Trying to Understand MGTOW

For the past couple months I’ve been exploring the phenomenon of Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW, the singular being MGHOW or Man Going His Own Way).

A Voice for Men describes MGTOW as:

…a statement and an act of self-ownership. Additionally, MGTOW usually encompasses the view that a man has the sole right to decide what his own goals in life will be, rather than accepting goals conferred by others…

.

It’s notable that this definition doesn’t preclude a man from being in a romantic relationship, or even marriage. This is a controversial point, with some MGTOW arguing that one cannot be MGTOW and married, and others articulating various levels of MGTOW.

I must wonder: How did MGTOW originate, and where is it going?

I don’t know, so the following is purely speculative. But first, a detour. Francis Roy recently posted a video about John Calhoun’s mouse utopia, an experiment where he created an enclosed space with a capacity for 3,000 mice, free from predators, and with ample food for all.

The results were unexpected, but not at first. He started with four male and four female mice, and the population quickly exploded to 2,200 in less than a year. But despite plenty of space, food, and no external threats, the population collapsed to extinction in about 18 months. Others replicated the experiment, including rat utopia.

The social degeneration prior to extinction included mice crowding into certain areas and abandoning other areas; allocation of food and water becoming unequal despite abundance; increased competition among males, with many unable to defend their territory, their females, and their offspring; females becoming aggressive in response to lack of protection, but going haywire and attacking their own offspring; excess males striving for acceptance but withdrawing upon rejection, some forming all male groups with increased violence within these groups; and certain males (“the beautiful ones”) going off by themselves and spending most of their time eating, sleeping, and grooming.

It’s difficult to generalize any of this to human society because people are far more complex than mice, and this experiment involved a very artificial rather than a natural environment.

But Return of Kings notes that human history is littered with societal collapses. ROK doesn’t mention MGTOW, but they do compare “the beautiful ones” to Japanese Soshoku kei Danshi, called “grass eaters” or “herbivore men” in English. These men don’t seek out romantic relationships, and are said to devote much of their time to personal grooming. The similarities and differences between grass eaters and MGTOW are unclear, and differences between Japanese and North American culture are a complicating factor.

Today’s global technological society being headed for collapse is a popular theme, but one that could easily be wrong. It could be that today’s ease and abundance, which is unprecedented in human history, will change human culture is dramatic ways without leading to collapse.

However, I argued previously that modern capitalism lead to feminism because capitalism’s technological innovations freed women from the biological destiny of constant pregnancy while also enabling women to economically support themselves with low risk/high wage jobs, thus making men optional. This results in a surplus of men. In today’s post, I must wonder if MGTOW and grass eaters could be a natural result of this excess male population.

………………………………………~                             ~                             ~

I’m divorced and decided I don’t want to remarry because the risks are too great. But when I began dating again I noticed right away that dating in middle age is different from dating in your 20s. Middle aged women seem quite focused on marriage, and after one woman really gave me the hard sell I quit dating entirely. I don’t want to have children, and I don’t want to legally or financially enmesh my life with anyone else.

It seems I met the definition of MGTOW before I had even heard of it.

But I don’t think MGTOW will change the world. It seems rare for a MGHOW to be an alpha male, and because alphas often have multiple partners it’s unlikely women will notice the few men who have checked out.

I’m also uncomfortable with MGTOW, however, because of what I think is an angry preoccupation with women by some MGTOW, which seems to result from the sting of rejection; statements about women’s true nature with no scientific basis and which reflect common stereotypes; and MGTOW Facebook groups that constantly post news items about women doing bad things, which presents a one-sided view of women that is no different from feminism’s one-sided presentation of men.

One example of junk science is “Briffault’s Law“: “The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place”. This wry observation has never achieved the status of a scientific law, and as stated is not scientifically testable. One blogger expanded on it, basically asserting the women demand constant and immediate benefits for the association to continue. Again, any claim about human nature must be scientifically tested. This doesn’t mean Briffault is wrong, though the “law” does seem simplistic. It does mean it should be treated as tentative, and a proper assessment must involve a search for contradictory evidence.

Another example is one MGHOW suggesting that a woman who carries too many bags is mentally ill. Maybe he was joking, but it’s not clear. One wouldn’t say someone is diabetic because she orders a Diet Coke – diabetes is more complicated than that, and only a doctor is qualified to make the diagnosis. The same is true for mental illness.

This MGHOW, Sandman, is a prolific Youtube videographer who creates a new video every day. I don’t mean to single him out because overall I enjoy his videos, most of which are thoughtful and none of which are angry rants. But nuance is important because the reality is that society judges even unintentional sexism by men harshly, while feminist memes such as #killallmen get a free pass (it’s ironic, doncha know).

Another example of women’s “true nature” are stereotypes such as women being irrational. Reality is that human beings are irrational. We have the capacity to be rational, but it’s learned behaviour and takes constant effort. Women and men, however, have different reproductive self-interests, and thus display different behaviours toward that goal. Thus, a woman’s perceptions and actions may seem irrational to men because it conflicts with his self-interest. Or, she may truly behave irrationally, but not any more so than the average man.

In a nutshell, I am a MGHOW because of the lifestyle I’ve chosen, but I remain uncomfortable with the aspects described above.

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22 thoughts on “Trying to Understand MGTOW

  1. each man will determine his own path…

    no gods, no masters…

    —-

    “In today’s post, I must wonder if MGTOW and grass eaters could be a natural result of this excess male population.”

    I’ve speculated that feminism arose in a time when there were more women than men–not every woman who wanted to marry would be able too…

    and I thought that now that more men have survived to adulthood and there seem to be more men, that is why there is a rise in the MRM….

    However—

    there have always been men going their own way…

    ascetics, warriors, scientists…

    In fact even in my grandfathers day, it wouldn’t be unusual for a married man to spend most of his free time away from his wife. The marriage was simply a legal arrangement for children…

    It seems society has become more gynocentric. MGTOW seems to be a reaction against this. IE it’s not worth giving up all your dignity for some pussy.

    If you try to explain this to the average man-a pussyhound, he’ll call you a faggot. Even though he’s the guy who does creepy stuff like “tag teaming” with another guy. Yeah, I had to listen to an asshole guy I work with “brag” how alpha he was. To bad I couldn’t knock his teeth out on the floor-I need to stay employed and want to avoid the criminal injustice system…

  2. an aside, I’ve mentioned I’d never get involved in a serious relationship with a divorced woman. I was referred to as a “misogynist.” However, if I mentioned that I’d never go into business with someone who declared BK, I’d be called pragmatic. How’s this different? To me it’s just proof society is running “two sets of books.”

  3. You and I seem to have a similar point of view. I simply choose to be very careful of who I enmesh by life with, and pay particular attention to not putting myself in a legally and financially vulnerable position.

    To me, it seems that many MGTOW are in fact resentful and angry people who are essentially saying “fuck you” to all women as proxies for those that harmed them, rather than choosing to be “liberated men.”

    While I watch many MGTOW videos, I must admit that there’s a certain kind of hard line that I just don’t buy, one that is usually come by via pain. Sandman, for example, is still in his angry phase. I’ve done the angry thing, and that time has passed. While I acknowledge that women have many similarities, due both to biology and upbringing, I’m not willing to make the same kind of leaps of logic that many do.

    I only use MGTOW as a convenient label to say that I refuse the role of protector and provider, that I do not accept that I am obligated to give up my wealth, possessions, or dignity to enjoy a relationship of any kind with a woman. I do not accept that I owe observance or duty to another human for the mere sake that they are born female.

    I will not argue “What MGTOW really means” any more that I would argue what happy, or wealthy really means. It is merely a convenient label.

  4. “I’m also uncomfortable with MGTOW, however, because of what I think is an angry preoccupation with women by some MGTOW, which seems to result from the sting of rejection;…”

    Sting of rejection? That’s what you call having your life and future destroyed through marriage?

    Let’s see – on average, one million divorces per year. Over 45 years, that’s 45,000,000 divorces. Men pay 90+% of alimony and child support. Women get custody of “her kids” 90+% of the time. Women file the majority of divorces. When a woman divorces a man, if he’s the breadwinner and kids are involved (most men are breadwinners in marriage – still), he’s being told he’s no longer valuable as a husband but his monthly income is always a welcome member of the family. “You can go, but your wallet can stay.” Then, his now deeply hated X wife goes off to fuck other men, with the financial support of her X husband, of course. Ya gotta love that – if you’re the X wife that is. Why? Cause if the X husband wants to see his kids, he better “show her the money”, lest he go to prison. He had better be nice to her, too. If not, she can screw with his “visitation”.

    I’m a MGTOW that dodged the bullet, just barely, and it’s all thanks to the “resentful and angry” MGTOW before me. Thanks to them, I’m rightfully terrified of “marriage and family”. If anything, we need more of the “resentful and angry” men saving the next generation of naive boys before they’re lead to their own slaughter.

    Sting of rejection? Really?

    1. Well, that was a strong reaction. It seems like you think I was being judgmental. And I was.

      You gave specific reasons (your wallet can stay but you must leave) that men feel angry, and of course in a situation like that one has a right to feel angry. Intense emotions like that can indicate different things: that one still cares about what women think, or that women still exert an unwanted influence perhaps through ongoing alimony payments.

      I paid alimony for a couple years, but that’s been over for a while now. My anger is gone because the situation is resolved, and I’ve decided not to put myself in that situation again.

      I can’t care that some women think I’m a jerk for wanting to avoid marriage, and the transfer of resources this entails. Cross cultural studies show women prefer men with social status, primarily featured by access to resources; and that men prefer the most fertile women, i.e. young and healthy looking. This is part of the biological drive for the continuation of the species, and it will never change. I don’t feel angry about it. It just is what it is.

    2. Gratis Ptaka said:

      I’m a MGTOW that dodged the bullet, just barely, and it’s all thanks to the “resentful and angry” MGTOW before me. Thanks to them, I’m rightfully terrified of “marriage and family”. If anything, we need more of the “resentful and angry” men saving the next generation of naive boys before they’re lead to their own slaughter.

      I agree that it is the men who have been though the meat-grinder, and who have alerted us, and many young men and boys that have popularized and helped to protect them. Review your notion of the resentment and anger as taking credit for this.

      You are not rightly terrified. You are simply terrified, when the terror is simply unnecessary. You can both be at peace and wise enough to not step into the bear trap. You need only know the size and shape of a bear trap to recognize it and walk around it.

      Calm awareness of the danger, is a better choice than terror, resentment or anger. The point of MGTOW is to enjoy one’s life and be free of pain, yes? Then why self-inflict pain?

      You are smart, alert and forewarned. Now simply move on, and keep going your own way.

      1. One major problem with equating women to wildlife predators is occurrence. Tigers I don’t fear because there are fewer than half a million left. Sharks don’t even inhabit my biome. Bears and beartraps, while common in the wild are not a regular encounter unless hunting is your lifestyle. Women comprise 3.5 billion people and they live next door and can deeply influence your daily life no matter where you go – on the books or off of them. Men do sincerely need to be careful in the 2010’s. Not just from entering the relatively complex process of marriage and courtship, but at work where you could lose your livelihood due to a knee-jerk allegation that may or may not have been intended (or even happened). College-going men should now avoid their female colleagues due to the looming Title IX campus courts that can get a young man expelled or worse by a mere accusation of the she-said/ she-said variety. MGTOW isn’t just a “basement dweller” being butthurt over never having had the opportunity to enjoy anal with the prom queen because he failed to work out and groom himself; this is a clear and present danger for all men. Frankly, I feel a bit sorry for the “alpha studs” who garner female attention just for showing up to whatever event, because they are first in the cross hairs and are made most privy to all of the very possible dangers we’ve been discussing here, long term and short term.

  5. I would ignore A Voice for Men and Return of Kings on the topic of MGTOW. The core of MGTOW over the last few years has been the work of vloggers barbarossaaaa (bar bar), Stardusk, Razorbladekandy (RBK), Spetsnaz and most recently Sandman. They’re responsible for it’s growth in popularity, but traditionalists/conservatives (tradcons) of the variety commonly found at Return of Kings, and more recently AVfM are trying to hijack it now that it’s getting attention.

    Everyone is trying to answer the question “what is MGTOW?” And that best answer I can give you is that it’s a evolving philosophy based on trying to understand female and male nature without assumptions from a feminist or traditionalist framework, in the same way that a man going his own way (various called a MGTOW or by grammarians a MGHOW) is trying to limit to coercive effects of feminism and traditionalism in his life. As RBK put it, it’s about shifting men’s focus from questions like:

    How do I get girls to like me?
    How do I get girls to give me sex?
    How do I make them happy?

    To questions like:

    How does her nature exploit me?
    How does my own nature lead to my exploitation?
    How do I get society to value me as much as them?

    That being said, much of what’s in the videos that popular vloggers make are thought experiments and insights. Trying to put the pieces together in a certain way and see if the fit or see if the resonate with our personal experience. That doesn’t make them correct, but it makes them worth exploring. MGTOW, in that way, is a virtual space where those can be discussed.

    Your take on MGTOW is similar to mine from, perhaps, 18 months ago. My misconception was that MGTOW was a fully cooked framework for understanding the world. It’s not, and I have to say that I hope it never really is. It should be an ever improving framework helping men to understand counter coercive gynocentric influences in their lives.

    1. That MGTOW is an evolving philosophy can make it hard to pin down, but on the other hand this opens the door to greater nuance. Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

    2. Richard Wheybrew said

      but traditionalists/conservatives (tradcons) of the variety commonly found […] AVfM are trying to hijack it now that it’s getting attention.

      Can you name specific individuals at AVFM who are tradcons trying to hijack it and point to specific instances where they attempt to do so? I’ve heard this claimed many times, and none has ever responded to my request for specificity.

      Richard then followed up quoting RBK

      How does her nature exploit me?
      How does my own nature lead to my exploitation?
      How do I get society to value me as much as them?

      These are very stupid questions to ask. Look at the embedded assumptions, the ones that presuppose that the questioner is a victim. 1. Her “nature” exploits me. 2. My “nature” leads to my exploitation. 3. I am less valued by society compared to women.

      These are the core tenets of Radical Feminism, transposed to males.

      Women as a class are subjugated and/or oppressed. By men.

      I will offer you three better questions.

      1. What do I want?
      2. What is meaningful to me, and what can I do to spend more time engaging with this?
      3. What are my strengths, and how can I put them to good use?

      Let us not forget the most important:

      4. What’s for lunch?

      1. “These are the core tenets of Radical Feminism, transposed to males.” – Francis Roy

        Or maybe you’re not ready to acknowledge that men can be victims, which ironically will cause more men to become victims because they keep thinking they’re somehow immune to it.

        If anything, we probably should sound more like radical feminists. Radical feminists are those people that kick our asses in courts, workplaces and universities all the time. We should steal as many pages from their playbook as we possibly can.

        Your questions here are only meaningful under certain circumstances.

        “1. What do I want?”

        What if I wanted to get as many borderline women pregnant as possible? Or just one that I happened to be really in love with and then get married to her? What if someone told me smoking crack or shooting heroin was really cool and I should try it. We also know that humans are very bad at know what will make them happy (Google “Affective Forecasting”).

        Part of “going your own way” is creating circumstances that will allow you to continue to lead a life of self-determination. If you don’t have a reasonable understanding of the risks involved with something you “want” then you can’t make good decisions.

        “2. What is meaningful to me, and what can I do to spend more time engaging with this?”

        I’m not sure how this is significantly different from your first question.

        “3. What are my strengths, and how can I put them to good use?”

        Again, sounds like the same thing.

  6. “It seems rare for a MGHOW to be an alpha male, and because alphas often have multiple partners it’s unlikely women will notice the few men who have checked out.” While “unlikely,” this also assumes that demographic behavior is static from generation to generation. The statistical outliers such as I am are the only ones who will bother. However, simply by identifying the one who I chose as desirable, I have alerted the herd who now will hardly leave the poor guy alone. Fortunately, he finds their antics amusing but as “the reluctant leader,” as I am as well, “Alpha” isn’t exactly the goal.

    1. I used to like singing Gimmie That Nutt at karaoke because liked pussy as much as Eazy. But, when you think about it, probably most of the people he was singing about in that song got AIDS and died.

      I’m kind of done fucking. Maybe I finally fucked enough, maybe it’s being in my 30s, maybe it’s all of the dead AIDS bitches that Eazy fucked.

      Either way, sexual arousal just makes you easier to manipulate, easier to exploit. Ultimately it’s a weakness to manage.

      1. Any weakness can be made into a strength and vice versa. It all depends on the particular age. Figuring out which is which for the individual is the battle of life. In my view, rarely is the easy road the correct one. However, such would be the wisdom of a social outlier such as myself. Your results may vary.

      2. Dick Wheybrew said

        Either way, sexual arousal just makes you easier to manipulate, easier to exploit. Ultimately it’s a weakness to manage.

        Only if you are untrained at self-control. The trick is to keep a part of your brain alert. It’s a bit like a trip-wire. It doesn’t actively scan for danger, but has a series of red-flags in memory that when triggered, brings up an “alertness subroutine” that causes you to pause and consider.

  7. Buster said:

    One major problem with equating women to wildlife predators is occurrence.

    When I referred to a bear trap, I meant that it is we who are the bears who, with simple awareness, can sidestep a trap intended for us.

    1. Francis, it’s strange that you are basically contradicting yourself when you start giving advice about how to prevent being manipulated e.g.

      “Only if you are untrained at self-control. The trick is to keep a part of your brain alert. It’s a bit like a trip-wire. It doesn’t actively scan for danger, but has a series of red-flags in memory that when triggered, brings up an ‘alertness subroutine’ that causes you to pause and consider.”

      When you said I was like a “radical feminist “for suggested men should be aware of how they can be exploited and take steps to prevent it.

      Now, here you are, acting just like a radical feminist.

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