept. Throughout the ages, similar movements have popped up as pushback any time feminism managed a win. Communities similar to MGTOW and MRAs were around during the suffragist movement, when women began entering the workforce, and so on. In the 80s and 90s, the mythopoetic men’s movement developed as a response to the second wave of feminism.
Feminism has not existed “through the ages”. The feminist ideology really didn’t gain traction until the twentieth century. To my knowledge, there has never been a movement like MGTOW, which advocates merely walking away.
The cycle is a reactionary one.
Yes, MGTOW is reactionary (though not cyclical). So what?
But it’s hard to listen to any concerns—valid or otherwise—coming from the “manosphere” when these groups employ such disrespectful and, at times, hateful rhetoric.
The blatant lies and smears in this article are disrespectful and, at times, hateful.
A large portion of MGTOWs will not in any way participate in long- or short-term relationships. They preach using their lives for “productive pursuits” (work, I guess?) and get companionship from brotherhood. There’s a problem, though: your sexual drive isn’t something you can just turn off. A libido just can’t be satisfied, no matter how hard you try woodworking and hanging with your bros.
Just because the author can’t imagine being celibate, he assumes it’s impossible. For those who are unable to suppress their libido, there are plenty of ways to satisfy it without a partner, most commonly, with pornography. As sex robots become more advanced, they will doubtless become another alternative. Shaming MGTOW is not going to work; they no longer care what the mainstream think of them.