Men going their own way: the rise of a toxic male separatist movement

From The Guardian:

The men of the MGTOW movement aim to live their lives with no female contact. The idea began on the fringes of the internet – so how has it made it all the way to the White House?

here has been an awakening … changing the world … one man at a time.” These are the dramatic words that appear when you visit In a video that looks a lot like an action-movie trailer, the words are soon followed by five more that appear to smash through the screen, smouldering fiery red: “Men … going … their … own way.”

If you stumbled across this website and had never heard of “men going their own way” (MGTOW) before, you would probably assume this was a tiny, extreme movement. But you would be only half right.

The views of MGTOW are indeed unorthodox, even within the sprawling web of groups, lifestyles and cults known as the “manosphere”, where women-haters mobilise against a supposed gynocratic conspiracy. While incels plot violent revenge on women, and pickup artists (PUAs) deploy predatory tactics to “game” women into having sex with them, the men of the MGTOW attempt to eschew relationships with women altogether. They are, literally, going their own way. Far, far away from any women. At all.

Although some MGTOW maintain platonic relationships with women and others have one-night stands or visit sex workers, many prefer to abstain from sex, a process referred to as “going monk”. This is too much for some members of the wider manosphere. The blogger Matt Forney, notorious for posts such as “Why fat girls don’t deserve to be loved” and “The necessity of domestic violence”, wrote that “men going their own way is no way for men to go” and mocked MGTOW as “a cult for lonely virgins”.

But this isn’t an obscure internet cul-de-sac; alone has almost 33,000 members. Its forums (“for men only”) contain conversations on more than 50,000 topics, with more than 790,000 replies, which range from advice on divorcing as cheaply as possible to lurid stories about women who have found particularly inventive ways to murder their husbands. The site also lists 25 video channels; between them, these have more than 730,000 followers, and their videos have been viewed a total of 130m times.

Over on YouTube, one of the best-known MGTOW vloggers, who goes by the name of Sandman, has racked up more 90m views for videos with titles ranging from “Smart men don’t get married” to “Criticise her and she will destroy your career”.

The MGTOW philosophy is elaborately laid out on the website, which summarises it as “a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else”. Drawing on snippets of quotes and newspaper clippings, the site claims that MGTOW dates back to great men, including Schopenhauer, Beethoven, Galileo and “even Jesus Christ”.

Women are essentially portrayed as parasites riding on the coattails of men, who have, throughout history, been responsible for “far greater miracles of science, discovery and human endeavour”. By shaking women off, it is explained, men will be free to pursue ever higher achievements.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

12 thoughts on “Men going their own way: the rise of a toxic male separatist movement”

  1. Other than gender, how are these radical “masculinists” any different than radical “feminists”?

    I’m with PGs post about the matter – both sides are nuts, and making themselves far less than they could be. (I’m also with the comments of some others, elsewhere than here – 99.999% of these people are angry because they are just too odious to get a date.)

  2. Big deal.
    From 1986:

    “You might think that an obstetrician on a planet forbidden to women would be underemployed… Not so; Dr. Ethan Urquhart, Chief of Biology at the Severin District Reproduction Center, is one of the busiest men on the planet Athos. That is, until a mysterious genetic crisis threatens Athos with extinction.

    “Drafted to brave the wider universe in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures, Ethan braces himself for his first encounter with alien beings … women. But not in his wildest imaginings is he prepared for an alliance with Commander Elli Quinn, an utterly gorgeous free mercenary intelligence officer, who has her own secret interests in Athos’s problems.”

    Dr. Ethan Urquhart served as Chief of Biology at the Sevarin District Reproduction Center on the planet of Athos. For religious reasons, Athos was founded and maintained as an exclusively male-populated planetary colony, whose continuing reproduction relied on uterine replicator technology and ovarian tissue cultures. However, after 200 years of service, the ovarian cultures were deteriorating into senescence. The Population Council attempted to mail-order new ovarian cultures from another planet known as Jackson’s Whole, but instead they received an unusable mixture of human and animal tissues, all dead. In response, the Council dubbed Ethan their planetary ambassador and sent him offworld in search of a fresh batch of tissue cultures, and (if possible) a refund from the original supplier, House Bharaputra. ”

    Bujold actually thought things through, 35 years ago.

    The boys in the OP? Probably not.
    They’re still stuck on the same planet as the XX’s. 😀

  3. Anybody, of either sex, that lives by that kind of thinking is an instant Darwin Award winner.

    That said, the genetics of the species do favor the (technologically assisted) male-only world over the Amazon world. Amazons had to rely on ambushing and “seducing” sailors (and then killing male offspring) whereas males carry all the necessary *chromosomes* to produce a, healthy, genetically diverse male only population. (XY vs XX) 😀

    Of course, both societies could rely on cloning but “transcription error” mutations and epigenetics limit the long term viability of that approach, as the Pharaohs and Hapsburgs proved. Which Bujold correctly factored into her story.

    Sexually separated societies aren’t biologically sensible but they long have driven storyteller imagination, hence the tales of Amazons. Bujold isn’t the only top rank author to play with the concept (though her choice of the Elli Quinn character as co-protagonist was excellent given her backstory). 50 years earlier, an early SF master took a less amusing look at the idea of sexually separated worlds.

    Philip Wylie’s 1951 THE DISAPPEARANCE:

    “Like every other family, the Gaunts are devastated by the unexplained phenomenon that occurs one Tuesday afternoon in February. In an instant, every female on Earth is mysteriously transported to a different plane, forced to live apart from the males, who have been left behind. Suddenly trapped in two parallel realities—with the bonds of love, trust, sex, and stability that formed the foundation of their relationship abruptly severed—Bill and Paula Gaunt must separately reexamine who they truly are and what they are capable of as existence itself becomes a struggle in one world that descends into violence and brutality, and another that is soon plagued by famine and despair.

    Originally published more than half a century ago, Philip Wylie’s provocative science fiction classic remains a masterful work of intelligence and imagination. The Disappearance is a breathtaking, thought-provoking exploration of gender roles and expectations that reveals stark truths about who we are as men and women—and as the interconnected members of a fallible human race. ”

    Wylie was, like most of the early masters, an unusual individual.
    From Wikipedia:

    “Wylie applied engineering principles and the scientific method quite broadly in his work. His novel The Disappearance (1951) is about what happens when everyone suddenly finds that all members of the opposite sex are missing (all the men have to get along without women, and vice versa). The book delves into the double standards between men and women that existed prior the women’s movement of the 1970s, exploring the nature of the relationship between men and women and the issues of women’s rights and homosexuality.

    “During World War II, writing The Paradise Crater (1945) resulted in Wylie’s house arrest by the federal government; in this work, he described a post-WWII 1965 Nazi conspiracy to develop and use uranium-237 bombs,[4] months before the first successful atomic test at Alamogordo – the most highly classified secret of the war.[5] Wylie’s book of essays, Generation of Vipers (1942), was a best-seller during the 1940s and inspired the term “Momism”. Some people have accused Generation of Vipers of being misogynistic. The Disappearance shows his thinking on the subject is very complex. (His only child, Karen Pryor, is the author of a classic book for breastfeeding mothers, Nursing Your Baby, and has commented that her father was far from being a misogynist.) His novel of manners, Finnley Wren, was also highly regarded in its time.”

    Rather than misogynistic, Wylie might be more properly described as having a *useful* misantropic outlook. Came in handy for satire. 😀
    The OP would most likely elicit a shrug.

    Human foolishness is nothing new, just bolder in its ignorant self-expression.

  4. Good science fiction (and I think there is a lot of it) explores human nature (even if the humans have some alien characteristics) exceedingly well.

    I don’t think the the genre has received the credit it deserves among the literati.

    Ditto in some fantasy fiction.

  5. I don’t understand the inclusion of Galileo. He didn’t marry the woman who gave him children because it was expensive in ways we don’t understand but they had three children. Further Galileo loved one of his daughters and spent time and energy on her even while she was in a convent. Don’t daughters count for something?

    • Or JC. While the Christ did not have “relations” with women of the sexual sort (unless you get into some rather odd and frankly heretical corners of Christian based theologies) – he was quite comfortable with them. At just about all times, he treated them with the respect that was normal in the culture; actually, better than the “lower class” women could reasonably expect from any other man. The only time, IIRC, that he even got mildly cranky with one was when he was expected to perform like a circus monkey (the wedding in Cana).

      Beethoven – experts now believe that a woman named Minona Maria Theresia Selma Loisa Cornelia von Stackelberg was his illegitimate daughter. Her mother was of the high aristocracy, which obviously precluded a “proper” marriage in the Vienna of the day.

      Schopenhauer – “In a letter to his friend Anthime he claims that such affairs continued even in his mature age and admits that he had two out-of-wedlock daughters (born in 1819 and 1836), both of whom died in infancy. In their youthful correspondence Arthur and Anthime were somewhat boastful and competitive about their sexual exploits—but Schopenhauer seemed aware that women usually did not find him very charming or physically attractive, and his desires often remained unfulfilled.” (per Wikipedia) Perhaps a “proto incel” but not very happy about it.

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