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The Meaning of MGTOW

Updated on January 8, 2018
Ken Burgess profile image

Grew up on Cape Cod, Mass, Army Vet., Fmr. Director of Energy Conservation programs, RE Agent, current residence the Space Coast, FL

If you are like me, one day you were reading an article, or post, or blog, and saw the acronym MGTOW thrown in. And due to its nature, even when you found out what MGTOW meant ‘Men Going Their Own Way’, you at best felt a general idea of what was meant, but had some lingering doubts.

What I learned, is that there can be varied meanings to MGTOW. MGTOW isn’t a movement like feminism or other politically organized causes. Rather, MGTOW appears to be the consensus of a growing percentage of men that participating in traditional relationships with women isn’t worth the hassle, or in other words ‘the juice isn’t worth the squeeze’ and hence they have chosen to 'go their own way'.

In the ‘accepted’, ‘progressive’ or current social environment we find ourselves in today, there is not merely the lack of identifying that there is a difference between the sexes, there is an open and sometimes hostile campaign being waged in schools and campuses, in the media and in politics to stamp out any reference to sex differentiation and those who would mention it.

We can see differences between men and women, they are physical, emotional, undeniable, yet the contemporary discourse in our society frown upon these differences being discussed in what they mean for roles in our society, political choices, moral reasoning to only mention a few.

And what we see in the face of this social and media driven barrage is men choosing to check out rather than confront it or incorporate their beliefs into the discussion… MGTOW.

J.D. Unwin dedicated several pages in his introduction to Sex & Culture (1934) lamenting the reluctance that people feel when discussing sex differences and their consequences.

"The whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a group becoming civilized unless it has been absolutely monogamous, nor is there any example of a group retaining its culture after it has adopted less rigorous customs"

What lead Unwin to his conclusion was the systematic retracing of 80 primitive tribes and 6 known civilizations through 5,000 years of history. And according to his findings the disenfranchisement of the patriarchal system has always heralded the downfall of that culture/civilization, throughout history.

In an excerpt from the Fate of Empires, by John Glubb (1977) he describes the manifestations of such a dynamic in the case of the Arab decline:

“In the first half of the ninth century, Baghdad enjoyed its High Noon as the greatest and the richest city in the world. [Soon after it declined, and according to] the works of the contemporary historians of Baghdad in the early tenth century [the empire fell apart, provinces declared independence and ignored central authority] the degeneracy of the times in which they lived, the increasing materialism and the laxity of sexual morals. They lamented also the corruption of the officials of the government and the fact that politicians always seemed to amass large fortunes while they were in office.

Another more extreme meaning of MGTOW is in reference to those men who have chosen to disengage from society (social norms), or in other words ‘unplug’ or ‘get back to basics’. They go the way of the hermit, the recluse, the survivalist, they take to nature, or they seclude themselves in their apartment and detach from the ‘civilized’ world where and when they can.

As growing economic crisis, terror attacks, and civil unrest become more and more pronounced and our society seems to be unraveling under the weight of our decadence, pathological altruism, and from what in any other era would have been called an invasion (today known as ‘illegal immigration’ or ‘refugee crisis’). These MGTOW choose to ignore the matters rather that address them.

But to simplify, this has all happened before. Nothing that is occurring in our culture today is new. Waves of immigration have occurred in the past, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of years ago, for as long as we can go back in history. The Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese, lifted humanity to heights not seen before, only to collapse back into ‘dark ages’. The cycles are all similar, there is no mystery.

Throughout history men suffer and work hard within very patriarchal societies, but they are rewarded for that hard work with authority and pair bonding (women are given few choices). But once enough resources, stability and security are available in society that authority is removed, presenting men with no incentive that justifies their suffering. Along, with this removal of male authority comes the collapse of society, as men are the work horses that keep the show of civilization going.

I know, such concepts are not tolerated within the mainstream discourse, but a few thousand years of history lends support to this conclusion.

Men Going Their Own Way is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word: “No”. - urbandictionary

Perhaps this would have been different, perhaps we would have discovered a utopian ideal of human state, a balanced existence between man and woman, nature and civilization… if not for the waves of ‘migrants’, ‘refugees’, ‘barbarians’ or whatever label put on those outside the civilization in question that overwhelm or conquer the civilization once it has moved past the militant/patriarchal prime.

Unfortunately that was never the case, so we will never know. Still, these are different times, technology is having an impact on our lives and culture in ways that have never been seen throughout all of known history. So indeed, so long as technology moves forward at its current rate, the collapse of civilization as we know it may be averted, or converted into something else altogether new.

Either way, it appears that MGTOW’s do not care about the sensibilities of a gynocentric societal organization or protecting societal norms. Ultimately their point of view is that the blood of men should not grease the wheels of ‘progressive’ civilization (male disposability), as such they are ‘checking out’… going their own way.


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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 3 months ago from Orange County California


      Fort Ord is way different than it is in S CA.

      But it even has acceptable weather.

      Located between Paso Robles and Salinas puts it between wine country and farm country. Ford Ord probably would look the same as when you were here.

      Many people that I knew in NY, including family moved to Florida. I am not a fan of humidity, bugs, and snakes, so if I didn't come out to CA, I would have stayed on Long Island.

      Most of my family is here in CA, so I guess I am stuck here.

      No income tax in Florida sounds really good.

      As for the X, I would do it just to be against it.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 3 months ago from Florida


      Never been to Texas and considered it cold. Flat yes, humid usually, cold... not compared to most places.

      Myself, I chose FL, the opposite of CA in many ways that mattered to me (low taxes, no income tax, rising employment opportunities).

      I was stationed at Ft. Ord, CA for a year or so many years ago, so I know its attractions, CA is a great state as far as weather, geography, etc. goes. But the Politics and Taxes make it untenable for my tastes.

      Will there be any tax breaks for those who claim to be X on their taxes in CA?

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 3 months ago from Orange County California


      I was born in Manhattan, and grew up on Long Island. I got married an moved to S California.

      I won't go back to NY because the climate is better here in S Ca.

      Where would I move to? For politics, I would go to Texas. However, Texas is cold and flat and away from the Ocean.

      To be frank with you, I don't really understand the MGTOW.

      I have always gone my way as much as is possible. Just look at my writings. :)

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 3 months ago from Florida


      When it comes to taxation and progressive politics CA leads the way. My way of handling NY taxation and progressive politics was to move my family out of that state as soon as it was possible.

      I always advocate to those who are interested in my opinion, that CA and NY (basically the North East in general) be abandoned by those Conservatives that have the means to leave, and that they take up residence in states where their voice and opinions can still make an impact and hopefully repel the forces which have brought NY and CA to the verge of economic ruin and taxation hell from taking hold in places like NC, FL, TX, etc.

      This article on MGTOW I will have to revise one day, I want it to be an explanation of the meaning, and have it give the perspective of those who would define themselves as MGTOW... I'm afraid my inclusion of quotes from books which I've referenced from my MGTOW research may lead one to believe they are my own.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 3 months ago from Orange County California


      We have a new law in CA this year that allows driver licenses to have the gender field be M, F, or X. And the person filling out the form gets to choose. I am thinking of using the X when I renew my driver license.

      Will it only be a matter of time before it appears on our 1040?