MGTOW stands for “Men Going Their Own Way”. It’s a deceptively simple phrase, which has been interpreted in many different ways in the past. It sounds straightforward enough, yet these differences in opinion as to what it stands for have led to a massive schism in the whole men’s rights movement.
As this is an important concept to cover, let’s look at it in detail.
The main point of contention between the two primary factions of MGTOW is women. One group feels that it’s alright to live a married life and still be considered MGTOW, the other is of the firm belief that a man must remove themselves entirely from anything to do with women. There are, of course, some others in the middle who feel it’s alright to date a woman, but never marry her, or that dating is going too far, but one night stands are fine, or that you can have female friends but never do anything sexual with them.
Well, that sure isn’t very helpful, so perhaps we need to look at this from a different angle.
The key part of MGTOW, is the phrase “Going Their Own Way”. In this phrase, it simply means that it’s the individual’s choice to decide what to do with their life, what they value, and what they hold dear. The important part is that no one else other than the individual can tell them what to believe, or how they “should” act; this includes not only women, but other men, the government, being socially ostracized, or otherwise just not having the final say in their own life choices.
In theory, this sounds great, but in practice, it’s not so simple, and this is what leads to all the other variations on a theme, with a nearly infinite number of interpretations as to what a man’s actual choices are.
The simplest of these, and probably most false, is the assertion that it’s possible for a man to isolate himself 100% from the world where nothing except his own mind influences his decisions. This is clearly impossible, as he has memories, life experiences, people who he values the opinion of, groups he considers himself a part of, and so on. Obviously, he’s going to be influenced in his decisions somehow by another human being, and nothing can prevent that.
The various other interpretations all tend to be a variation on the same theme: that women, or the government, or someone else will affect and skew his decision making process until it’s not really his own any longer. So let’s look at these more closely.
It’s awfully hard to go your own way when someone else has a gun against your back, isn’t it? That’s kind of the basic line of reasoning when it comes to the various interpretations of whether the classification of MGTOW should be able to associate with women or not, and if so, on what level.
The idea that marriage is straight out, is due to the fact that, even if a man loves his wife, and she loves him, the government can still screw with him, and even the best of relationships can feel strain and sometimes break, thus leading to the court system stepping in, and it doesn’t even allow a woman to treat her husband fairly, no matter what she wants. In this interpretation, there’s no reasonable way for a man to be a man going his own way, if his marriage could be leveraged against him at any given moment.
The next level goes a bit farther, in stating that it’s not even marriage that’s the problem, but that even so much as having any romantic relationship with a woman is problematic, even to the point of just dating. After all, a woman can begin to start forcing her opinions upon the man, and attempt to manipulate him into being more like what she wants him to be, rather than the person he aspires to become.
Going down a notch further still, one can argue that, even without romantic interests, just so much as having any sexual or physical relations with a woman is too dangerous, as she could very well cry rape after the fact, or might poke a hole in the condom and demand alimony, or any of a number of other problems which are sadly far more common than anyone would really want to believe.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Some even go so far as to state that just the mere presence of having a female friend is going too far, and that her mere presence will make it impossible for a man to lead a life of his own choosing without being judged and manipulated into being more of what “women want” rather than what he, himself wants.
As was covered, though… no man is an island; we don’t exist in a vacuum, not you, not me, nor anyone else in the planet, even children raised by animals in the wild. (Which actually does occur from time to time, oddly enough)
Good question. A very good question, one which annuls the entire previous section in one, fell swoop.
It’s not physically possible for anyone to have an opinion of what they want that isn’t somehow tainted or corrupted by the opinions of groups or individuals beside yourself. It’d be awesome if it were possible, but it’s not, so we’re going to have to rule that out as a valid criteria. Even if you were to live on a desert island in the middle of nowhere, by yourself, with naught by a volleyball to keep you company, you’d still be pressured by previous expectations in life and memories of the life you once had. As such, even if a man were to 100% isolate himself completely from absolutely all female contact, he’d still be influenced by female ideals and opinions, so it’s folly to isolate oneself entirely. You can mitigate such to a degree by isolation, but you’ll never remove yourself from such.
Instead, this is where MGTOW really shines: it’s not about isolation or trying to live your life in an echo chamber; it’s about identifying the things which you individually place value upon, and living up to those ideals and values.
For some men, this is going to mean that they honestly want to get married and feel it’s something that would make them happy. For others, it will mean that they will not want to sacrifice their time and money to a marriage or relationship, and that they can live much better without such entirely. In the end, the beauty of it is that, so long as it’s their own individual preferences that are being met, they’re still going their own way.
The trick isn’t to isolate yourself from all forms of external influence, but to determine which things are truly important to yourself, where you feel it’s worth the sacrifice, or worth the potential risks. Yes, marriage is dangerous, even the most seemingly perfect and ideal marriage will have problems – but some men will still feel it’s something they desire to the point they’re willing to take those risks. This doesn’t make them any less of a man, and some would argue that risk-taking is, in fact, one of the more positive parts of being a man in the first place. This isn’t to say that someone who wants to just live a comfortable life and read books in front of a fireplace is wrong to do so, it’s just a statement that it’s hard to claim someone’s being “unmanly” for doing something which has common connotations of being manly.
The key to all of this is simply to ask yourself “Is this what *I* really want?”, and to verify that you’re doing something because you want it, not because you’re trying to appease someone else. If you get married because your girlfriend would nag you if you didn’t, then you’re not MGTOW; if you get married because you personally value the concept of marriage and feel this is the right person to get married to, then you can be MGTOW, even despite being married to a woman. It all comes down to the intent of the action, rather than the action itself.
This is where I find the greatest flaw with the MGTOW “you can’t associate with women” argument comes in…
If a man is going MGTOW, it means, flat out, no questions asked, that they’re going THEIR own way, not YOUR way. The emphasis is upon the individual’s own choices, and the expulsion of the desires placed upon them by external forces.
This includes feminist propaganda of what a man “should” be, societal norms, companions with their goals of “fixing” a man, and, oddly enough, it includes the opinions of even groups who proclaim to have the man’s best interests in mind.
Yes, this means that, if you try to tell a man who’s going his own way what he “should” be doing with his life, you’re part of the problem, not the solution, even if your solution is to have him limit all interaction with women. You just broke the most fundamental and most important part of MGTOW doctrine: going your own way.
As such, MGTOW can’t be constrained to any set of rules or regulations beyond the simple statement that it’s the individual’s choice, and he must make his choices based upon his personal beliefs and values, rather than trying to play up to the expectations of others. This means that you can’t restrict MGTOW, by its very definition, to only being men who live their lives the way you want them to.
The part that bothers me, and many others, most about this, is the fact that it’s the same kind of tactic that feminism uses: “Women have choices! Oh, but not that one, you’re only allowed to choose what feminism tells you that you’re allowed to choose.”
Sanctioned choices aren’t choices at all, and as such, restricting MGTOW to only be defined as what other men think you should behave as, goes against the very premise of the idea of being MGTOW in the first place.
So, in the end, MGTOW has literally nothing at all to do with how much a man interacts with other women. It simply comes down to whether he follows his heart, or if he caves in to pressure from others.
The Alpha and the Omega are not the beginning and the end; the Omega is outside of the cycle, and exists solely upon its own discretion. The term “Zeta male” has surfaced in the past few years, but “Omega” honestly is the more accurate definition, and has been around much longer.
The specific terminology is honestly irrelevant, however; Omega, Zeta, or MGTOW, it’s all the same – you are the director of your own life, and in the end, it’s your opinions that matter, not those that exist around you.*
*With the exception that you can’t infringe upon other people’s rights, like murder, theft, and so on.
A bit about the Author:
She is a writer, a video game writer, an animator, transgendered, Lithuanian, female, bisexual, and, interestingly enough, legally blind without her glasses. And none of that matters. What matters is she’s passionate about men’s and others’ human rights.