In recent times, a cultural schism has appeared between two prominent lobes of the non-feminist revolution: on the one side the Men Going Their Own Way sector, and on the other, the sector loosely grouped around A Voice for Men. The tension between these sectors has grown steadily for two or three years, but seems to have escalated sharply in the past several months.
I don’t want to say either too much or too little, but I’d like to be as impartial as I can while hopefully adding something original. Yes, many of the ideas sketched here will be uniquely my own, but hey…why not?
The bone of contention seems to be a fear, within the MGTOW sector, that the AVfM sector is yielding to something called “traditionalism”. So to break this down further: what is traditionalism? I will base my talk on what people appear to mean by that word.
Firstly: many in the MGTOW sector have a settled conviction that married men cannot belong to what they consider their “movement”. So stubborn is their conviction, that to question it borders on heresy. Despite this, the leading lights of the AVfM sector do make bold to be heretical, contending that married men can indeed partake of MGTOW.
Secondly: many in the MGTOW sector have voiced unease at a percieved traditionalism in certain members of the AVfM sector. In their view, this foreshadows a return to old-school gynocentric marriage along with old-fangled sex roles — and that is a prospect which repels them.
The foregoing has spotlighted the exact “traditionalism” which MGTOW sectarians believe is creeping into the AVfM community. It is what they generally mean when they toss that word around.
That said, why should MGTOW sectarians even give a toot if AVfM happens to turn “traditional”? Because AVfM still purports to have an interest in and obligation to the greater MGTOW enterprise, and so long as it does, the question of who “owns” MGTOW will remain unsettled. In other words, the question of MGTOW identity will remain unsettled. (“Identity” in this case equates to ownership).
The MGTOW sectarians see MGTOW as a social refuge. They fear that if they admit married men to their fellowship, a camel’s nose effect will drive them out of their own tent. That is why control of MGTOW identity (ownership) is important to them: to keep the gynocentric traditionalist camel out of their tent.
There you have it: the two sides are battling for the MGTOW identity like two parties contesting for a wishbone. I am aware, however, that AVfM never wished for such a battle – it just came to them.
So has it occurred to anybody that nobody really owns the MGTOW identity at all, and never will? Come to that, has it occurred to anybody to wonder if there even IS a MGTOW identity?
I leave those questions open, but I’ll get back to them later. For now, I pose a singular query: “What is MGTOW?” — and until we have sorted that one out, we needn’t hope to sort out the tangled mess we’ve talked about so far.
All right, so what is MGTOW?
MGTOW is an acronym that stands for “men going their own way”. That phrase evokes men walking down a road they have freely chosen — literally, “their own way”.
In the context of history, MGTOW signifies the objective political reality where men, as a class, currently find themselves. Under the system of feminist innovation which now predominates, men are second-class citizens. Moreover, this reality is not static: it promises to get worse when feminist innovation develops further.
I say all of this with the understanding that my target audience already knows why men are second-class citizens. They have covered that ground as thoroughly as I have, so I needn’t waste time explaining it to them.
Returning to our theme: under such conditions, the system of social obligation which formerly bound men either to women or to society as a whole, is voided of moral authority. Hence it may, at individual discretion, be nullifed.
Briefly then, MGTOW signifies the death of the social contract and the liberation of all males into a system of individual agency where they may form ad hoc social contracts as they see fit. Such is the objective reality of history — one might wish it otherwise, but that is how things are.
Note however, that MGTOW signifies merely freedom, leaving open the question of what should be done with it. Accordingly, we use “MGTOW” in a political or world-historic way, and would stipulate that the realm of personal relations does not fall within its purview. That is to say, there is no MGTOW manual to specify how any man should govern that aspect of his life.
So MGTOW is rooted in the political, not the personal — although it certainly has implications for the personal.
In itself, MGTOW is not a clique, club, cult, coterie or tribe of any sort — and nothing in the present statement should be taken to imply this. So it is incorrect to attach the indefinite article and speak of the individual as “a” MGTOW, since that implies club membership.
Similarly, MGTOW is not a personal identity dog-tag — so again, to call yourself “a” MGTOW, is not a very MGTOW move at all. The phrase “a MGTOW” is a flawed grammatical construction because “MGTOW” is an abstract noun, and no man is identical with an abstract noun. You could, of course, style yourself more verbosely as a man “who goes his own way”, but that is rather a natural descriptor than an appellative tag. Also, nobody, and no group, has any patent on such a phrase.
In the end, MGTOW is no more than 1.) a principle or force of history, and 2.) a high-altitude situation map of the male condition.
What we have sketched here is the MGTOW core minimum. Anything less would insufficiently describe MGTOW, and anything more would be bells and whistles. So I turn again to the question of MGTOW identity or ownership. Now that we have inventoried what makes MGTOW fundamentally MGTOW, we may interrogate this more to the purpose.
Since MGTOW is a demographic phenomenon, nobody owns it. It simply “is”. So ultimately, the MGTOW principle itself “goes its own way”. It springs from the reality of history, and you either tap into it or you don’t. It is like an ocean wave that beckons you to “hang ten” and be powerfully carried along, but it does not belong to you. It paradoxically serves but will not be commanded, and you cannot understand it otherwise.
So you are free to form all the MGTOW clubs you wish, with membership rules as you see fit. But keep in mind that “MGTOW” doesn’t belong to your club alone. You are not, in or of yourselves, “MGTOW”. You are not identical with that abstract noun. You are simply a group of people surfing on the wave of history, organized around the MGTOW principle in a manner that suits you. And that is fine. That is good. That is your right. But never forget that the MGTOW principle is something far bigger than you, and bigger than all of us.
Even so, I think there is an over-arching philosophical mandate to all of this, and I have tried to catch a glimmer of it here.
I should add that I roundly applaud the marriage strike both as a strategy for male survival and as a political leveraging tool to extort proper treatment of the male population.
So, fear not: you can swear off marriage and all relations with women, and you will have my blessing every step of the way. I mean, hey, admit it. That’s the main thing you’re really worried about, right?
However, the point where I go my own way is the idea that the marriage strike makes the principal focus for MGTOW-related thought, rhetoric or action. No, I see the marriage strike as merely a subplot, or rather, one of many projects that could manifest the MGTOW principle as a force in history.
Here’s a related point that I don’t want to omit: male solidarity should be grounded in the political and world-historic side of things. It should NOT be centered on personal frustrations about women and relationships. The latter, if voiced within earshot of the general public, sets you up to be the butt of mockery. What’s more, it sounds like a form of gynocentrism . . doesn’t it?
Very well. So . . . if a married man would express SOLIDARITY with MGTOW, who’s to tell him that he mustn’t do that?
Furthermore, if by personal genius or luck-of-the-draw he finds the perfect mate and succeeds wildly at self-realization despite her presence, then is he not well and truly “going his own way”? Can you plausibly argue otherwise? Certainly such a man has found his own path. So how if he literally calls himself “a MGTOW”, and starts a “MGTOW” website, and a “MGTOW” publishing company, and paints a giant MGTOW logo on his house — what of that? Would you send the One True MGTOW Posse to burn that pretender down? I think not.
So who are you to tell this man he doesn’t pertain to “MGTOW”? On what authority do you speak? Yours, apparently. But what about his? You reckon he gives one cold spit about your presumed authority, and what you think? And why should he?
In the end, all that matters is that a man can make the MGTOW principle work for him in his own life according to his innovative genius. After all, a man going his own way goes his OWN way, does he not?
And does such a man make social arrangements with other men, for the sake of mutual benefit?
You bet he does!
In fact, oddly enough, even men who only wish to be left alone, can “stick together”.
But none of that in itself is MGTOW. It is only a manifestation of MGTOW — a way of harnessing the MGTOW principle and putting it to work.
So I renounce the indefinite article. I am not “a” MGTOW, nor do I belong to any club bearing that name. I am simply a respecter of the MGTOW principle as a force in history.
To summarize: “MGTOW” is not an identity, but merely a fact.
Meanwhile, the MGTOW sectarians are facing a boundary crisis. They are worried about their little tent, while forgetting that MGTOW is a big tent. Their fears are groundless, for they can always pitch any little tent they want to pitch, and decide who gets in or who doesn’t. But they must understand that there is plenty of MGTOW to go around, and that for heaven’s sake, nobody wants to steal their piece of the action!
So, hey maaaan! Like…don’t bogart that MGTOW, man! Pass it around!