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 I’ve seen too many extreme, hateful feminists–the sorts who claim all men are rapists, have a real prejudice against trans folks, etc.–to wholly buy into that scene. So yeah, I’m definitely not 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 involving a guy named Mark 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’m not really pursing any kinds of relationship IRL, I’m not currently looking on OKCupid or any kind of relationship-searching websites to “cure” my bachelorhood. Whatever need for “companionship” I have is (once again) satisfied by my close friends here, at the Castlevania forums, and the readers of my stories on FFn. Hell, sex is nice but I’m not desperate for it either, 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:
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. 🙂