Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), commonly called the marriage strike, is the rising phenomenon of men abandoning their stereotypical roles. Adopting MTGOW means rejecting social norms which are both irrational and toxic to personal well-being.
Outside of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) a number of names exist for practitioners of MGTOW. Most of those labels are contrived to coerce or silence men through shame. “Peter Pan Syndrome”, “failure to launch”, “man-baby’s” are all failing attempts to shame men back into conformity.
To date, the most accurate popular label remains the term “marriage strike”.
Some Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) claim marriage is a viable option for self-described MGTOWs. Supporters of this notion may be motivated by a need to capture readership, or desire for a “cool sounding” acronym which overrides their grasp of the phenomenon.
The MGTOW phenomenon is individualistic by design. Mainstream critics are often confused by these men and misrepresent them. MGTOWs are not bothered by this. It is central to the practice of Men Going Their Own Way that only their own philosophies matter. What the MGTOW phenomenon means to its opponents is of little concern.
There is an element of schadenfreude, or pleasure from the misfortune of others, that MGTOWs experience when listening to their critics whine. Yet, MGTOWs share their lifestyles online out of a desire to share with other men the freedom, peace, and power which ‘going your own way’ can bring.
It’s for this reason that a common falsehood about MGTOW and women needs to be addressed:
MGTOW are celibate, sexual failures, socially crippling themselves by their aversion to women.
This is a myth.
To grasp MGTOW you must recognize the female favouring social imbalance that exists in our culture. While some women with a moral compass will avoid abusing the power they have, most have no such inhibition. Most pretend to have no conscious awareness of their own power or of their indifference to men as fellow humans.
For men considering relationships with women, this has some serious consequences. Some proponents of MGTOW advocate a total disengagement, strictly avoiding women on an ongoing basis.
In fact, for non-MGTOW men, a period of such avoidance can be therapeutic in achieving personal equilibrium. Self-identity, distinct from tribally supplied identity, is at the heart of MGTOW.
It’s also true that we are social animals. Men, even supposedly “woman hating” practitioners of MGTOW, almost all have great affection for women. Whether they will admit it or not, most harbour a deep desire to love and be loved by a woman within a relationship based on trust and affection.
The problem, of course, is the gun in the room and the willingness of the average woman to use that metaphorical gun.
Additionally, men not choosing celibacy have a hazardous course to navigate.
Nevertheless, relationships with women are possible for MGTOWs, including intimate sexual relationships. But relationships pursued in a MGTOW context do not follow a conventional pattern. It should be obvious that marriage and MGTOW cannot coexist. They are each choices excluding the other. A married man calling himself MGTOW is like a child calling himself a helicopter.
Women in MGTOW relationships must consciously reject abuse of the power our culture and laws put at their disposal. It is not enough to not fire the gun, women must take steps to remove the gun from the table.
There are techniques for practicing MGTOW which are shared within their circles. One such technique is voluntarism within relationships, as an alternative to the conventional model.
In a “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” relationship, our language implies ownership. She is “my” girlfriend. He is “my” boyfriend. This reflects a common sense of social obligation to a romantic partner. While enjoyable in the context of boyfriend or girlfriend, spending time together includes obligation. Are you sharing a bed with her because you wanted to in each case, or because that’s what you’re “supposed to do”?
In almost all cases, it’s a little from column A, and a little from column B. As this is normal, most people in such arrangements are not greatly aggrieved. But there is a thread of coercion in any such arrangement.
By contrast, consider the dynamic of a non-sexual friendship. Are you spending time with your friend because you are “supposed to”? Or are you choosing one another’s company in each case, because that’s what you want to do. That is a relationship based on voluntarism.
What happens when sex becomes a part of such a voluntarist friendship? Voluntarism is not typical to sexual relationships. It requires clear communication and trust between people practicing such a friendship. It also requires clearly defined agreement on sex, residence, and responsibility. In particular, some elements common to non-MGTOW sexual relationships may be explicitly excluded. This is because conventional relationships make assumptions which degrade the civil rights of men. These are civil and legal rights which women take for granted.
While a full listing is beyond the scope of this article, a few examples show some of the coercion in “normal” relationships.
Women enjoy a legal and social right to reproductive self-determination. This means, a woman can choose to become pregnant, or avoid pregnancy with a broad range of fertility controlling products.
To be clear, this is separate from the right to have, or to avoid having sex. Also separate is the legal and social right to use pregnancy terminating medical intervention.
By contrast, men lack the basic right of reproductive self-determination. They have no say in whether or not they become a father. This reality manifests in both law and social convention. It is evident in the absence of any reversible fertility-governing technologies for males and indifference of the family courts to the civil rights of fathers.
Standard objections are worth noting, because although common, they are also false. “He should have just kept his pants zipped up. He chose to reproduce when he chose to have sex!”
Heard this before?
It’s false and it’s dishonest. The choice to screw is not the same as the choice to reproduce.
Imagine a woman, convinced the sex she was having was “safe” because her partner claimed he’d had a vasectomy. It turns out that surprise, he was lying, and she’s pregnant. She further discovered that she has no legal, and no social right to NOT be a baby factory. She can’t even give the kid away for adoption.
Tough luck, lady, you should have kept your legs together.
Sane adults will understand that such a social and legal standard would be absurd and monstrous.
We recognize this absurdity when addressing the basic civil rights of women. But most people suffer a mental malfunction when thinking about such basic self-determination for men.
If she chose to get pregnant, got pregnant carelessly, if she became pregnant due to failed birth control, she has rights. Men do not. Pay up, sucker, or go to jail.
This is reproductive slavery, enforced in law, with wide public support. The only thing most people will object to in this claim is the use of the word slavery. Not because it’s the wrong word – it’s not. They object because they don’t like facing the fact that what they support is accurately described by that ugly word.
And all of this is obvious.
Men are adapting to this state of affairs, rejecting the compulsion to conform and reclaiming their identities. Many MGTOW don’t even know what the term means. Yet they’ve found themselves in that lifestyle despite conformist pressure of the culture around them. And the whining will likely continue.
The MGTOW phenomenon exists apart from either positive commentary or opposing opinion.
Men are starting to do the most useful thing they can by re-defining how they interact with a gender-ideological world.
This is why so many people are disturbed by the MGTOW phenomenon. They are terrified by the growing numbers of men refusing to be defined or controlled.
There is a delusion that the sexual identity, value, or appeal of a man is a commodity to be used, condemned, or praised by the public. Men who buy into this fiction make it real. In attempting to win a positive public identity, they become an exploitable public resource.
Unlike the typical male, Men Going Their Own Way are not offering their sexuality for approval. Men’s sexual identities belongs to themselves. The world can learn to deal with this, or it can burn.
And to those criticizing and condemning the growth of MGTOW as a model for men’s own lives: get used to crying.