“Going Your Own Way: Understanding MGTOW” is a new book released by Peter Wright and Paul Elam, and (as far as my research shows me) is the first serious publication that attempts to define, explain, and introduce MGTOW to the general public, as well as become sort of a “constitution” of the Men Going Their Own Way movement.
It is incredibly well written, clear, and succinct, and necessarily so as it attempts to lay down the theoretical foundations for an embryonic concept that will only be damaged if more concrete measures were made to define it. This immediately debunks Mr. Elam’s and Mr. Wright’s critics (who claim the authors are trying to claim MGTOW for their own and that it can’t be defined) as nearly two full chapters are dedicated to explaining how MGTOW is similar to an open source software wherein nobody can claim rights to it. After much explaining and intellectual honesty, I believe they manage to best define it as “male self-determination” and am inclined to agree.
With definitions out of the way, the book then delves into many aspects of traits of MGTOW laying down the logic, reason, empiricism, history, psychology, economic and other causes for the MGTOW phenomenon. I was particularly impressed with the amount of research that went into the historical (sometimes, ancient) study of “bachelors,” “bachelor theory,” and the bachelor lifestyle, providing not just historical perspective, but a shocking insight into society’s past psychological relationship with bachelors (for example “bachelor taxes” and the presumption bachelors some how owed it to society to marry and breed). I was also very impressed with the time dedicated towards pair bonding and attachment. The reason for this is that the same critics who berate Elam and Wright for daring to write a book about MGTOW, are also the same people who in a very hypocritical way insist on a rule that “no real MGTOW” would have anything to do with women. This false belief, unfortunately, presents a huge risk to the younger and disaffected men who search and find the MGTOW community, as they are consequently tempted to dismiss women altogether, women that may actually be of great benefit and contribution to their lives.
About the only real complaint or concern I had about the book was what I believed to be the overly liberal use of excerpts from various books, texts, and periodicals. Entire pages of “The Odyssey” and “The Art of Courtly Love” are quoted, where I would have just preferred some key quotes and then more analysis and commentary from the authors. There were also some philosophical and technical differences and disagreements that I had with the book, but nothing that would get my panties in a bundle, unlike many of the authors’ critics.
Besides that, I believe because the book is the first of its kind and is (more or less) introductory in nature, a glossary would be helpful to young men (and women) who are first being introduced to the concepts therein. “Gynocentrism,” “VAWA,” “hypergamy,” etc. are all terms that the average person does not know, and because of this may be misled into thinking it’s one of those “faux” studies like “women’s studies” where academians create made up words and acronyms to sound smart.
Overall, however, the book is a very good, thorough, and honest summation of what MGTOW is, easily digestible by the beginning reader or a people more involved and aware of the MGTOW philosophy. I would strongly recommend it as a primer to anyone looking to understand or research the topic. I would also strongly recommend ignoring all the fake reviews on Amazon as many in the MGTOW community viewed Mr. Wright’s and Elam’s writing of this book as “sacrilege” and have since been voting it down with faux votes.
Editorial update: Aaron also sent us this video, which he did shortly before finishing the book and writing the review. The reviews on Amazon from people who haven’t even read the book are rather bemusing.