For the uninitiated, MGTOW (men going their own way) is a movement which exists as a partially overlapping subset of the men’s human rights movement, and it is characterized by men opting out of society’s conventional, prescriptive, and increasingly toxic male obligation. The MGTOW movement is, of course, highly individualistic, and since it is by definition contrarian to mainstream sensibilities it also widely misunderstood and mischaracterized.
And it is fundamental to the nature of Men Going Their Own Way – that what it means to the practitioner matters. Conversely, what it means to you, to the critic or the opponent of MGTOW, does not matter at all.
Establishing who this is written for, along with the claim of that audience’s irrelevance to practitioners of MGTOW might suggest this article’s pointlessness as well.
In the interests of honesty and self-awareness, it must be admitted that there is an element of Schadenfreude (pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others) in the continued and escalating whingeing from opponents and critics of the MGTOW movement. But there is also an honest desire among many practitioners of MGTOW to share with potential newcomers the freedom, the pleasure and the power over your own life which ‘going your own way’ brings.
It’s for this reason that a few common falsehoods about different aspects of MGTOW will be addressed.
The first objection:
The MGTOW manifesto is flawed, or psychopathic, or illogical, or the ideology is malevolent, or perverse, and possibly pornographic.
Something like this is one of the most common criticisms of MGTOW, and also one of the easiest to swat aside.
There is no ideology, there is no doctrine, and there is no Men Going Their Own Way manifesto. Obviously, a few minutes of googling will uncover dozens of websites each posting some version of what this or that blogger believes is a manifesto for MGTOW, but opinions are like assholes. Not only does everybody have at least one, they’re very often shitty. There are also certainly a fair number of voices, mostly online pronouncing support for that version of a MGTOW manifesto, or that other version – but again, all of this is mere opinion mongering. MGTOW is a movement based not on any blog-written doctrine, but on its practice. And it is the practice that this movement that has reality. For the men actually practicing MGTOW in their own lives, the TOW in the acronym is the most important part. Their Own Way means each, individually, making their own choices about how to live their lives. It most certainly does not mean following anybody else’s prescribed set of rules, not even rules written by another practitioner of MGTOW.
Of course, writing by activists is a major part of any social movement, so it is natural for MGTOW manifestos to proliferate online, even as some of the authors may believe themselves authorities to be followed. In reality, these manifestos have value, not as prescriptive solutions to strictly follow, but as a collection of ideas to be considered, and if judged individually useful by practitioners, adopted on an item by item basis. MGTOW is, of course, a strongly libertarian movement. The idea of dictating some doctrinal methodology – “do this or you’re not a real MGTOW” is logically self-defeating. It’s not called Men Going John The Other’s Way, it’s men going THEIR OWN way. And, of course, this guide I’m writing is my own opinion, reflecting my understanding of the MGTOW movement, which other MGTOW are welcome to adopt or to reject as they see fit.
On MGTOW and women:
Claim: MGTOW are celibate, or sexually abstinent, or socially crippling themselves by their aversion to women.
It is beyond the scope of this discussion to establish or to prove that our society is socially and legally imbalanced along the line of sexual identity, in the direction of power and advantage to women. However, understanding that social and legal imbalance exists, it is natural for the average majority of those so legally and socially advantaged to view their elevated legal station as a natural right, and to casually abuse their power. Certainly, some women with a developed moral compass will avoid abusing the power they have, but most have no such reservations, nor even any conscious self-awareness of their own power nor awareness of their indifference to men as fellow humans.
For men contemplating relationships with women, this has some serious consequences. Some proponents of MGTOW advocate a total disengagement from women. Indeed, some MGTOW practitioners may strictly avoid women on an ongoing basis – as it is every individual’s right to do. In fact, even for male MHRAs who don’t self-identify as MGTOW, a finite period of such avoidance can be highly effective in achieving self-realization, emotional equilibrium and self-identity apart from our culture’s typical consensus conferral of public personhood onto males.
However, going forward, it’s also true that we are all humans, and as such we are social animals. Men, even supposedly “woman hating” MHRAs and practitioners of MGTOW, almost all have great affection for women. Indeed, most MRAs, whether they will admit it or not, harbour a deep desire to love and to be loved by a woman within a relationship based on trust, affection and so on.
The problem, of course is the gun in the room, and the willingness of averagely socialized, “normal” women to use that metaphorical gun.
This means that aside from those practitioners of MGTOW totally disengaging from women, men who don’t opt for celibacy have a particularly challenging hazard course to navigate.
Relationships with women are certainly possible – including intimate sexual relationships. However, any such relationships pursued in a MGTOW context will have to avoid conventionally patterned relationships. Indeed, women within MGTOW relationships will have to be explicitly committed to minimizing the potential for abuse of the power and violence that our culture and laws put unilaterally at the disposal of women, against men.
A number of specific techniques are practiced and shared within MGTOW circles, a few of which this discussion will mention.
One area worth mentioning is that of voluntarism within relationships, as a consciously chosen alternative to conventional sexual-relations between men and women as practiced outside the MGTOW movement.
In a “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” relationship, the naming of relationships reflects common social assumptions of proprietorship : She is “my girlfriend” or he is “my boyfriend”. This also reflects a fairly common sense of social obligation to whoever occupies that role of girlfriend or boyfriend. Activities such as dining together, pursuing recreational or entertainment activities, or sleeping together, while they are obviously mutually enjoyable, also have an element of obligation in the context of boyfriend or girlfriend. Are you sharing a bed with your girlfriend because you wanted to in each specific instance, or because that’s what you’re “supposed to do”? In almost all cases, it’s a little from column A, and a little from column B, and as this is “normal” most people in such arrangements are not particularly aggrieved. But there /is/ an undercurrent of coercion in any such arrangement.
By contrast, consider the dynamic of a non-sexual relationship between two friends. Are they spending time together because they are “supposed to”, or are they choosing one another’s company in each instance, because that’s what they want to do, every time they may spend time together. That is a relationship based on voluntarism.
What happens when sex becomes a part of such a voluntarist relationship? Obviously, although not unique, voluntarism is a non-standard practice in the context of sexual relationships. It specifically requires clear communications and trust between any two people practicing such a friendship, as well as concrete agreement on details such as explicitly and clearly defined sexual agreement, residence, and so on. In particular, some elements common in non-MGTOW sexual relationships may be explicitly excluded in such an arrangement. This is necessary, because unstated and unexamined in most conventional relationships are a number of social norms which facilitate the devaluation of human rights of men, which women take for granted.
A detailed examination of such conventional assumptions is outside the scope of this discussion, but a few examples will illuminate some of the coercion present in “normal” relationships.
Women obviously enjoy a legal, as well as a social right to reproductive self-determination. That is to say, a woman can choose to become pregnant, or choose to avoid pregnancy through the use of birth control. The choice to do so is her legal right, and it is a right practically enabled through the ready availability of numerous consumer technologies providing women control over their own fertility.
To be clear, this is separate and distinct from the right to engage in, or to eschew participation in sexual intercourse. That is a separate question.
Also a separate issue is the legal and social right to utilize pregnancy terminating medical intervention, either through surgical practice, as with abortion, or less invasive medication, such as a “morning after” pill. Pregnancy termination is a separate and distinct issue also.
By contrast, men lack the basic right of reproductive self-determination. This is manifested in social convention, in law, and in the absence of reversible fertility-governing technologies for males.
If a women decides to become pregnant by lying about her use of birth control, the man whose gamete cells she uses has no legal say in the matter. If he doesn’t want to become a father, but she wants to become a mother, tough luck for him. He will be legally bound by whatever she decides – whether he agrees or not. Indeed, he will be required by law to finance a woman’s legally unilateral choice to reproduce for up to 2 decades. And in this legal obligation, over which he has no voice, if his obligation exceeds his ability to pay, then he will be jailed, retaining his debt, even after completion of his imprisonment.
A few standard objections to this are worth noting as well, because although they are common, they are also false.
But he should have just kept his pants zipped up. He chose to reproduce when he chose to have sex!
Have you heard this one before?
This is false, and for those making this argument, it is dishonest. The choice to participate in sex is not the same as the choice to reproduce. Imagine a woman, convinced the sex she was having was “safe” because her partner in bed assured her he’d had a vasectomy. Turns out he was lying, and surprise, she’s pregnant, and finds that she has no legal right, and no social right to not be a baby factory.
Tough luck, you should have kept your legs together, lady.
Almost any sane adult will understand that such a social and legal standard would be absurd and monstrous. Despite common recognition of this absurdity when considering the basic human rights of women, most people suffer cognitive malfunction when contemplating the possibility of affording the same basic rights to self-determination for men.
If she chose to get pregnant, if she got pregnant carelessly, or if she was careful, but became pregnant through the failure of birth control, she has rights, but you don’t, buddy. Pay up, sucker, or go to jail.
This is socially normal, and legally enforced. It is also grotesque. It is, effectively, reproductive slavery, enforced with nearly complete public support.
And as a note to anyone who objects to the use of the term slavery, first define that term, then explain why it’s the wrong word.
But of course, an awful lot of MGTOWs really like women, at least, those women who lack what appears normal culturally induced psychosis of male-disdain. So friendly, even sexual relations with women is not antithetical to the practice of MGTOW. It’s merely that such relationships will not follow conventional practice or pattern. Incidentally, although it should be obvious, it’s worth explicit mention that marriage and MGTOW cannot coexist. They are mutually exclusive choices.
The next objection to MGTOW:
It’s bad for society – you bad men need to settle down and have families.
Believe it or not, this is a common argument. We are, of course talking about the same “society” which ignores the 4 out of 5 suicides which are male. The same “society” which co-opted language of the black civil rights movement describing the systematic and cultural acceptance of (mostly black) male inmate targeting rape within the American prison system. That language co-opted to portray a fraudulent narrative of social acceptance of culture-wide female sexual victimization, while erasing public consciousness of institutional rape of men in the prison system.
“It’s bad for society” being the objection to a culture in which men victimized by violence from their spouses are typically arrested, rather than helped.
This objection also applies to the very same society in which it is socially normal to discuss domestic violence as “violence against women” – despite the reality shown by all credible research showing it to be co-equally committed by women and men, and unrelated to the sexual identity of aggressors or victims. Indeed, the socially “normal” model of domestic violence is one which guarantees to not ameliorate the problem. But of course, it’s solid gold for tapping into everybody’s natural inclination to protect women, and thus, is guaranteed to keep the profiteers of the DV industry in their cushy salaried positions.
But the argument, “it’s bad for society” – fielded as an objection to MGTOW – is about as practical or logical as objecting to the use of cockroach poison because it’s bad for cockroaches.
However, noting that the growing adoption of MGTOW among younger men is now having, and will continue to have a corroding effect on a culture considered by MHRAs as dysfunctional, that corrosion is not the principal purpose of MGTOW. Recalling the opening of this discussion, that the evaluation of MGTOW by non-practitioners does not matter to the movement, nor to individual men going their own way. Indeed, it is a major feature of the practice of MGTOW that the standard narrative of shame and censure heaped onto non-conforming men – that shame is abandoned and excised from the emotional repertoire of MGTOW practitioners, also sometimes called by the more elegant identifier Zeta Males.
In fact, the public admonition levelled against MGTOW/Zeta Males that the practice of increasing numbers of men of going their own way will have a negative overall effect on society – is almost always couched in shaming language against Zeta Males and their supporters. This attempt at manipulation is rightly dismissed by MGTOW with utmost contempt and scorn, because it is really nothing more than the rephrasing of “get back on the treadmill of provide, protect and die when your utility to others is exhausted.”
However, all of that public corrosion is secondary. It is the principle feature of MGTOW that in avoiding the self-destructive conformity enforced on men, they end up enjoying power over their own lives, and particularly, over their own identities. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
But of course, in the populist narrative, MGTOW is a drain on society. This means the same society running on the corpses of disposable men. Thank you for noticing.
The next objection:
Women civilize men – and if men don’t get civilized, cats and dogs will live together, the dead will rise, seas will boil.
Setting aside the comedic predictions of apocalypse, this claim is garbage. It is the attempt at conflation of all positive aspects of humanity with female identity, and the corollary attempt to associate antisocial and negative human behavior with male identity.
In fact, the argument that women civilize men – and all related arguments, is so vapid, ignorant and contemptuously stupid that to dignify it with a detailed refutation would elevate it higher than the claim’s arrogant gender supremacist stupidity deserves. We will leave this one in the garbage where it belongs.
You’re not a man until you take responsibility for somebody else.
And because they refuse to take responsiblity for others, MGTOWs are sad, pathetic virgin, losers, and sexual failures.
This, of course is straight out of the shaming tactics catalog. Categorized as the “charge of unattractiveness,” the catalog correctly points out that like almost all standard shaming tactics, it is a circumstantial ad hominem argument, and thus, it completely lacks any merit or relevance. However, the minimalist refutation supplied by the catalog does not go nearly far enough. “The target’s romantic potential ultimately does not reflect on the merit of his arguments. “
The effectiveness against most men, of the public perception of their imputed lack of appeal to females retains a great deal of power outside of MHRM and MGTOW circles, and so is worth examining.
The shaming tactic of imputing undesirability, or unattractiveness taps directly into a feature of male public identity often discussed within the MHRM. This is a perfect example of the consensus conferral of male public identity by the female collective.
The response proposed in the shaming tactics catalog to such exercised manipulation, is logically sound, but given the radical nature of MGTOW as a practice by some MHRAs, the provided refutation doesn’t go nearly far enough.
“MGTOWs are pathetic virgins, losers, and sexual failures”
The public characterization of the relative value of the sexual identities of men going their own way makes at least one profound, fundamental and catastrophically flawed assumption.
The assumption is that the sexual identity, sexual value, and by extension, the sexual attractiveness of any particular MGTOW man is a public resource to be critiqued, consumed, condemned or even praised.
Recalling that rather than a prescriptive, all-included package to be followed, the practice of MGTOW discussed here is offered for the consideration and selective, item-by-item adoption by prospective MGTOW men, this is one man’s Zeta path, condensed and simplified for public comprehension. Even with the aforementioned caveat, opponents of MGTOW will almost certainly continue to purposefully get it wrong, which is okay, critics are all quite welcome to keep crying.
However, returning to the publicly evaluated, and condemned sexuality and sexual-value of men going their own way; unlike almost all other males in this culture, men going their own way are not, as a rule, offering their sexuality for anyone else’s consideration. Just like their identities, the sexuality and sexual value of MGTOW-men belongs to themselves, and is not automatically offered up as a public resource and lever of control and manipulation.
No, really, as an outsider to the MGTOW movement – (whether supporting or condemning) – if, as that outsider you imagine your opinion on the sexual identity of a MGTOW man is relevant, or interesting, or worth even being heard, then you are sadly delusional. Of course, nobody in the MGTOW movement will tell critics they’re not entitled to their own opinions, however, nobody in the MGTOW movement finds such opinions interesting or relevant. MGTOW men don’t care if you’re not turned on by them. Be assured, the reason the MGTOW movement exists is they find a vast majority of women (and men, we’re an inclusive movement) repellant in context including the sexual, and truly repellant in so many other ways as well.
Moving right along – we have another common objection to the practice of MGTOW.
Society needs more babies. Economies require constant growth, marry up and make babies or we’re all screwed.
Before addressing this, its worth noting to readers that yes, this really is a common argument against MGTOW men and Zeta males.
So, in the interest of clarity, let’s address one the most stupidly absurd objections of MGTOW yet fielded. Also, I know the previous sentence, posted here without justification could be considered poisoning the well. But honestly, is there anyone alive today not yet aware that unabated continued human population growth is a world-wide problem?
I knew this in 1977, when I was 7 years old.
However, it’s also true that modern economies do depend on constant growth. And this is a problem. The solution is not more growth, even 7-year-old me knew that for fuck’s sake. Rather, the solution will be fundamental changes to the way we naked pink and brown monkeys organize our economies. Those changes will come when we have a political will to create them, or when the hard reality of a finite planet forces us. The second possibility will be much more painful than the first, but appears to also be more likely.
For my own part, and as a self-identifying MRA and MGTOW, I have no interest whatsoever in preserving a corrupt, broken system which has always run, and continues to run on the corpses of good men.
“We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man…. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon.”
~1854: Henry David Thoreau
Yup, that’s actually an argument against MGTOW. Particularly the element of men, going their own way apart from social interactions with women. To be clear, some following a MGTOW practice use language which includes “giving up on women”. But rather than surrender, this indicates a conscious evaluation and rejection of a cultural norm which, to most MGTOW, has become unappealing, toxic, unreliable and dangerous.
If the grocery store began selling rotten, poisonous and inedible slop – you’d stop buying your “food” there. You’d find an alternative.
The accusation of “you’re quitters” also found in the venerable but still excellent shaming tactics catalog is actually an empty characterization of effective tactics, masquerading as an accusation of inaction.
The complaining will no doubt continue. MGTOW men, in response to this complaining, will likely not even notice, because they are busy, doing the most useful and productive thing they can, defining themselves and defining the terms on which they interact with the wider, gender ideological world.
That is really why so many people are excited, and exercised about MGTOW men. It’s because they are afraid. They are afraid of the growing numbers men refusing to be defined and controlled by women.
And of course, to those opposing, criticizing, condemning, and crying about the growing adoption by men, particularly young men of MGTOW as a model for their own lives: cry some more.