Recently, a friend of mine went through a divorce. After being with his wife for over eight years, she decided, very suddenly, to leave him. Like a lot of divorces, the relationship did not end amicably. To make matters worse, there is a financial dispute. They are currently in the process of deciding future ownership of a house.
To get his mind off the divorce, my friend and I went for a fishing trip. As we sat in the boat with not so much as a bite on our lines, he talked about a movement he had discovered on Reddit: MGTOW. Though I was certain I had heard of this acronym in some anti-feminist circles, I didn’t know what it was until I did a quick Google search on my phone.
MGTOW or “Men Going Their Own Way” is a relatively new online community which defines itself, according to its website mgtow.com as “...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.”
I was intrigued. By this definition, it’s a philosophy of empowerment for men, a stark contrast to the media’s near obsession with women’s issues and feminism which all too often leads to the outright demonization of men and masculinity.
“This is wonderful,” I thought. It is refreshing to see a rise in awareness and support for men’s issues. Being responsible for the greatest inventions in human history, performing the most dangerous jobs in the workplace and serving as a majority in the armed forces, it seems like the least we as a society can do. However, after a little more research, particularly in the “Quotes” and “Posters” section of MGTOW.com, I quickly realized there was more to this movement than their definition claimed.
“By the age of twelve at the latest, most women have decided to become prostitutes. Or, to put it another way they have planned a future for themselves which consists of choosing a man and letting him do all the work.” -Estheryah Vilar
“How in the HELL could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 AM by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush his teeth and hair and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were expected to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” -Charles Bukowski
I would like to first point out that I found these posts on MGTOW.com. This was not from some supporter’s blog or a random guy’s social media page. It is on the official site for MGTOW. After seeing this blatant bitterness and outright hatred toward women, I was kind of shocked and rather repulsed. How could a grown man support or subscribe to such beliefs? After re-posting two of the images above, others had a similar reaction. However, a couple MGTOW supporters came forward and I found their insight to be even more revealing.
One man’s support for MGTOW centered around his opposition to marriage. He rejected the institution entirely, even going so far as to compare it to slavery (outspoken feminist Julie Bindel came to mind). At best, from his perspective, it was a “bad business decision.” He is not alone in this belief. Marriage is heavily criticized on the MGTOW website. The basis for this criticism seems to come from the idea that a woman is only looking to marry in order to elevate her economic status. This and taking half of her husband’s earnings once the union has been terminated. In other words: women are gold diggers.
I understand how this bitterness can be formed. After all, men are at a distinct disadvantage in divorce courts as the law continues to favor women, particularly in child custody cases. We see this all too often: A good man, having worked hard for his entire adult life to provide for his family gets hit with a divorce. He suddenly finds himself living with the help of his parents or friends in addition to only seeing his kids a fraction of the time.
While not every divorce is the same, the anger that results from this common scenario is understandable. With that resentment and anger, the appeal of something like MGTOW is quite strong. However, blaming an entire gender or an institution for one’s poor relationship choices is hardly justified.
Marriage, at least in western society, has always been much more than just a financial matter. To view it solely in this manner is to ignore its proven value of social and economic stability. It discards the religious aspect for people of faith, but more significantly, there is no consideration with respect to raising children. The poverty alone single parenthood has caused is undeniable. But of course having children would also be “bad business” when viewed through this lens.
And no one under American law is subject to forced marriage. It’s entirely socially acceptable for either sex to remain single and independent-- a principle feminism has supported for decades.
In doing more research, the parallels between MGTOW and modern day feminism became more and more apparent. Both movements have clear disdain for traditional gender roles. Both vilify the opposite sex while claiming to help their own. There is also an element of fear-mongering. MGTOW demonizes women as greedy, manipulative and useless. Feminism vilifies men as sexist oppressors if not outright sexual predators. Both movements foster suspicion and distrust.
” And according to MGTOW, only “real men” go their own way. Men who choose to marry are internalized misogyny. who deviate from the feminist narrative, accusing them of “ feminists have attacked womenAny reasonable person knows that not all women are out to steal men’s earnings and obviously not all men are misogynistic or abusive. While both sexes have their shortcomings, these movements demonizing them does nothing to benefit society. It doesn’t do their targeted audiences any favors either. We’ve seen countless instances wheremerely “chumps.” The message is the same: support and agree with our way of thinking or you’re a sellout.
It is my personal belief that MGTOW is a direct result of feminist overreach. As media, academia and public figures continue to degrade men and masculinity, it is no wonder that this backlash is now taking place. While MGTOW is nowhere near as visible as feminism, fighting an ideology with essentially the same ideology is not only purposeless but continues to fracture and already divided society.
The Opinions Expressed In This Article May Not Reflect the Ideals of The Conservative Nut