Why I’m Not a MGTOW

I was joking around about this subject a little while ago with some friends in a skype chat. Essentially, for about half an hour or so I was pretending to be a MGTOW for the lulz. After a while they thought I was being serious, so I finally stopped and told them I was just screwin’ with ‘em. However, that fun little skit inspired me to write a longer, more serious post about what I really think and provide a less whimsical reasoning for why I’m not a MGTOW. Now, in case you don’t know what that acronym means—and I certainly can’t blame you—here’s what it stands for:

MGTOW = “Men Going Their Own Way.” To be frank, defining this is pretty difficult. There are a whole bunch of definitions out there, ranging from “reclaiming masculinity” to “working for one’s own self-interest without regard to social expectations” to “rejecting the broken gender social contract,” and so on, and so forth. Those who non-ironically cling to the label will tell you that’s a feature, not a bug. Me, I’m not so sure, but in any case, I’ll give you the simplest definition I can:

MGTOWs are pretty much the male version of lesbian separatists, with essentially two caveats. A: Not all of them are gay (ostensibly), and B: They tend to live alone rather than in communes. Those don’t strike me as particularly profound differences, but whatever. Anyways, they generally dislike women (to put it mildly) and, barring a minority of exceptions, are fanatically opposed to ANY involvement with women at all. They refuse to get married, obviously, but they also refuse to get into relationships with women, cohabit with women, or even associate with women; many avoid ‘the fairer sex’ as much as possible. If they happen to be straight, MGTOWs will fap to porn, buy realdolls and fleshlights, or, at the very most, see prostitutes. Again, there are a handful of self-proclaimed MGTOWs who are married or have girlfriends (though I’ve only heard of these in theory, I’ve never actually met one myself), but for the vast majority, gender separatism rules the day.

They are also part of, or at least associated with, the “manosphere,” which is populated by PUAs, MRAs, incels, TFLs, and all manner of other groups referring to themselves with jargon impenetrable to outsiders. I might do a post on the manosphere in general later, but for now I’ll just talk about my relationship to MGTOW.

The description of MGTOW beliefs I’ve given above obviously sounds somewhat extreme and negative, and it is. However, the extremism and negativity aren’t even the primary reasons I don’t call myself a MGTOW. Because, to be fair and totally honest, they do apply to me, though I would hasten to add, only to a very small extent. I’ve had a fair number of negative experiences with women. Not enough to sour me on the entire gender—I still have many female friends I cherish, both offline and online (my colleagues at the Castlevania forums, the readers of my fanfiction, etc.). But just enough to keep me from being a die-hard feminist, or even profoundly concerned about winning points with women as a group (I make exceptions for the aforementioned lovely ladies). One thing’s for certain: I’m definitely not looking for a relationship, much less marriage. I’m very happy “being alone,” and I find the single lifestyle fits me just fine. Now, I’m not going to start ranting about the evils of marriage because I’m still relatively young and it’s possible I might change my mind in the future (there’s a story about that I might tell in my longer post on the manosphere I’ll make later). At the moment, though, suffice it to say I’m content being a bachelor and see no reason to change that. I also see no reason to even interact with women that much, aside from (once again) my close friends here, at the Castlevania forums, and the readers of my stories on FFn. I’ve little need for ‘companionship’ or even intimacy; porn satisfies me well enough.

From this description, you might think it’s fair to say I fit the MGTOW bill pretty well. Why don’t I accept the acronym and the people associated with it as my own? Well, let me tell you two of the reasons I don’t much care for the term. There are several, but for today, here are a couple:

1: It’s actually a somewhat ill-chosen acronym. As far as I know, “MGTOW” started referring to “Men Going Their Own Way” sometime in the early 2000s, maybe the 1990s at the very latest. The problem is, MGTOW as an acronym actually has a much longer history in aviation:

http://aviation.about.com/od/FAQs/g/Maximum-Takeoff-Weight-Mtow-Or-Maximum-Gross-Takeoff-Weight-Mgtow.htm

In aviation, MTOW is short for Maximum Takeoff Weight. Sometimes people refer to this weight as MGTOW, or Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight. These two terms are interchangeable. (Emphasis added)

So, um, yeah…I don’t really need a silly acronym that actually refers to the weight of an aircraft to stay single and unmarried. XD

2: Less flippantly, and more importantly, I don’t see the need for some acronym or movement, period. I first found out about the whole MGTOW business maybe two or three years ago. I was pretty happy being single and doing my own thing a loooong time before that. If I didn’t need an acronym before, why do I need one now? I didn’t need a movement or a group or whatever before, why do I need one now? Maybe a lot of MGTOWs will say that they’re not part of a movement or group either, that MGTOW isn’t really a label or something, the monks and hermits in the Middle Ages were “Men Going Their Own Way” centuries before the term appeared, and that I’m a “true MGTOW” just for living as an unattached bachelor. In that case, knock yourself out, call me a MGTOW all you want. However, I’m not going to call myself one, and I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. I’m certainly not going to join a forum or make a blog dedicated to grousing about women. If that pisses you off, too God-damn bad. And if it makes me a “mangina/white-knight/whatever” (ironic, the people who complain the most about “shaming language” are the first to resort to it), well, you just can’t make me care. Sorry!

Well, that should do it for now. This may or may not be the last entry I write on the ‘MGTOW’ thing, I might write a couple on the ‘manosphere’ more generally and on some funny quotes about MGTOW I’ve seen on the Internet from my friends. I don’t want to spend too much time on the subject, though. Next week will probably be a quickshot on William L. Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, assuming I don’t find something else which catches my interest. 🙂

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19 comments

  1. […] friends of mine were talking about a subject related to the “manosphere” (which I described here). It inspired me to jot down a quick post on the subject, but I don’t really want to spend too […]

  2. […] Full disclosure: I don’t actually like women much more than he does–as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t hate them, but I’ve had enough negative experiences t0 stay single. Unlike […]

  3. […] Hot on the heels of my recent book review , I’d like to spend this “Manosphere Monday” going into a bit more detail on the differences between Japanese “Herbivorous Men” and the MGTOWs I’ve described before. […]

  4. […] I first made it. And I’ll also be frank, I still feel that way, to a large extent, as I wrote here. While, ironically enough, my opinion of women in general is somewhat more positive nowadays, […]

  5. Wow. 2 reasons not to be a MGTOW. Impressive. [Sarcasm]

    1. Never said they were the only two–there are a whole bunch more I could’ve written about. Perhaps I will when I get the time. But honestly, even two’s a bit excessive–staying away from you bozos is really the only reason any sane person would need to avoid MGTOW.

  6. GenderNeutral · · Reply

    Honestly when I first heard of this I thought it was funny. It just sounds like men are pouting in the corner, feeling sorry for themselves cause they didn’t get their own way. And how sad to get off on porn, blow up dolls and flesh lights all the time? lol! Something is wrong with you. It’s your fault you can’t get laid. I find it funny when a guy is socially awkward it’s because of women and feminism. lol!

  7. GenderNeutral · · Reply

    But hey I will give you props cause other guys think it’s OK to rape. At least you have some morals.

  8. Christopher Keene · · Reply

    My only relating ideology to MGTOW is anti-natalism. Tell me what you think of this argument, because I find it hard to poke holes in despite its seemingly ridiculous conclusion.

    A leading cause of climate change is human CO2 emissions. Western countries, particularly America, contribute to a large portion of this (USA being the 2nd total emissions GT) mainly due to a culture of consumption (1). “A study by statisticians at Oregon State University concluded that in the United States, the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child is almost 20 times more important than some of the other environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives.”(2) Western countries like America also have higher reproductive freedoms than most, with women being able to get an abortion up to 24 weeks into the pregnancy, yet populations are still steadily increasing in these countries despite this freedom (3). Therefore, because western women have final say on childbirth but don’t use it to slow population growth extreme, climate change is their fault.

    (1) http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts_pc1990-2013
    (2) http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis
    (3) https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/06/planet-sustain-mankinds-growing-numbers-depends/

    1. Well, there are a couple of things to be careful of there. First, birth rates in Western countries have been dropping steadily; I’m sure I don’t even need to cite this as both of us have heard various people complaining about it constantly (you wrote an entry about Japanese pro-natalism a little while ago yourself). Even if fertility hasn’t dropped as much in Western nations as in Japan, it’s still declining. Wait a few years and you may not be able to “accuse” (so to speak) women of climate change. After all, social change tends to be slower :p

      2: Keep in mind that lax laws aren’t the only thing affecting abortion and contraception rates. There are also cultural considerations too. Many Catholics or conservative christians, for instance, would choose to have lots of children even if they have the option not to, whether due to genuinely held belief or social pressure/the threat of ostracism from their religious communities. So it’s not necessarily the case that everyone in Western countries has a “high degree of reproductive freedom,” that freedom may and IMO certainly is bounded by other factors.

      1. Christopher Keene · ·

        Japan is actually the exception, not the rule. Japan and certain Eastern Europe countries (most that I would be hard pressed to call first world) are the only places that are in decline. Almost all other countries with reproductive rights are seeing a varying but consistent population increase.
        (http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=24 , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline)

        I find in-group mentality no excuse for denying available freedoms. Even if their culture/religion does effect their decisions, this only vilifies them more for being weak enough to be ruled by it, particularly in countries with freedom of religion. Like you, this is IMO, but I think you yourself prove your second point false (not saying that you’re a women).

        The idea is this, if reproductive rights helped to lower CO2 emissions, countries with reproductive right would have lower CO2 emissions. Considering we see the almost the exact opposite, one can only assume that those who these rights give final say and final responsibility to, women, are either ignorant of their impact, or let biological factors over rule facts.

      2. Christopher Keene · ·

        Sorry, meant to add ‘and social factors’ to that final sentence.

    2. “The idea is this, if reproductive rights helped to lower CO2 emissions, countries with reproductive right would have lower CO2 emissions.”

      Well, as always, remember that correlation is not necessarily causation. Countries with higher CO2 emissions also have, say, more freedom of religion and freedom of the press than many countries with lower levels of it, at least in the West.

      This is even more important when you consider that women are not necessarily driving the population increases in high CO2-emission countries. For instance, when you say “Almost all other countries with reproductive rights are seeing a varying but consistent population increase,” well, how much is due to immigration rather than natural increase? The wikipedia article you provide yourself says of Germany, “a decades-long tendency to population decline has been offset by waves of immigration.” Much of that immigration comes from non-Western countries like Turkey. In the U.S, we have a lot of immigrants from the “third world” seeking a better life, ranging from South America to Africa (maybe that’ll change if Trump has his way :P). So it’s not clear as to what extent women can be blamed for birthing too many children and therefore exacerbating the climate problems of the Western world.

      That said,

      “Even if their culture/religion does effect their decisions, this only vilifies them more for being weak enough to be ruled by it, particularly in countries with freedom of religion.”

      This strikes me as fairly naive. No offense, but it’s easy for you to place such a heavy emphasis on anti-natalism. Your job, social status, and family life aren’t contingent on you having kids and you’d be unlikely to lose them if your SO were to have an abortion, or even use contraception. You also seem to come from a well-educated and relatively secular background (and that’s cool, I did too). Many women–and men–in the U.S are not so fortunate. Many have been told their entire lives that abortion and contraception contravene God’s will, and even for those who haven’t, it’s not an easy thing to risk losing one’s job, marriage, friendships, etc. over contraception or abortion. You could say that they’re just “too weak” to make the sacrifices the planet demands, but then again, no offense, you’d probably be equally weak in their position.

      Climate change is certainly important, but blaming Western women for it is unlikely to help much. Chipping away at the social power of natalist institutions (religious, political, etc.) while continuing to expand reproductive rights to places where they’re not as secure (red states in the U.S, for instance). I’m not sure about immigration; it may be that immigrants contribute to pollution the same way natives of a country do, or they may produce less, or they may produce more. Perhaps you know more about the subject than I do.

      1. Lazarinth · ·

        Immigration is a good point. It makes population increase by natalism in the west seem insignificant, which is a scary thought. Mixing the third world’s highly reproductive culture with the first world’s high emissions culture could be a nightmare waiting to happen. But yes, because of mass immigration, creating blame by geography is kind of pointless.

        However, in abortion-legal places (or countries with full reproductive rights), whether or not they are coerced by social or biological reasons which I will address in the next paragraph, women should have ultimate power over who does and does not get born. It falls under the ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ motto, but that’s as far I take it. Does that sound about right to you?

        I don’t get offended, although I feel I should have added an age caveat to my argument. You’d be hard-pressed to find a place in the developed world where once someone reaches a certain age they couldn’t leave and create their own life without the factors you’ve listed. Despite how I may come off, this is exactly what I did.

      2. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a place in the developed world where once someone reaches a certain age they couldn’t leave and create their own life without the factors you’ve listed.”

        To an extent, but still, you have to admit it’s easier to make a new life away from one’s home culture for some than for others. You seem to have some solid advantages–at the very least, you seem to be well educated and have a stable home life. Many women (and men, for that matter) from more ‘natalist’ (so to speak) populations in Western countries don’t have that advantage.

        There’s also the question of social pressure coming the other way. Folks like you may warn of the dangers of overpopulation, but even in the west, other public figures like Pat Buchanan say we’re undergoing a “fertility crisis” and that the “right kind of people” need to have more babies. Who should a woman listen to? Given that the pro-natalist voices are so much louder than the anti-natalist ones, I can’t really blame women–or, again, many men, for that matter–for taking the natalist position in Western countries.

      3. Lazarinth · ·

        Just to be clear, your argument is that people’s stance on natalism is more a matter of ignorance and social influence? Which I agree with. I guess my counter argument would be that the population’s connection to CO2 emissions and resources should be taught in school.

      4. “people’s stance on natalism is more a matter of ignorance and social influence? Which I agree with. I guess my counter argument would be that the population’s connection to CO2 emissions and resources should be taught in school.”

        Yup. And I agree with you, it should be taught. But as you’ve certainly heard, there’s a big climate change denial movement, and it’s getting more influential too. So convincing either women or men for that matter could be tough :/

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