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Men Going Their Own Way is one of many gender-exclusive reactions to feminism. But what is MGTOW? In their own words:
Men Going Their Own Way – is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word: “No.” Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a man is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn't.
In other words . . . common sense for men.
With almost 33,000 members, their website is the best place to find what they’re all about, though they do also maintain a community on Reddit and Twitter.
Some of these communities are dedicated only to white men, while others, including the main community, claim to be racially inclusive.
For more about MGTOW from the men who practice it, check out this Youtube video.
According to their website, “MGTOW is not as old as fire, but it's as old as a man's first discovery of it”.
They point to figures like Jesus, Galileo, and Tesla as hallmarks of their movement — single men who accomplished great things because they were single.
It’s hard to discuss the history of something when the practitioners of it believe it has always been around. It’s like trying to explain the history of rational thought.
Like most “enlightened movements,” they trace their roots to something bigger than themselves.
While purposely murky and ambiguous, MGTOW was founded by two people who only use aliases (Solaris and Ragnar).
It is most likely traced to the “red pill” movement of the early 2000’s, the belief that society favors women and hates men.
They trace their roots to and are affiliated with Libertarian and alt-right groups and the Southern Poverty Law Center states it’s “on the borders of the hateful incel community.”
Let’s take a critical look at this movement and what we can learn from it.
The Core Beliefs
What is MGTOW? Their core beliefs, and their implications, can be summed up as the following:
Society is “gynocentric”
This is the belief that society favors women. It is the denial that women have been, and continue to be, oppressed.
In fact, they believe that women are given the advantage and men are oppressed.
“The young man has finally learned that men and women share the same inherent character flaws, but not the same consequences. He has sinned, and he has paid dearly. She has sinned, and she has been exalted.”
Women are overly emotional, irrational, and dangerous to men
They can never be “satisfied” and will always “take” from men without giving anything in return. They are inherently hypergamous and manipulative.
In other words, they are greedy because they only seek to improve their position in society.
They will do whatever they can do gain the advantage over men, even if society already gives them every advantage.
From this perspective, there’s no reason for any man to be with a woman outside of procreation.
“The women they encounter demand attention, loyalty, resources and undue privilege, while offering very little in return. The natural hypergamous nature that once served them well in their quest to secure the best possible mate is now a sustained lifestyle bringing an endless pursuit of bigger and better. The average young woman today is less concerned about the number of quality men who would commit to her than she is about the number of men who retweet a photo of her breasts.”
No great inventions or contributions to society are made by married men
Women suck the creativity from men and keep them from taking risks. The implication is that women are a drain on society.
The following quote, prominent on the MGTOW website, highlights this belief.
“I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men. Be alone, that is the secret of invention. Be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
– Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)
Women, they say, keep men from taking “idiotic risks” and if it weren’t for single men, society would still be in the dark ages.
Though not explicitly stated, the very heavy implication of all this is that women are stupid:
“These “idiotic risks” which men have taken afford women the luxury of boarding an aircraft and flying from New York to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours – while never once needing to take an interest in the basic operating principles of a jet engine. She can't explain thrust to weight ratios, but she will complain the flight was delayed 30 minutes.”
“Today, you can still see modern women contemplating the shape of the Earth… even though the question has been answered by men centuries ago, and most civilized 6 year-olds have already seen a globe in a classroom. Is this why anyone who says ‘women are smarter than men’ will receive an automatic round of applause?”
Men deserve to be free and completely autonomous
They are not beholden to or responsible for anyone but themselves. Anything that infringes on this freedom is evil. The idea of “male sovereignty” is their banner and war cry.
Men Going Their Own Way relies on the “ego-centric” belief that a man should always put his own needs before anyone else’s.
To be kept from doing so is an affront to his freedom. The obligations to, and needs of, women and children, even other men in this sense, are only keeping the man from true autonomy.
“It is the manifestation of one word: “No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn't.”
Men should be single and should not associate with women
This is an enlightened way to be (the red pill) and everyone else is just sheep with wool pulled over their eyes.
According to the rest of their beliefs, any rational man would realize that being in a relationship with women only hinders them.
While some men of this movement will still have one-night stands or buy prostitutes, many groups view themselves akin to “monks” who eschew all sexual intercourse for the sake of the cause an enlightenment.
According to their website, women should not be hired, talked to, or had sex with.
Sure, for the sake of humanity’s growth men may make mistakes… but they can always swear off sex once they realize the error of their ways.
“Sex is a worthless commodity that grows on trees. Any man who has enjoyed his fair share would know that. It’s available to any man, anywhere, for less effort, money and time than anyone would have you believe. If it’s that important to a man, he can order it like pizza. Right now. Even if the modern man has only 3 lovers in his entire life, he is enjoying more trim than his own grandfather – who was socially expected to marry her first. The value of western vagina has plummeted to $0.”
They also do that thing where they implicitly support something by saying you shouldn’t do it (wink wink).
In response to what to do if your girlfriend becomes pregnant, they write:
“Whatever you do, do NOT invite her into the hot tub with champagne to “celebrate.”
This can cause a miscarriage and she could lose the baby!
Repeat: You should not under any circumstances do that.
… as quickly as possible.”
What MGTOW Gets Right
Women and men are different
MGTOW is right in their claims then men and women are different. While it’s hard to make generalities, men and women tend to act and think differently across broad gender spectrums.
Most importantly, men and women are raised differently.
What Men Going Their Own Way need to see, however, is that most realistic forms of feminism don’t advocate for men and women “being the same” nor do most women want that.
Relationships can be distracting or burdensome
Relationships take effort and often cause you to change your dreams or disregard them all together because they’re not compatible with your new identity as a couple. They can be exhausting and distracting.
What MGTOW men fail to realize is the empowerment, motivation, and personal growth that come about from a relationship, as well.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive unless you don’t allow yourself to develop the capacity to adapt and grow within a relationship.
Some women are not good people
Women can be manipulative, nagging, emotionally abusive, and lazy. They can use men for their own gain without giving anything back.
What the MGTOW men seem to ignore is that men can be exactly the same way, or worse. Being a bad person has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with personal integrity.
There are bad forms of feminism
Some strands of feminism go way too far and are detrimental to men, women, or society in general. The women who practice this type of feminism probably do so in reaction to the injustices they see in society.
But this doesn’t mean that feminism in general is bad or that the women who believe in the good forms of feminism are hurting men or society.
Of course, MGTOW don’t recognize that women are oppressed in some ways, so they can’t’ realize that feminism is fundamentally about justice.
Self-actualization is a good thing
Trying to be a productive member of society and contributing meaningfully to the progress of the world is admirable.
But this doesn’t have to come at the expense of being in a relationship, and in many ways being a good, loving person will change the world in much more positive ways than any invention.
The Problems With MGTOW
Society is NOT Gynocentric
Women have been oppressed for about as long as men have existed.
Whether they’re looked down on for bearing children, their menstrual cycle, or being in touch with their emotions, they have worked to get where they are today, which is still at a disadvantage to men.
They think they bare no fault
You’ll be hard pressed to find a MGTOW man who doesn’t blame a woman for his problems.
By and large, they believe they bear no fault and take no responsibility for their shortcomings and possess little humility or ability to question their own beliefs.
They may be willing to admit they’ve made mistakes or not performed their best, depending on the man.
But overall, the systemic problems with the world, and the problems they encounter in their lives, are always the fault of women and non-MGTOW men.
The inability to heal from any relationship can be a sign of weakness
It’s likely most of these men have been hurt by women, even if that includes never having been noticed by them. I’m sure in many cases, the women who hurt them were at fault.
The thing is, one of the greatest measure of strength is being able to heal from injuries and wounds. It exemplifies a magnificent amount of resiliency.
It is also a measure of strength to forgive other people. MGTOW is the easy way out.
Freedom is not being able to do whatever you want
According to some of the great men to whom they attribute their movement, like Aristotle and Jesus, true freedom is not being able to do whatever you want.
True freedom is the ability to become the best person you can be and become more authentically you. The anger, irrationality, and seclusion of the MGTOW is not freedom—it’s a chain.
How To Deal With A “MGTOW” Man
You probably will never actually have to deal with a member of Men Going Their Own Way, because they won’t go looking for a relationship with you.
At best they may just want to have sex, though if they’re real MGTOW even that will be taboo.
More likely, they’ll try to engage you from the safe anonymity of social media and forums. It’s an easier mask to hide behind.
If you see one online, don’t engage. They are incapable of listening to any viewpoint different than their own and you’ll be putting yourself at risk of doxing or harassment.
Ignore them, block them, report, and move on. They will probably continue to self-radicalize in the darker parts of the internet.
But if we teach enough empathy to the future generations, the MGTOW will just slowly fizzle out existence…after all, they’re not having children.