MGTOW: elective de-attachment

In my buddy Peter Wright’s (Tawil) recent article entitled “Sex and attachment“, Peter seems to urge us throw in the Tawil on the idea that Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) can or should seek to achieve the more radical ideals of MGTOW – those ideals being, complete separation, from not only their sexual and personal relationships with women, but from the entire gynocentric culture.

In addition to his great insight into untangling the notion of sexual relations from human attachment and throwing both into sharp relief, Tawil built a good case that human connection in the form of pair-bonding and emotional attachments is a fundamental part of the human experience and that those deprived of it are in trouble: “attachment is quite simply the most important to the continued survival of the individual…adults literally sicken both physically and mentally, and often commit suicide, to escape feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially after a relationship separation.”

Tawil’s article seems to advocate for continued male-female friendships and bonding: “People can live their lives avoiding sexual games but they will not end their lives happily unless they meet their attachment requirements…be healthy human beings able to recognize and fulfill our natural need for human intimacy.”

I can appreciate Tawil’s genuine concern of the emotional well-being of MGTOW. Tawil is a long-term MGTOW himself and as one of us, his validation of human emotional needs some or even most MGTOW feel keenly should be welcomed.

If there is a weakness in Tawil’s article, it is that it oversells the need for human intimacy and thereby underserves the needs of men who have been so badly burned by the cultural exploitation of men that they seek to opt out. I was left with the impression – perhaps unjustified – that the reluctance to attach is a sort of pathology to be avoided.

In honor of the newborn royal baby BOY, (nicely done, mummy Kate, no matter how much feminists obscenely shit on your childbirth travails) and the hope that comes from the birth of each beloved child, I’m going to restore a bit of hope to wannabe MGTOW ghosts – like me, for instance – who have made, or will make, a principled decision to Go Their Own Way – and far, far away, at that.

For the last several years, when I daydream, it is not about sex or women or even taking a vacation. My dreams are about my escape – my total escape – from the gynocentric culture that seeks my enslavement at almost every turn. Like Bigfoot in the mountain forest, I want to be gone. And it is not just feminists that are driving me away, but the whole feminized culture.

My business is a heavily regulated one and every regulator has their hand out for my money – money from taxes, penalties, fees and fines. I can’t play any live music in my venue any more because music companies demand ruinous fees for me to do so. If someone dances, walks off with a beer, starts a fight, lights up a cigarette or even brings in a puppy, I get to pay the fine. If they complain when I ask them to leave, that is a fine, too. I can’t put an ashtray outside my door (I pay a fine if I do) and when people, lacking an ashtray, throw their cigarette butts on the sidewalk in front of my place, I get fined for that, too.

All those fines and taxes feed a gynocentric machine that hates me for no other reason than because I am a man and I work for a living. The only reason my business has survived as long as it has is that I am single, so there is no woman in my life to suck my assets out of my wallet to feed her shoe fetish – I can save that money for the regulators to suck, instead.

I’ve derived a lot of satisfaction out of running a successful business but as the years go on and the pressures mount I have begun growing more and more sick of this horde of deadbeat bitches leeching off of it. I still love my business, my job in it, my employees and my customers, but I know that someday I will want to de-attach from it and run the fuck away.

Will doing that damage me as an individual – turn me into some sort of hockey-mask wearing, serial-killing Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th fame?

(Photo from

The answer is, not necessarily, and to understand why, let’s consider the way in which human bonds are broken or avoided.

Three Ways of Bond-Breaking

Detachment is the inability or lack of interest in forming a bond. In infants, children and adults detachment is a pathological state that destroys people – kills them as certainly and swiftly as asteroid strikes cause mass extinctions.

Involuntary separation is the loss of one’s bonds with others in a way that is out of one’s control. Abortion (according to the fetus), the loss of a loved one to death, enduring a divorce or break-up that one does not want, incarceration, rejection, job termination – these are all involuntary separations that carry with them heavy risks of damage and death.

But what I’m talking about is neither detachment nor involuntary separation but rather elective de-attachment – the voluntary withdrawal from human bonding. My point is that elective de-attachment is as different from involuntary separation as enthusiastically consensual sex is from jump-out-of-the-bushes rape. My thesis is that, indeed, elective de-attachment is a life-affirming act of rebellion.

It is much better, emotionally and spiritually, to walk away from an evil group than to be forced out of a group for the false accusation of being evil.

A man forcibly ejected from his once-loving wife and children is a man bereft, and a man at great risk of suicide and other maladies. His life has been raped away from him by a culture that revels in his agony. This is a very different stage from a man who has grown to a point in his life when he takes control of his destiny and decides, for good or ill, to just walk away from everything, and deny this man-rape culture their vampiric feast of blood.

Where bonding failure creates a painful loneliness, bonding de-attachment fosters a joyful solitude. De-attachment from human bonding is not a suicidal insanity – it is the only sane reaction to an insane culture.

Allowing for the notion of a positive vision of elective de-attachment, we are forced to ask, when is it appropriate in a man’s life to consider elective de-attachment as a workable choice of MGTOW (or anyone)? Our physical and emotional needs change throughout our lives, and there are lots of ways to approach this question. For me, a helpful framework can be found in considering a theory called Fowler’s Stages of Faith.

Fowler’s Stages of Faith.

In 1981, James Fowler published Stages of Faith, a book exploring how people’s worldviews grow and change through their lives. A useful chart summarizing Fowler’s 6 stages of faith (and how they relate to Peck’s 4 stages) can be seen here.

Missing from the chart is Fowler’s faith stage 0, the infantile faith, wherein a newborn’s worldview is shaped by the degree of presence and touch of his mother and father. Attachment to loving parents is critical to the infant’s life, survival, and health and obviously, no elective de-attachment is possible – even mythical Romulus and Remus, after their abandonment, had to suck the teats of a she-wolf for survival.

Elective de-attaching from society can be equally unthinkable or extremely difficult at some of the other stages of faith. In stage three, for example, wherein one becomes obsessed with peer-pressure, fitting in and exploring pair-bonding and sexuality, the idea of casting that off to become a castaway can be literally unthinkable – avoiding potential sex-partners and love interests would be seen as the height of lunacy to a young man awash in hormones and whorish young women.

But in some people, faith/worldview can continue to change. Notice that I didn’t say “grow” or “improve”, because no stage of faith is better or superior to any other – the only reason to number them at all to indicate their temporal progression. Indeed, there is wisdom to be learned at every stage, wisdom that is essential for building one’s understanding of life. The young girl who told her mom not to get on the Space Shuttle Challenger before it exploded was in retrospect making a better call than all the “advanced” flight engineers who said “go” – and it was that explosion that occurred on day two of my first study of Fowler’s work.

But if one’s faith/worldview continues to change, eventually one might reach stage 6 – universalizing faith. The chart describes this stage as follows: “Few people reach this stage. Those who do live their lives to the full in service of others without any real worries or doubts.” This is a poor summary of the real meat of this stage – those in this stage seek to find meaning in ways reflected in stories like the freedom struggles of Moses; the selflessness of Jesus; the serenity and wisdom of Buddha; the surrender to the will of Allah of Mohammad – and all four men are recorded as seeking or finding wisdom in solitude.

As an agnostic/atheist, the best I can hope for is perhaps whatever peace comes to me through living apart from the cacophony of a society that seeks to brutalize and exploit me. I don’t seek religious revelation but rather, a struggle to gain in understanding of myself – only by becoming a brute of the veldt, savanna, swamp, forest, desert, isle or tundra can one bond with the universal – and that is the one real bond that can bring healing to the world, and the self.

Thoreau, another seeker of solitude, said it better:

THIS IS A delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself. As I walk along the stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as well as cloudy and windy, and I see nothing special to attract me, all the elements are unusually congenial to me. The bullfrogs trump to usher in the night, and the note of the whip-poor-will is borne on the rippling wind from over the water. Sympathy with the fluttering alder and poplar leaves almost takes away my breath; yet, like the lake, my serenity is rippled but not ruffled.

In a one-on-one conversation I had with Tawil about an earlier draft of this article, he expressed his own revulsion at gynocentric culture and his agreement that solitude is “extremely healthy in the context of the gynocentric man-hating culture in which we live. Even in a healthy culture and in healthy relationships one still needs solitude…it’s good for you.”

So, don’t give up on solitude yet, my MGTOW brethren. I haven’t and Tawil hasn’t, and who knows, we might even get to build a MGTOWN some day.

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