WTF is a MGTOW? A Glossary

On this blog, MRA does not mean Magnetic Resonance Angiography

For newcomers to this blog, here’s a handy guide to some of the strange acronyms and lingo you’ll encounter here and in the “manosphere” in general. (For a definition of that term, see below.) I will update this entry periodically as needed.

First, the acronyms you’ll see most often here:

MRA: Men’s Rights Activist
MRM: Men’s Rights Movement

MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way MGHOW: Man Going His Own Way.

Ok, so what do those terms mean?

MRM: The Men’s Rights Movement: A loosely defined, but largely retrograde, collection of activists and internet talkers who fight for what they see as “men’s rights.” Unlike the original Men’s Movement, which was inspired by and heavily influenced by feminism, the self-described Men’s Rights Movement is largely a reactionary movement; with few exceptions, Men’s Rights Activists (or MRAs) are pretty rabidly antifeminist, and many are frankly and sometimes proudly misogynistic. Those who oppose the MRM are generally not against men’s rights per se; they are opposed to those who’ve turned those two words into a synonym for some pretty backwards notions.

MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way: As the name suggests, MGTOW is a lot like lesbian separatism, but for straight dudes. MGTOW often talk vaguely about seeking “independence” from western and/or consumer culture, and a few MGTOW try to live that sort of zen existence. But most of those who embrace the term have a deep hostility towards and/or profound distrust of feminists and women in general. Many MGTOW refuse to date “western women” and some try to avoid women altogether.  I think the Man Going His Own Way acronym MGHOW adds another layer of confusion to an already awkward acronym, so I use MGTOWer instead.

Some other terms and acronyms you’ll run across here:

Anglosphere: Countries in which English is the primary language, or, more narrowly, those countries that used to be British colonies. They are full of evil Western Women (see below).

Incel: Involuntarily Celibate. A term, and identity, adopted by some dateless guys (as well as some women, but it’s the men we’ll focus on here). While there is nothing shameful about being dateless, or a virgin, or having a really long dry spell sexually — most of us have been there at some point — the term “involuntarily celibate” seems to suggest that the world owes incels sex, and that women who turn down incel men for dates or sex are somehow oppressing them. For those (male, straight) incels who are genuinely socially awkward or phobic, this can be a self-defeating stance that can lead to bitterness towards women. And often does.

Mangina: Derogatory term used by MRAs, MGTOW, etc. to describe guys who disagree with them — e.g., me. You can figure out the various connotations of this term yourself.

The Manosphere: The loose collection of blogs, message boards, and other sites run by and/or read by MRAs, MGTOW, and assorted friendly Pick-up Artists. The primary source of material for this blog.

NAWALT: Not All Women Are Like That. Dudes in the manosphere make so many ridiculous and untrue generalizations about women that they’ve come up with their own little acronym to describe the most common reaction to their nonsense: “not all women are like that.” Remarkably, many seem to think that making a reference to NAWALT is actually some sort of clever rebuttal of their critics.

PUA: Pick-up Artist. PUAs are obsessed with mastering what they see as the ultimate set of techniques and attitudes — known as “Game” — that will enable them to quickly seduce almost any woman they want. There is a vast literature on “game” online, though PUA (insofar as it is not complete bullshit) is at its essence simply a male version of the age-old ploy of “playing hard to get.”

Western Women: Also known as WW. Evil harpies, at least according to many in the manosphere. Contrasted with “foreign women,” a term that (in the manosphere, at least) sometimes refers to all women outside the Anglosphere, but often refers to a subset of these women from poor and/or Eastern countries, mostly Asian, who are regarded as more pliable and thus more desirable to haters of “Ameriskanks” and other WW.

  1. So THAT’s what a MGTOW is. I find it weird that this is a thing, because haven’t men historically been fairly unconstrained as far as their life choices (such as which career to pursue, or when/if to get married and to whom, etc.)? I also find it weird that in the process of ‘going their own way’ they have to do so loudly, like a kid stomping out of a room, slamming the door, and then shouting angrily through said door.

  2. Argenti Aertheri

    the quai — hi! I think you sorta answered your own question? This is a thing because much like a child throwing a tantrum they think they’ll get what they want (which isn’t a simple “I am so done dating!”).

    Basically, if you have any experience with small kids, picture one of their tantrums that ends in “I’m running away!”, but the attention they want from mommy isn’t nearly as benign.

  3. Thanks for this page! I was just going to ask if there was collection of definitions for the uninitiated.

  4. The opposition to MGTOW is a thinly veiled objection to men’s power of choice. If a man, for whatever reason, decides to avoid joining his life with a female, how is that anyone’s business but his own? Do women who choose to avoid relationships with men receive such rebuke? No. This attitude toward MGTOW men is the epitome of sexism.

  5. Oh dear!

  6. This was a pathetic attempt at cognitive thought, too much cheap bias to be taken seriously.

  7. @Kerry

    No one objects to men going their own way, but what MGTOW do in no way says I’m just going to go live my life and enjoy my hobbies. They come in here and tell us how terrible we are and how sorry we will be when all the men retire to seclusion.

    They don’t go their own way; they don’t go enjoy their hobbies; they continue to act obsessive about us and won’t leave us alone. That is what we are talking about and making fun of, but you’d know that if you had bothered to read the other comments.

  8. @Kerry

    Seconding what Myriad said. You need to actually listen to the criticism before responding.

  9. I wish I had started a count of the number times someone made the exact same comment Kerry did when I began reading here. It’s kind of amazing how many men going their own way just refuse to go their own way and think that our mockery of them means we’re trying to stop them.

  10. @wwth, and it’s mockery they seek out by coming here, it’s not mockery we’ve brought to their online spaces.

  11. @Kerry

    Do women who choose to avoid relationships with men receive such rebuke? No.

    Yup. SPINSTERS are celebrated in our culture and are never a misogynist fixation of past WHTM trolls. Lesbians receive universal support and never have their sexuality questioned. Childless women are never seen as sad figures lacking a meaningful life. Nailed it.

  12. So where’s Manboobz’ article rebuking and mocking spinsters and lesbians? Apparently you don’t have a problem with hypocrisy.

  13. Policy of Madness

    LOL!

  14. Argenti Aertheri

    Wait, we have articles mocking bachelors and “confirmed bachelors”? I’ve never seen men mocked for being single, nor for being gay.

  15. @Kerry
    Myriad explained our issue with MGTOW very clearly; you cannot be this dense.

  16. So where’s Manboobz’ article rebuking and mocking spinsters and lesbians? Apparently you don’t have a problem with hypocrisy.

    Because this blog is about mocking misogyny, not marital statuses. MGTOW are mocked because they obsess about and hate women.

    Why does this have to be explained so much?

    You know what’s funny? MRAs and PUAs mock David for being single while MGTOW whine about how much David hates single men. It’s really silly.

  17. You’re all hypocrites. You’d rabidly attack a blog that mocked single feminists who said they are single because men suck, but you actually participate in a blog that attacks single men who say they are single because women suck.

    Really. Pathetic. Hypocrisy.

  18. You’d rabidly attack a blog that mocked single feminists who said they are single because men suck

    Citation needed. I’ve been here for almost two years and don’t remember this happening.

  19. You’re all hypocrites because of a scenario that exists only in my head!!!!!!!!!

  20. Policy of Madness

    I don’t recall anyone here, or any post, mocking anyone because they are single. People are mocked for misogyny. If you’re single because you’re a misogynist, you’re going to be mocked … for your misogyny, not your singleness. If you’re single because of other reasons, including just not being that into one or more genders, nobody here has ever so much as blinked.

  21. Kerry, your premise relies on the assumption that feminists are blaming those problems on men as a whole- but they’re not. They are only talking about men who have done those sucky, sexist things, and the society that makes non-consciously-sexist men say and do those things. MGTOWs and Men’s Rightsers on the other hand blame the whole of the female gender for their problems, which of course perpetuates their problems. There’s a hell of a difference.

  22. weirwoodtreehugger | November 29, 2015 at 11:10 am
    You know what’s funny? MRAs and PUAs mock David for being single while MGTOW whine about how much David hates single men. It’s really silly.

    They also mock him for being fat, being a feminist ally, for shit they completely made up that he never did, and his love of cats.

    Kerry Soileau | November 29, 2015 at 4:57 pm
    You’re all hypocrites. You’d rabidly attack a blog that mocked single feminists who said they are single because men suck, but you actually participate in a blog that attacks single men who say they are single because women suck.

    Really. Pathetic. Hypocrisy.

    I think Kerry’s trying to communicate that he literally thinks we would go out of our way to attack a blog that mocks single feminists who are single because men suck, and I have to admit: I’d need to see the context of that blog.

    If they’re saying “Lol, stupid feminists! No man wants to fuck a feminist! You’re all fat and ugly and no man wants to fuck you and that’s why you’re feminists!” Then yeah, I’m sure I’d mock that, because that’s fucking misogyny. That’s what we mock here. Misogyny. It’s right in the tagline at the top of the page, Kerry. “The new Misogyny, tracked and mocked”.

    However, all that shit’s moot because we’ve never “attacked” MGTOWs for wanting to go their own way. Quite the opposite. We want to encourage people of any gender to go their own way if they feel like that’s best for them. If you want to go your own way and go live your life by yourself, without a significant other or a relationship, that’s great! You do you!

    There are several good reasons why many people choose to live on their own: They don’t think relationships are for them, they want to focus on themselves, they’re asexual, they’ve never met anyone they got along with in that way, they don’t like living with other people, etc.

    However, if you want to go your own way, and then proceed to seek out feminist spaces to screech about how we feeemales will miss you when you’re gone (Or when “ALL MEN GO THEIR OWN WAY” because some of the MGTOWs literally believe that all men think like they do and are going to do what they do) like a small child standing in the front hallway with the door open attempting to guilt their parents before “running away” with a backpack full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we’re not going to feel any pity for you.

    Especially if you turn around and say that feeemales are the source of all your problems and whine about how we’re all evil, soul-sucking, vicious harpies for some reason or another, and that’s why you’re GYOW. Because feeemales are nasty and have cooties and think they deserve rights and they can say no to sex and I don’t want to pay child support!

    Because then you don’t want to go your own way. You want us to feel sorry for you through a shitty fucking guilt trip, you want us to apologize for all the “wrongs” we’ve done you, and then you want us have sex with you. And none of those things are happening.

    If you actually went your own way, and did your own thing and stopped bothering us about it, then we’d be all for it. But please check your misogyny at the door.

  23. *Asexual and/or aromantic. Almost forgot. :3

  24. The irony of seeing this thread necro’d once and again by MGTOW trolls never cease to amuse me.

    This adorable kitty is mocking Men Not Going Their Own Way:

  25. Glossary trolls are the worst. They’re always startled when their oh-so-brave necros are noticed.

  26. CattyGal (Australia)

    I sometimes come by this website because I love it so much. You all do a grand job on here and it is (imo) probably one of the best sites on the internet that deals fairly with the awful misogyny out there in an informed, factual and balanced way.

    Just wanted to say as well that Paradoxical Intention’s reply to Kerry was just su-bloody-perb and very well said! All your points were valid, spot on and covered everything that Kerry, no matter how much it hurts, needed to know and hear. Anyway just thought I’d pop by and thank you all for this wonderful site. Cheers for now:)

  27. CattyGal (Australia) | November 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm
    Just wanted to say as well that Paradoxical Intention’s reply to Kerry was just su-bloody-perb and very well said! All your points were valid, spot on and covered everything that Kerry, no matter how much it hurts, needed to know and hear.

    Aw, bless your face CattyGal. That’s very kind of you.

  28. LOL Paradoxical still doesn’t get it. I’m not screeching at “feeeeeemales.” I’m screeching at you hypocrites who mock MGTOWs for doing exactly what feminists have done for decades: trash men in every conceivable way. I guess “feeeeeemales” can dish it out but they can’t take it.

  29. EJ (The Other One)

    @Kerry:

    I’m male. I’m currently dating someone (as of less than a month; I hope it lasts *crosses fingers*) but before that I was single by choice for about a year due to a painful breakup. I have never felt attacked, screeched at or trashed by anyone here.

    Except you, that is.

  30. Yeah, hold on to your story bro. Until the bitter end, hold on to it!

  31. I meant it for the troll, not to E.J. of course. You are one sneaky ninja!

  32. Kerry,
    Find examples of us trashing men. You’re not doing anything but strawmanning right now.

  33. @ Kerry

    The reason some MGTOWs are criticised on this site is that they seem to neglect the “go” bit of the definition.

  34. And again, Kerry displays a complete ignorance of what anyone is saying. Does she listen? And will she listen to the requests to show examples of the trashing of men (or just ignore what everyone’s telling her again).

  35. EJ (The Other One)

    @Luz:
    I used to post on a forum where that was known as being emu’d; after a forumite called Blue Emu who was renowned as the king of the ninja posters. Because of that I still mentally think of it as emuing even though that isn’t the preferred term elsewhere.

  36. Scented Fucking Hard Chairs

    By definition, if you’re here, you’re not going your own way.

  37. @EJ

    Haha, thanks for the story! I love internet random obscure facts❤

    I've been active for some years on a big BDSM forum but ninja-ing is not a thing there, I guess we were all too slow / lazy to even notice if it ever happened ^^

  38. EJ (The Other One)

    @Luz:
    The folklore and emerging etiquette of the internet fascinates me.

    When I first encountered the phrase “ninja” it meant “to edit a post after others had responded to it without marking the post as edited, so that later readers were unable to tell what people had been responding to.” The modern usage of the phrase to mean “to post while another person is posting” appears to have overtaken this usage, but I don’t know of any phrase which has come along to replace it.

    Language is developing in order to meet the needs of its users. It’s a deeply interesting process. Don’t even get me started on the word “flounce.”

  39. Ah SFHC, perfect. Do you mind if I pick your evolutionary biologist brains?

    Were there ever any giant carnivorous llamas; like there were with sloths and pandas?

  40. “Men’s Rights Activists (or MRAs) are pretty rabidly antifeminist, and many are frankly and sometimes proudly misogynistic. Those who oppose the MRM are generally not against men’s rights per se; they are opposed to those who’ve turned those two words into a synonym for some pretty backwards notions.”

    Ha, no. Look at feminazi’s for a good reason why there are MRAs. There is no “internet talkers” when it comes to men, either. You want equality? Start coughing up half the bill and working 50-60 hours a week like men do.

  41. @Kerry
    Do you make an habit out of pulling shit out of your ass and smearing it on the screen? Because that’s all I’m seeing.

    While women being less than cordial to men could be an attempt to gain independence, the opposite would be an attempt to regain power. The double standard unfortunately exist, because men and women aren’t treated in the same way from the get go.

    That aside, I dare you to find a segment of feminism that says, specifically, that they’re leaving men for good, and yet go out of their way to harass men.

  42. @EJ

    Haha, I’ve done that as a prank sometimes at a football/soccer discussion board which allows editing. I post something that I know will be like “player X is better than player Y”, then after the outrage machine has gone on for a while I go back and change my original comment to “I like cake :)”

    Yes, I’m a child.

  43. I meant to say “something that I know will be *controversial”

  44. I suppose the nearest thing to a distaff MGTOW movement would be political lesbianism.

    But PLs didn’t make a habit of constantly telling men how much they (the men) would miss them. In fact, apart from Julie Bindel, I don’t know of any PLs who even comment on the topic. They really did go their own way.

  45. EJ (The Other One)

    @dhag85:
    It’s a phenomenon I don’t think we have a word for nowadays. “Memory-holing”, perhaps?

  46. @Alan

    In fact, aren’t sraight cis men who go out of their way to let lesbians know they are wanted (and/or hated) by straight cis males?

    I’m seeing a pattern here…

  47. @ Lux

    The recurring themes I see are:

    Lesbians just haven’t met the right man yet. When they do he’ll be able to shag them straight.

    Lesbians aren’t really attracted to other lesbians, it’s just a cover for misandry.

    Lesbians are really just frigid straight women.

    Of course there is some overlap amongst those stereotypes. But in any event men feel entitled to address those ‘issues’ and explain to lesbians where they’re going wrong.

  48. There are the lesbian separatists, who I guess are Women Going Their Own Way. But instead of deliberately antagonizing men, they try to fly under the radar:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/fashion/01womyn.html

  49. And lesbian separatists are, well, lesbians. I don’t know of any group of straight feminists who are avoiding relationships with men because they hate them so much.

  50. @EJ

    Hah, I like it. I’ve been calling it harmless trolling.

  51. LOL Paradoxical still doesn’t get it. I’m not screeching at “feeeeeemales.” I’m screeching at you hypocrites who mock MGTOWs for doing exactly what feminists have done for decades: trash men in every conceivable way. I guess “feeeeeemales” can dish it out but they can’t take it.

    I admit I didn’t get it. I had originally thought Kerry was complaining in a more general sense that random people who learn about MGTOWs will criticize, judge or mock them for not being in a relationship and/or not pursuing one. I didn’t realize he was getting all j’accuse about WHTM. As the kids say, citation needed.

    I’m screeching at you hypocrites who mock MGTOWs for doing exactly what feminists have done for decades: trash men in every conceivable way.

    Who doesn’t love the old anti-feminist switcheroo, with that devastating “feminists are the real sexists” gotcha. You have to ignore everything this blog specifically reports on and strawman the hell out of feminism to pull it off but Kerry is clearly up to the challenge.

  52. I was aware there existed lesbian separatist groups (though I didn’t remember that’s how they’re called; thanks everyone), but the thing is, as people have already pointed out, when they mean to go their own way, they really do go their own way.

    I really don’t have a problem if men decide they don’t want to have relationships with women, and even to avoid interactions with them unless necessary – I have a problem with men acting as if women were the Borg.

  53. MGTOWs have a very different attitude to lesbian separatists! For a start they identify as hetero, and one of their main issues appears to be how to have sex – they promote the debate going to sex workers a lot.

    They also have no real political focus, whereas for lesbian separatists politics are usually pretty important.

    I do not believe that these so called MGTOWs really are what they say they are. Men who have chosen to live without women in their lives just get on with it – these whiners are all about if only women weren’t so vile they wouldn’t have to go their own way! I think a lot of them would be persuaded by a pretty face.

  54. EJ (The Other One)

    If I recall correctly, some of our commentariat here identify as post-sexual and have no desire for a romantic attachment. That might be seen as a form of what Going Their Own Way might aspire to be: simply building a life without a partner in it.

  55. And lesbian separatists are, well, lesbians. I don’t know of any group of straight feminists who are avoiding relationships with men because they hate them so much.

    They existed, back when lesbian separatists were a bigger deal. I can dig up examples if you like, but it definitely happened that young women joined up out of political fervor who turned out to actually be straight or asexual.

  56. You want equality? Start coughing up half the bill and working 50-60 hours a week like men do.

    I’m going to break this to you very gently, JimmyB…many women already work 50-60 hours a week earning a paycheck.* And many women would be happy to split the dinner tab, except certain retrograde men insist on clinging to it as leverage for sex.

    *That’s not even counting the unpaid hours that the majority of working women put in maintaining the household, cleaning, cooking, caring for children and elderly parents, etc., which always gets overlooked by dudes like you while you’re busy patting yourselves on the back for being The Only Gender That Does Anything Around Here.

    But I’m glad you could take time out of your busy 60 hour work schedule to complain here.

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