In recent years, coinciding with the rise of the internet, many unfamiliar movements have taken root across the world. Among the most extreme of these movements is MGTOW, or, ‘men going their own way’. I do not use the word extreme in a negative sense. MGTOW is a group of men who use logic and reason to its nth degree. To my fellow millennials, these fellows are certainly ‘woke’. The MGTOW movement has grown rapidly in recent years as many men across many nations continue to become dissatisfied with our rapidly changing Western society.
Men Going Their Own Way believes, above all else, that the system is now rigged against males, with governments and courts of law prioritising the rights of women. So, some out of protest for the new world and some out of necessity, have chosen to ‘go their own way’ – that is, to leave traditional concepts of marriage and female partnership in favour of a life prioritising the individual. Sounds like a lonely life of self-imposed exile. But, as I will now discuss, MGTOW may have a point and their protests may be valid.
Beliefs and Betrayal
MGTOW’s most active user base can be found on the online forum, Reddit. Their page description reads as follows:
“This subreddit is for men going their own way, forging their own identities and paths to self-defined success.”
This is a simple and harmless definition for the movement. Simply put, it is men who prioritise personal success and development. But at what cost? The cost, as a casual scroll through r/MGTOW shows, is romantic relations with women. To these men love and romance is a fool’s pursuit, creations of a Disney fairy tale and a society gone mad.
Of course, we have all heard the horror story: driven young man falls for an attractive young woman. They get married, they have kids. Years later, she takes all the money and all the kids and leaves behind a broken man. Many of us would accuse that single female of being one bad individual – a rarity in an otherwise strong society. Or, perhaps, there is more to the story we do not know. MGTOW, however, believe that this situation is in the very nature of the female.
Rather than love, Men Going Their Own Way believe in hypergamy – the theory that women only date and breed with those men who are metaphorically ‘above them’ in the social hierarchy. Once this man gives this woman all of his resources and all of his energy, she leaves, in hopes of finding a stronger man with more resources and more energy. And thus, the vicious cycle continues.
Men Going Their Own Way also believe that the courts are against them, often siding with the woman in divorce. This, perhaps, is their strongest argument, as most divorce proceedings end in full or lost custody of children going in the woman’s favour. As modern divorce rates sit at around 35% of all Australian marriages, MGTOW believes that the endorphin rush is known as ‘love’ is not worth the gamble. And if they’re working off those numbers, maybe their logistics are right.
Critique of the Female
“Most all of nature, males assume a particular role: that of protector, provider. Females, reproduce. But what happens when this system goes too far? When the males are required to provide too many resources, too much security and the females are not even required to bear children. That’s what we’re looking at within Western civilisation today.”
The above comes from YouTube user Howard Dare, a noted MGTOW advocate. His argument is simple: men now are expected to provide too much to society and in return they receive nothing; no offspring, no steady relationships. Even the traditional man, full of testosterone and bravado, is being criticised and attacked. Howard goes on to explain that from a young age, boys now are being feminised, to fit into a feminine world with feminine rules. The solution? Cut out women completely. Take up the mantle of manhood and seek to provide only for yourself. Your legacy is your child, and your work is your love.
These words and theories are incredibly harsh and unfeeling. But these sentiments are usually the result of bitter men – rightfully bitter men. They are the victims of heartbreak from adultery, failed marriages, botched divorces, or just a lifetime of constant disappointment and rejection at the hands of the finer sex. MGTOW, to them, makes sense. Why waste all your time and energy on pleasing another person who is most likely to leave you high, dry, and on your own? That is a very fair question and one that requires careful consideration.
Are Men Going Their Own Way Right?
No. MGTOW’s logic, though supported by scientific theory and valid evidence, is flawed. The movement discounts the idea that throughout all human history, generations have been moved forward by one thing and one thing only: reproduction via monogamous pair-bonding. Evolution agrees that this is the most fundamental and essential meaning to any creature’s life – forward the species, pass on your genes. And, from what I’ve heard, raising kids is no easy task. You are going to want a solid partner. The result of this will be fine young adults who then continue your legacy, and the cycle continues. MGTOW believes this ‘solid partner’ is a myth; that the female will always ruin this mission in some way.
Well, maybe I’m a fool. But in my naïve confidence, I will continue to hope for the best, not just from the women in our society, but from the men too. However, I will heed the warnings of the Men Going Their Own Way movement because their arguments are valid and worth listening to. Through this combination of hope and wariness maybe I will be of that small happy minority who lives out their lives with someone they love in a beautiful, loving family. Or maybe MGTOW will prove me wrong, and I will be writing an article titled ‘Why MGTOW Was Right’ in ten years’ time.
If you’ve got a spare moment check out the MGTOW subreddit that has 72k subscribers – fascinating stuff.
This article about MGTOW on Narratively is also an interesting read.