Men going their own way (MGTOW) is a trend in the U.S. According to a poll conducted by The Washington Post, nearly one in 10 American men between 18 and 34 identifies as a man going his own way. MGTOW or Men Going Their Way means different things to different people.
Still, according to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, “that guys should be able to enjoy lives free from feminist influence.”
When did MGTOW start?
MGTOW has been around since the 1960s. It began when notable men such as Eivind Berge (discussed below) began to write about how society had passed them due to feminism. But this new generation feels like they’ve finally found their movement.
MGTOW is not organized around any specific values or principles beyond self-ownership. It is so potent that it attracts men with varying interests, values, and beliefs, including actors, musicians, economists, and conspiracy theorists.
Where MGTOW found more opportunity
The internet provided the opportunity for these men to meet and discuss their stories. The forum can’t be censored, banned, or shut down because anyone does not own it. No single individual controls it, so it is tough to regulate or shut down.
That said, MGTOW is firmly planted in the U.S., where over 1,100 men are waiting to participate in an anonymous survey about this movement, with over 3200 more on the waitlist at Reddit/MGTOW alone.
It was founded by Rob Fedders (screen name: Robert Feder). And according to the Washington Post article, “there doesn’t seem to be a unifying ideology” among those who identify as MGTOW. They believe that they want to live their lives on their terms.
Why is Men Going Their Own Way Popular?
For the millennial generation, the economy has sucked since they graduated college in 2008, shortly before the financial crash. Young men have trouble finding jobs on top of student loan debt and inflation on everyday goods, making living costs very high.
- The War Against Boys by Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers explores some of these challenges facing young men in our new economic climate.
- According to Sommers, there is a perception among boys that society no longer believes in them, that we forget about them. And this dovetails with the concept of MGTOW.
Eivind Berge is a Norwegian man who has been deeply involved in this movement for the past year and a half. According to Berge, this movement is not political, nor does it include men who are chauvinistic or misogynistic. “The idea,” he says, “is that we should be able to live our lives without interference from society and culture.”
Berge believes that young people feel like they’re losing their identities while society moves further and further away from what each individual considers normal.
In contrast, we move further away from biology (Berge cites same-sex marriage as an example). This leads many young men to lose hope, turning instead towards something like MGTOW, which provides an alternative to the norms of society.
How Does MGTOW Treat Women
When asked about how this movement treats women, Berge is quick to say that it does not advocate for violence or abuse of any kind. MGTOW wants nothing to do with “the poon,” as they call it.
The idea is that men should live their lives without all the work and emotional investment involved in a relationship or marriage (sometimes referred to as “one-itis”).
He also mentioned a big difference between MGTOW and MRAs – men going their own way versus Men’s Rights Activists – explaining that while both groups believe in gender equality, what they do with that belief varies widely from one man to another.
MGTOW Want a Return Patriarchy
Even if it means going against what women believe in, MGTOW wants both sexes to live together fairly and equally.
Like any other movement, there are many different branches of thought among those who identify as MGTOW. Some want to be left alone to work on themselves or their businesses; some men reject their traditional roles as fathers.
- One branch believes humans need to return to nature by leaving technology altogether (one example is this blog).
- Others see men’s rights advocacy as the answer to fixing our unequal society.
Some don’t believe that gender equality is possible or practical, although Berge says that most members believe that men and women should be treated equally under the law.
While it’s easy to dismiss this movement as just another socially unacceptable way for men to avoid responsibility, many of its participants seek legitimate solutions to problems that our society currently does not offer. If our community paid more attention to young men at risk earlier on, perhaps we could save some of them from their despair before it takes a turn toward extremism.
What Experts Say About MGTOW
“The truth is boys are languishing…They read less, they drop out more, they get worse grades, they’re less likely to go to college.” And according to Berge, “Boys are completely lost right now. They don’t know what they’re supposed to do.”
For young men like Danny, the idea of a “return to nature,” is an attractive option. He believes that today’s women are too liberated and that men will be better able to express themselves without restrictions.
“All anybody needs,” says Berge, “is enough money for food and rent.” However, while I believe it’s essential for us not to forget about our boys, we should avoid advocating a return to some bygone era when men and women stayed at home making sandwiches.
In modern society with its own set of rules, perhaps it’s time for boys who feel lost in this world to learn more about what they can contribute towards bringing about change instead of just avoiding responsibility or returning to a time that may never have existed in the first place.
Summary of MGTOW
1. Men going their way is a growing movement of men who are rejecting traditional notions of masculinity
2. The group believes that women should be independent and make their own decisions, while the man should provide for her financially
3. It’s not just about getting married – it’s about being in charge of your life and not letting others dictate what you do with it
4. These men believe they’re better off without women, but this isn’t always the case when friendships break down or there aren’t enough male role models around to teach young boys healthy behavior patterns
5. This movement has been criticized by both feminists and conservatives alike because they see it as an excuse for bad behavior or laziness
6. Some people believe that men who don’t want relationships are not real men
7. Men going their way are often criticized by women, accused of being misogynists, or woman-haters
8. The group has its website where it shares articles about masculinity, men’s rights, and tools to avoid marriage
9. Many articles on the site contain language that could be considered offensive or graphic to some people
10. Some have blamed this movement for spreading false information, which often puts women at risk
11. According to Google Trends, interest in the term ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ peaked at the end of 2016 after a controversial post went viral on Reddit
12. People were so outraged by an MGTOW video called ‘The TRUTH About Female Nature’ that it was shared over 65,000 times on Facebook
13. The video stated that ‘women are manipulative, attention-seeking, inconsistent, emotional and hypergamous,’ which means they’re only attracted to men with a high status or wealth
14. Men going their way believe this is what attracts women today – not raw physical attraction
15. The movement has been growing steadily since the MGTOW Forums were set up in 2010, but now there are even dating coaches who teach you how to live without women
16. Some experts say these so-called “pickup artists” encourage men to reject all relationships because they’ll permanently lose if they choose a woman
17. On Reddit, there are groups where people who say they’re MGTOW describe the cons of marriage and why they’ve chosen to live without women
18. It’s not just men either – some women claim that the only way to control their own lives is to reject men altogether