We all know that if you have a curious mind or otherwise suffer from a chronic case of the boredoms, the internet will rope you into things irrelevant to what you were originally interested in and suffocate you.
So I was looking something up about the lat pull-down, which led me to a video of a guy working out in a gym, which led me to an ignorant comment about how all women who wear yoga pants at the gym are attention-seeking whores and to the Cirque Du Bullshit that came hobbling after.
Once we arrived at center ring, someone bashing women for being bitches who distract men by showing off their fat asses then get pissed that men are looking mentioned MGTOW.
I didn’t have any idea if that was just an internet term I was unfamiliar with or if it had something to do with gym culture, since all of the males posting at that point were lifters, so I looked it up.
Upon realizing it was some sort of group, I returned to those video comments to better understand why it was mentioned and the manstrosities supporting it made it sound like a society of bitter guys who fear and resent women, degrading them in reclamation of their manhood.
I’m aware that people have a tendency to ruin whatever group they belong to by injecting their own individual flaws and bias into that group’s ideology, though, so I didn’t want to judge or define MGTOW by their idiocy.
I instead went back to the website to see if there was a mission statement or something that would explain the core values of the group as it stands – and there was…
Men Going Their Own Way is 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.
My initial reaction was good for you, guys! Don’t let the world define you as a man! Take back control of your lives and yourselves!
I, of course, was thinking of it in human terms and was reminded of The Fountainhead (1949) starring Gary Cooper, which is one of my favorite films and one I strongly identified with the first time I saw it. Specifically, I was moved by the speech Gary’s character, Howard Roark, delivered in his defense.
I won’t spoil the film for those who haven’t seen it by explaining anything further. Just note that the bolded is a line that’s resonated with me ever since because it so aptly defines my worldview…
I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim. It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard. In the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others. My terms are a man’s right to exist for his own sake.
This is the kind of powerful sentiment MGTOW’s description called to mind, except that the wording was curious – oddly specific in a way that masqueraded as broad. Looking to others for social cues? Kneeling to whom? A disposable utility in what sense? What best interests?
I thought first and foremost of the crippling machine that honest work has become. I can think of no other construct wherein men and women are treated so commonly as disposable utilities forced to bow, to conform, to act in favor of someone else’s best interests, than in the context of a job.
I think many can attest to the fact that it isn’t at all unusual to lose yourself in the struggle to support yourself – to achieve the security and stability we’ve all been conditioned to prize in fear of the alternative.
But a part of me kept going back to the commentary circus and how female-centric it was as though women are the problem they’re trying to solve. Not the dehumanizing rigors of the society men arguably built that way, and that we continue to shape together.
It’s humans with vaginas.
Humans with vaginas are single-handedly decimating their manhood! The very same humans with vaginas who are supposedly weak and incapable without men. We’ve somehow robbed the mighty of their might.
Nothing in MGTOW’s description gave me that impression, so the disconnect remained in my mind between those guys supposedly speaking for the group and the group itself until I read the rest of the website and the tweets of the man/men responsible for the group and realized that those roid-ragey, misogynist pricks were pretty spot on.
MGTOW is actually that fucking stupid.
Rather, whatever nobility was to be found in the message is lost to the bitterness and hostility of its followers and the credibility of their gripes is overshadowed by a glaring bias ironically motivated more by “feels” than reason.
The whole of MGTOW’s FAQs, for example, sounds more like a defensive Tumblr user trying to be clever in their response to the anonymous message why u such a faggot dummy fukkin kill urself than someone intellectually committed to an ideal, wanting to educate others on what they stand for and what they hope to achieve.
Unlike other campaigns I’ve seen that are clear and calm about the ways in which their advocates seek to affect change and why, this “movement” comes across as organized venting by the hypersensitive – more group therapy than group.
Given the things these men say and the fact that their steaming piles are directed so decisively at females and all who endeavor not to presume we’re the spawn of Satan, it’d be easy to jump to the conclusion that they’re just guys who got burned by a woman and subsequently embarked on this crusade that really amounts to nothing more than making themselves feel better.
But boiling it down to that dismisses the fact that someone doesn’t need to be someone else’s victim in order to despise them and all they represent. That’s a mistake we make – assuming vitriol must have a personal source.
It’s just as likely that these are men who’ve taken issue with the way things are from the start and just happen to blame the general tenor of women in our society for it independent of a woman actually doing anything to them personally. I’d guess it’s a little of both, but that’s neither here nor there.
Here’s what sews my buttons…
I strongly believe in gender equality to an extent that’s logical, reasonable, and fair and I believe we’ve built a society that’s none of those things towards males and females alike. That inequality manifests itself differently for both sexes and, depending on the way you measure the effects, is worse for women in some ways and worse for men in others.
The difference is that in being the dominant voice and governing hand in our society for centuries (and other societies for millennia), men are primarily responsible for the way things are, including the way we assign and interpret gender roles and the way that gender dynamics have had to evolve.
What these men view as the loss of themselves to the big bad lady wolf, I view as them reaping what they’ve sown.
Males, seemingly justified by nature, created an environment wherein females were dependent upon them by misguided morality and law. A world where males had to take ownership of females via marriage before females could secure even a moderately respectable existence.
A quiet patriarchy under which the only independent women were those housed in brothels. Where a woman without a man to give an heir to and keep house for was a throwaway. An undesirable.
And men prided themselves in that power – the king and last word. The providers who chose or bought women who’d be forever indebted to them because women could be nothing without them. The men who knew they could take what they wanted whether they were wanted or not in return.
They made it very clear what part a man was meant to play in this world and how women fit into that equation. They appointed themselves the stewards of our sex – how we could live, what we could own, who we could love – and our bodies. They took ownership of that, too.
Demanding virginity where male “purity” was never a question or answer. Governing even our motherhood, a gift given only to us, by dictating when we had to conceive to suit their purpose and how many we needed to have and which sex we had to produce lest we fail them. Deciding when we had to give up our child, either in the womb or out.
Now they’re annoyed that we live in a culture so clouded by the residue of that past that it’s still a present for plenty. A world where so many women still expect a man to take care of them.
Where so many still require the validation of being someone’s wife. Where so many value themselves only so much as a man values them and as such, are groomed from day one to attract a mate. Where so many feel their purpose in life hasn’t been fulfilled until they’ve given birth.
Namely, a detestably antiquated climate wherein women chase the immutable transaction men established so long ago: Women give you sex, children, and servitude and you give them money, a home, and social status.
The standards women hold themselves against and hold men against were designed by men and now they feel oppressed by the aftermath, blaming us for a dynamic we had little to no control over for most of our history and in many parts of the world, still don’t.
They defined what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a man’s man, and what women should be like in return without consideration of the fact that one day, the number of men and women content with that existence might shift just enough for everyone to complain.
For men to be tired of women who measure a man’s worth by his strength and success as if a man’s only reason for being is to guarantee a woman’s safety and security. For women to be tired of men who measure a woman’s worth by her sexual attractiveness as if a woman’s only reason for being is to entertain a man in bed and look good on his arm.
I sympathize with both sexes because we’ve been equally foolish to one another, as we’ve been to ourselves, yet we’re so incredibly dim that we’re convinced these social benchmarks and male/female archetypes are objectively right when they don’t exist outside of our minds.
The natural world dictates that water flows. The natural world dictates that light refracts. The natural world doesn’t give two shits if a man pays for dinner or if a woman wears a dress. These are things we made up.
And we torture ourselves and each other over it and tell each other it’s nature – that all men are this way and all women are that way and anyone who thinks otherwise is naive.
I hate to break it to you, friends, but it’s easy to believe your notion of what men and women are like applies to everyone when you dismiss anyone who doesn’t fit that mold. Confirmation bias is real. So what am I on about?
Why do I think MGTOW is a joke?
It isn’t because the feeling is wrong. I understand where these men are coming from and accept their outrage and discontent as valid.
I think the happy wife, happy life mantra is bullshit. I don’t believe mothers are more important than fathers, and I don’t think men should be pressured into marriage by milestone-oriented girlfriends clamoring about tying the knot before Susie McFucktard.
I don’t believe men are “scrubs” just because they aren’t wealthy and powerful with prestigious careers, and I don’t think it’s okay to ridicule a man for being short or scrawny or bald any more than I think it’s okay to ridicule a woman for being flat-chested or overweight.
There are countless things I don’t agree with and countless ways in which men are being stifled or taken for granted, so my gripe isn’t with their objections. It’s with their deduction. Their credibility ends where their conclusion that women are the problem begins.
The second you skip the human conversation about how all of us are doing each other wrong in any number of areas in favor of acting like women are all guilty of bloody murder and men are all innocent victims of emasculation, you’ve gone from having a point to being a melodramatic bore.
Women lie about being raped for petty reasons and we have to suffer for it! I bet you think that’s okay, huh? No, actually. I think it’s awful. Incidentally, I also think it’s awful when men detract from the fact that women get raped with life-long consequences without seeing justice done by harping on the fact that some lie about it.
Women lie about a kid being yours just so you’ll take care of them and they get away with it! I bet you pat them on the back, right? Nope. I think women who lie about a man being the father just to rope him into supporting them or remaining in a relationship should be held accountable.
I also think men who convince a woman he wants to have a child with her, assuring that he’ll be there for her and the baby, then skip out on her the second she gets pregnant because he changed his mind and it’s “not his problem” should be held accountable.
So let’s simplify this…
Men are pretty fucking terrible and women are pretty fucking terrible. The only consolation is that it’s not all of us – it’s not even most of us – and it’s been my experience that men and women who aren’t toxic waste are easy to find when you don’t waltz around assuming they don’t exist.
Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that.
MGTOW misses the mark because its members appear to be so blinded by this one-sided, tunnel vision anger towards women that their arguments either don’t make any sense, are too absolute to be logical, or are otherwise too emotionally-fueled to take seriously.
You know who I’d listen to? A man who says, “I understand that many of the changes society is going through are in response to the way things have been. Women were kept under our thumbs in ways that dehumanized them and denied them the right to exist as their own beings independent of male needs and desires. We contributed to a world wherein women felt voiceless and unsafe and weren’t as progressive as we should have been in recognizing that.
I just think the pendulum is beginning to swing too far in the other direction and men are now being controlled and denied in the interest of what women want. I know we often overcompensate for past transgressions and I want to find a happy medium. I just don’t think that’s possible the way things are going, so I’m bowing out or speaking up.”
Not someone who says, “I’m here to tell the truth this feminazi pussy-pandering society doesn’t want to hear! Women are cheap, conniving, selfish leeches who want nothing more than to see our power destroyed and deny us our sovereignty! Stop bowing down to these bitches! We don’t need their psycho money-grubbing drama!”
Because there’s a difference between not being okay with the way things are and having a gigantic bug up your stupid ass – and I’m not saying men have to agree with me or anyone else in order to be deemed reasonable.
I’m saying that if they disagree, I’m more apt to pay attention to their rebuttal when they’re capable of formulating one more thoughtful than, “Whatever, blue piller! Keep sleeping in your dream world with your white knights while the rest of us open our eyes!”
Okay, I guess?
I wanted MGTOW to be insightful and progressive. I really did. I was excited about the idea of men standing up for themselves in the way that women have been standing up for themselves. But the more I read, the more disappointed I became. I feel more sorry for the men drawn to it than inspired by them.
This is one of those very, very, very, very rare instances in which I would set aside the benefit of the doubt that these are wise and passionate men who simply aren’t communicating their values well and go straight to the childish gamer’s supposition that they’re butt hurt.
U mad, bro?