Today’s Daily Mail invites you to meet Jamie, a man who has sworn off women forever because none of them are good enough. “Some women have asked me to sleep with them on the first night,” he explains. “They get drunk and wear very revealing clothes too. I think women who do this don’t respect themselves, and I can’t respect them either.” According to the Mail, Jamie is a member of online group Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), a website dedicated to male “self-ownership” – “where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else”.
“If MGTOW is fire, then perhaps feminism is gasoline,” reads the site’s history pages, which predates the “movement” back to when man discovered fire. The general idea is that men are better off when they shun the traditional institutions of marriage and children, and women are detrimental to the intelligence and superiority of manhood (or “the manosphere”, as MGTOW refer to themselves). They believe women frequently falsely accuse men of rape, and that we live in a gynocentric society.
MGTOW is ripe for taking the piss. On the homepage, a computer-generated flag waves bearing the group’s road sign-esque coat of arms in front of several world landmarks. There’s a dramatic video of a distressed man running in a field while another reads a Charles Bukowski poem – considering these men have such superior intelligence, it’s surprising the captions are spelt wrong. There’s a page to download your favourite MGTOW desktop wallpapers, like from the early noughties. You can play a game of 3D chess, for god’s sake.
There’s a page to download your favourite MGTOW desktop wallpapers, like from the early noughties. You can play a game of 3D chess, for god’s sake.
But there is a dark side. MGTOW thrives on cases of messy marriage break-ups and mothers gaining custody of their children. “Providing for the modern feminist, working like a dog to protect a family that can be taken away at a moment’s notice, or risking our lives to conquer resources for some ungrateful women who claims she can do it on her own is an empty way to live,” reads the “Manosphere” page. The site – and its members – blame women and their feminism for the challenges they face, and so logic tells them if they stay away from women, they will have no more of these problems. In the MGTOW bookshop you can buy titles such as The Predatory Female, The War On Boys and The Manipulated Man.
Predictably, things get a whole lot darker on Twitter. “How many reasons does anyone need why a woman can’t be president?” asks the MGTOW account, quote-tweeting a view on rape with the hashtag #FeminismIsCancer. According to the group’s Twitter, “Planned Abortionhood” sells baby parts. The group’s social media injects a vein of anti-choice, alt-right opinions and racist misogyny not explicitly expressed on the website. It’s not too much of a stretch to link the rise of this group to the legitimisation of Donald Trump’s pussy grabbing.
It is so easy to get angry at websites like Men Going Their Own Way, and the views they espouse certainly are something to denounce. But if there’s one thing the site expresses, it’s that MGTOW want to be taken seriously as a movement – so we must laugh at them. MGTOW want to rile us, and there’s nothing worse than presenting an idea, only for it to be mocked. This is the only way we can show MGTOW and its members what we think of their “Manosphere”.
The men are going their own way, and we’re standing behind them laughing.