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MGTOW logo[1] as shown in episode "Men at War" of the BBC series Reggie Yates' Extreme UK[2]

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW /ˈmɪɡt/) is an anti-feminist, mostly online community advocating for men to separate themselves from a society which they see as harmful to men, and particularly to eschew heterosexual marriage and cohabitation.[3][4]

The community comprises websites and social media presences as part of what is more broadly termed the manosphere. MGTOW purport to focus on men's self-ownership rather than changing the status quo through activism and protest, which to participants differentiates the community from the men's rights movement.[5][6]

Associated with the alt-right, the MGTOW community has been called a misogynistic male supremacist group. The Southern Poverty Law Center places it "on the borders of the hateful incel community".[7]

Contents

Origins

Mack Lamoureux wrote in Vice that "The MGTOW community's history is murky, but it was most likely birthed in the mid to early 2000s by two men who go by the online aliases of Solaris and Ragnar." Jie Liang Lin writes that while MGTOW's origins are unclear, it seems to have emerged from the red pill phenomenon, a metaphor used by antifeminists for "waking up to society's gynocentric evils".[5][8]

Beliefs

Political stance

Originally libertarian, the community later began to merge with the neoreactionary and white-nationalist alt-right. MGTOW has been described as misogynistic.[9] The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the community as a male supremacist group, placing it "on the borders of the hateful incel community".[10]

Views on women and feminism

MGTOWs advocate male separatism and believe society has been corrupted by feminism, a view shared with the alt-right. MGTOWs posit that feminism has made women dangerous to men, and that male self-preservation requires dissociating completely from women. Levels of MGTOW involvement range from "red pill" awareness, to rejection of relationships (including "marriage strikes"), to economic and societal disengagement.[11][6][12][10]

MGTOWs believe that there is a systemic gynocentric bias against men including double standards in gender roles, bias against men in family courts, lack of concern for men falsely accused of rape and lack of consequences for their accusers. According to Angela Nagle, their rhetoric suggests "punishment and revenge" against women are the driving force behind MGTOW. [13]

Some self-identified MGTOWs see women as hypergamous and manipulative. According to Futrelle, the "central MGTOW myth" may be that of the "cock carousel": the idea that women spend their youth "flitting from alpha male to alpha male in an endless utopia of casual sex [...] Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of men in their teens and early 20s live in a parched sexual desert, scorned by women".[14][15] In Digital Environments, Lin writes:

MGTOW believe modern women have been 'brainwashed' by feminism to believe 'they are right no matter what.' She will 'ride the cock carousel' with as many men as possible, most of whom will mistreat her and valorize her feminist claims of victimhood. When women do decide to settle for a man, he will be a passive 'beta-type,' whom she will boss around and target for his 'utility value'—financial assets and stability. The 'beta' may be a Purple Piller who is aware of the risks of marriage, but tries to hold out for a 'Disney-ending.' However, divorce proceedings will inevitably sway in a woman’s favor, due to institutionalized female privilege.[16]

Some MGTOW have short-term casual relationships or engage in sex with prostitutes. A more austere subset of MGTOW called MGTOW "monk mode" eschews pursuing courtship and sex, and instead advocates for celibacy and self-improvement. A MGTOW that chooses celibacy over sex and relationships is said to be "going monk"; some embrace maintaining their virginity.[17]

Lamoureux writes that MGTOWs have "a serious problem with feminism". Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director at Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children at University of Western Ontario, said, MGTOW advocates "have no real ability to identify the global forces that are at work in their life, so they hang the blame on feminists", and show "a complete lack of self-reflection", in the end "reinforcing each other's really distorted perceptions of what's happening in the world".[5][18]

MGTOWs deride feminists as "social justice warriors", and see the LGBT rights movement and support for safe spaces as obstacles to male self-ownership. Leah Morrigan states that the MGTOW.com founder Sandman's videos "proclai[m] his bitter, indiscriminate hate towards women", who he claims are all "manipulative whores and liars" whom Sandman "slut-shames, fat-shames, and age-shames". When women are discussed on MGTOW forums, it is often "angrily".[17][19][18]

The "red pill"

MGTOW use jargon such as "red pilled" to describe members of their movement and "blue pilled" to describe men outside, or opposed to their movement.[20]

Relation to other men's groups

MGTOW shares many concerns with other elements of the manosphere, such as online men's-rights websites, while disagreeing on other points.[6][21]

Men's rights movement

Unlike men's-rights activists (MRAs), MGTOWs do not seek to change society, but rather to distance themselves from society. The early MGTOW community was consistently libertarian and opposed to "big government", in contrast to MRAs' support for legal reforms in the area of divorce and custody. Futrelle writes that MGTOWs have "largely abandoned" the issues of concern to MRAs, such as male suicide and false rape accusations, "to focus almost entirely on the airing of grievances".[6][21][15]

According to Lamoureux:

At first glance, it's easy to lump MGTOW in with typical Men's Rights Activists (MRAs) who also believe that female oppression is a myth and that it's actually males who are oppressed—but that's not the case. The two groups differ significantly ... While MRAs are out to fix the problem through action and activism, members of MGTOW hold self-preservation above all else, and because of this the majority of the community seems to have decided to bow out.[5]

Herbivore men

According to Roselina Salemi, writing for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the Japanese concept of herbivore men is a subset of MGTOW. Lamoureux sees herbivore men as a consequence of Japanese socioeconomic conditions and MGTOW as an ideological choice. Kashmira Gander, writing for The Independent, sees herbivore men serving as role models for MGTOW.[22][5][17]

Pick-up artists

MGTOW have a reciprocal disdain for the pickup artist community. The MGTOW movement has been criticized by the pick-up artists (PUA) for being cult-like, antithetical to human nature, and likened to separatist feminism. Pick-up artists disparage the MGTOW community, calling their "'philosophy'...completely wrongheaded", according to Lamoureux. Matt Forney from Return of Kings, a pick-up artist website, calls MGTOW a "creeping cult of male loserdom".[23][5]

See also

References

  1. ^ MGTOW Logo created by Peter Wright in 2013 [1]
  2. ^ "Men at War". Reggie Yates' Extreme UK. Season 1. Episode 2. January 12, 2016. 22 minutes in. BBC. BBC Three. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Anti-feminist:
    • Dragiewicz, Molly; Mann, Ruth M (June 1, 2016). "Special Edition: Fighting Feminism – Organised Opposition to Women's Rights; Guest Editors' Introduction". International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. 5 (2): 1. doi:10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i2.313. ISSN 2202-8005. While there are variations in their foci, antifeminist men's groups and Internet forums, identifiable by acronyms such as MGTOW, PUA, FR4 and #Gamergate, are united by complaints that feminism is the source of men's personal and professional problems and a threat to civilisation.
    • Palmer, Alexis, et al. (2017). "Illegal is not a Noun: Linguistic Form for Detection of Pejorative Nominalizations". Proceedings of the First Workshop on Abusive Language Online, pages 91–100, Vancouver, Canada, July 30 - August 4, 2017. Association for Computational Linguistics
  4. ^ Lin (2017), p. 90.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Lamoureux, Mack (September 24, 2015). "This Group of Straight Men Is Swearing Off Women". Vice. Retrieved June 6, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d Hodapp, Christa (2017). Men's Rights, Gender, and Social Media. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. pp. xvii–xviii. ISBN 978-1-49-852616-6.
  7. ^ Alt-right/misogyny:
  8. ^ Lin (2017), p. 87.
  9. ^ Neo-reactionary/Incel/Alt-right/misogyny:
  10. ^ a b "Male Supremacy". www.splcenter.org. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Lin, Jie Liang (2017). "Antifeminism Online: MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way)" (PDF). In Frömming, Urte Undine; et al. (eds.). Digital Environments. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. p. 78. ISBN 978-3-83-943497-0. JSTOR j.ctv1xxrxw.9. MGTOW comprises of mostly straight, white, middle-class men from North America and Europe. Unlike other antifeminist groups, MGTOW espouse the abandonment of women and a Western society that has been corrupted by feminism.
  12. ^ Views on feminism: Dragiewicz, Molly; Mann, Ruth M (June 1, 2016). "Special Edition: Fighting Feminism – Organised Opposition to Women's Rights; Guest Editors' Introduction". International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. 5 (2): 1. doi:10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i2.313. ISSN 2202-8005. While there are variations in their foci, antifeminist men's groups and Internet forums, identifiable by acronyms such as MGTOW, PUA, FR4 and #Gamergate, are united by complaints that feminism is the source of men's personal and professional problems and a threat to civilisation.
  13. ^ *gynocentric bias/double standards/false accusations of rape:Lin, Jie Liang (2017). "Antifeminism Online: MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way)" (PDF). In Frömming, Urte Undine; et al. (eds.). Digital Environments. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. p. 78. ISBN 978-3-83-943497-0. JSTOR j.ctv1xxrxw.9. MGTOW comprises of mostly straight, white, middle-class men from North America and Europe. Unlike other antifeminist groups, MGTOW espouse the abandonment of women and a Western society that has been corrupted by feminism.
  14. ^ Hymowitz, Kay (February 27, 2011). "Why Are Men So Angry?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 30, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ a b Futrelle, David (March 31, 2017). "Inside the Dangerous Convergence of Men's-Rights Activists and the Alt-Right". The Cut.
  16. ^ Lin (2017), p. 89.
  17. ^ a b c Gander, Kashmira (September 27, 2016). "Inside the world of men who've sworn never to sleep with women again". The Independent. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ a b Forani, Jonathan. "'A way for men to come together': Men Going Their Own Way just want to be left alone". www.metronews.ca. Metro. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ Morrigan, Leah (September 6, 2015). "The Fear of Being Alone Has Ruined Modern Dating". www.huffingtonpost.ca. Huffington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2018. Then there is Men Going Their Own Way, or MGTOW, an online men's community that supports "a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else". I was delighted to find this site until I read further and found that what began as masculine empowerment quickly turned vile.
  20. ^ "'Por que confraternizar com o inimigo?' Os homens que evitam se relacionar com mulheres". BBC (in Portuguese). G1. November 29, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Zuckerberg, Donna (2018). Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age. Harvard University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-67-497555-2.
  22. ^ Salemi, Roselina (January 12, 2016). "Finalmente soli" [Finally alone]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved February 8, 2016. 'Dentro c'è di tutto: "erbivori" (nel senso di per nulla carnali) stile giapponese, ...'. (Translated: 'Among [the MGTOW] there are all sorts of things: "herbivores" (meaning: no carnal relations) of the Japanese type...'
  23. ^ C. Brian Smith (September 28, 2016). "The Straight Men Who Want Nothing to Do With Women". MEL Magazine. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

Further reading

External links

  •   The dictionary definition of MGTOW at Wiktionary