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. David Futrelle, you HAVE to be a woman (er, -myn)….there’s no other way…

    Else that little introduction of yours at the top as the fairy-wanded anti-misogynist relieving the world of the “male torture” just couldn’t have been there…

    “Exposing Misogyny”…..MRM is a “loose set” of blogs articles etc….Blah!

    Wait until that “loose” set becomes a little tighter…you’ll run like you’ve never run before…

    Take Care.

  2. *points and laughs at most recent troll sneaking into glossary to make passive-aggressive bullshit threats!*

  3. Oh yeah, we’re totally not a hate movement. We just like to go around threatening our critics on the internet, that’s all.

  4. I recently stumbled upon the manosphere, and have been completely baffled as to what, exactly, its purpose is – thanks for making sense of all this reactionary weirdness.

  5. Hi manboobz. Thanks for this. Eye opening stuff.
    But I was hoping some nice person could help me find an outlet.
    The MRA sites are far to hostile, angry and deluded for me, but other men’s movement sites are too…I don’t know how to say it.
    The thing is, I would love to find a site that critiques the sociological theories of gender politics without it resorting to disregard and name calling. The sites I’ve found so far do one of two things: they either lambast every feminist and their theories, or they celebrate every feminist and their theories. Isn’t there a middle ground? Can’t I go somewhere to debate separatist feminist theories without being called a misogynist?
    Any direction would be great.

  6. Sam:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “separatist feminist theories,” but a great site for male gender issues is No, Seriously, What About the Menz, by illustrious Manboobz commenter Ozymandias.

    But, if I were you, I wouldn’t put so much of a premium on finding middle ground. The most reasonable view is not always the one that’s halfway in between. It’s better to just look at each issue/position and decide how you feel about it without concerning yourself with where it falls on the spectrum of opinions.

  7. Everonn: “Someone disagrees with my halfwit misogynist theories, so I will impotently threaten him over a textual medium with a threat that could never conceivably come to pass. Having done so, I shall now resume simultaneously eating Cheetos, masturbating into an empty whiskey bottle and weeping.”

  8. I’ve got a good term to counter the manosphere: either Feminet or Womanet.🙂 Love this blog.

  9. So whats the difference between MRM and MGTOW aren’t they same really?

  10. Some helpful leads for those hoping to understand the reactionary world of “men’s rights” include Chris Hedges’ EMPIRE OF ILLUSION, and Viktor Malarek’s THE JOHNS.

  11. I would offer that the “men’s rights” illness is compounded by the unreality of bourgeois ( I would suggest, capitalist) “feminism” which is presented to us by the corporate media, of hypercompetent females and “gender neutrality” which seems to be calculated to inflame the anger and vengeance of males who feel that they have lost their place in the world…

  12. Good you for starting a blog all about your pro_female beliefs. American? I hope so, cause the very existence of this is something of the “only in America” category. Very specific glossary too. Very happy for that. It’s refreshing for sometimes personal acronyms to have a detailed definition. Leaves out the guess work. Although I have a question. I see all over that ya talk about what’s wrong. What’s right in your eyes? What’s your end game? What’s the social norm you write this thing hoping for someday? I’m curious. Cause like this reads like one of those high horse “enlightened” blogs like members of the church of atheism do. The ones that lament how tough it is to be all enlightened in a world that’s so full of (condescending intelligence based insult here). Like O’Neil really trying not to believe that. Specific and detailed (like this glossary) points on what the ideal to strive for actually is, would be appreciated.

  13. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Dick – You might find the sort of info you’re looking for at

    Manboobz isn’t an introduction blog, it’s specifically about mocking misogyny/misogynists. And looking at kitten videos.🙂

  14. Well thank you kindly for that. It was informative. But I have an idea about the general movement I’d just like to know this bloke David’s take. After all my good friend no two people ever explain a concept the same and sometimes a different viewpoint helps to “connect the dots” so to speak.

  15. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Probably because feminism isn’t monolithic. Lots’n’lots of different people with just as many opinions. I’d suggest maybe contacting Dave via the link he provides in the side bar if you want a conversation or more reading pointers.

  16. Well, in my ideal world I’d be living in a combination treehouse/dome house/underground house with unlimited money. And there would be no poverty or war. But short of that, and keeping in mind that the world is always going to be an imperfect place, I’d be mostly content with a world similar to this one but with fewer misogynistic assholes in it. (I should add: because some of them learned not to be misogynistic assholes, not because I sent them to live on a remote island or something.)

  17. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Dave, you mean you haven’t bought Reddit Island and deported ’em all yet? That’s not the way to serve our feline feminist overlords. Overladies.

  18. MANGINA: A man that BLINDLY sides with a woman for no other reason than that she is a woman REGARDLESS of the logic and rationality of the situation.
    Example: “I don’t care if that lady you have never seen before in your life was hitting you repetitively over the head with a rock! You don’t hit a woman you jerk! I’m gonna kick your ass!”
    That should sound like nonsense to ANYONE.You don’t even have to be an MRA to use the term, Boobz. Get it right.

  19. STRAWMAN: (see above)

  20. Oh, come on. You want a serious discussion of social justice issues? Stop using gender-based insults as shorthand for people you disagree with. Being an unmitigated, irredeemable git is entirely independent of gender, and genitals have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Grow up.

  21. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Gods, the trolls these days. This boring one has the jackassery and whydon’tyoutalkaboutwhatIwanttotalkabout down pat. Anyone got a bingo card with tone trolling on it? I’m seeing that in the not-too-distant future.

  22. Gee, are you directly quoting someone? Anyone? Ever? Because I am pretty sure no one here has ever said people shouldn’t defend themselves, much less threatened to beat up someone who was defending themselves. Also, I have yet to hear anyone here say they think men who have suffered from domestic abuse don’t deserve justice. Unless ‘hitting you over the head repeatedly with a rock’ is actually a metaphor for something actually nonviolent (e.g. ‘spermjacking’, chortle chortle), then I submit you are full of it.

  23. DUMBASS: A person who trolls the glossary.

  24. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    He’ll go to necrodumbass sometime soon, I’m betting.

  25. Or, to put it in terms that a troll might understand – Jon, you are a LOLCOW.

  26. DIPSHIT: your bog standard MRA. See also: DUMBASS.

  27. Kitteh’s: that’s a sucker bet, my friend. The only question is which thread?

  28. Argenti Aertheri

    I almost miss my glossary troll — he was persistent in his stupidity. These drive-by-trolling’s are just no fun at all.

  29. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Hellkell – that could be a whole new set of bingo cards, though it might take a while to play out. Necro Thread Bingo!

  30. Kitteh’s: That would take a while. My guess is the thread he raises will be at least a year old.

  31. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Yeah, it’d be a long-term game!

  32. I am a women and I tried to register to mgtow…yea I know it’s crazy but I fancy myself a bit of a sociologist (and probably a glutton for abuse as well seeing as I intended to inform them I was a woman) and I want to understand why those men feel that way. Maybe try to make the world better for both genders? I was also genuinely curious about them. Several of them talk about having kids so undoubtedly some of them must have daughters. If there is a member of mgtow in here can you tell me if you would want your daughter/mother/sister dating someone like you?

  33. Argenti Aertheri

    Hi Starla, I think you’re new around here? It’d explain why no one seems to have seen your comment. I’m mostly just bumping this thread because you’ve got a good question there — any of our trolls want to answer that one? (Diogenes??)

  34. Yes, Argenti, I am new. I found out about the manosphere through an article on and they’ve just kindof been in the back of my mind ever since.

  35. Argenti Aertheri

    Welcome then!🙂

    I’m guessing your original post never appeared on the sidebar, it happens when posts come out of mod after a bunch of other posts have been made (and all new commentators go into mod, it’s nothing personal or anything).

    “Maybe try to make the world better for both genders?” — While I wish you well with that, it really would be great, trying to dialog with the MRM et all tends to go badly. (And use all genders please, not both genders, both genders implies that gender is binary. Thanks!)

  36. After reading their homepage and some of the things they’ve said here in the glossary, it just made me wonder if they’d want their daughter dating someone that has to be told its not okay to rape someone or thinks he should have a right to hit her if he wants to…it’s a legit question I think.

  37. Argenti Aertheri

    Oh, sorry if I wasn’t clear there, I do think it’s a legit question, I just doubt any of them would answer it without it turning into some sort of rant // goalpost shifting // omgs you’re off topic from a simple question! I might be a bit uncharitable, but if you’ve read much of this thread, I’m sure you can understand why.

  38. It’s a legit question, but MGTOWs may be the wrong dudes to ask, what with the going their own way (except to bitch, moan and write long screeds about women on the internet).

  39. I’d be willing to put up with the rants if I could get an answer, at least one of them has to be capable of rational thought, right? If I want to know if a misogynist would want a female loved one dating a female misogynist, I don’t know who else I could ask besides mgtow. What I really wanted to do was figure our how they came to the idea that “everything is women’s fault”. I could be wrong but I’m not sure I believe that people go from normal to crazy overnight. Might be giving them just a bit too much credit though.

  40. Keep in mind I was prepared to infiltrate their tree fort. Lol

  41. Argenti Aertheri

    “I could be wrong but I’m not sure I believe that people go from normal to crazy overnight.” — Probably not overnight, in my father’s case it’s taken many years of far too much booze and conspiracy theory. As for how he’d feel about his kid dating a misogynist, well, he considers misogyny to be “a good word” (a la what the rest of us would call a $10 word).

    For their general views on misogyny, try the currently active thread about “Not-misogyny, explained…”

  42. Argenti Aertheri

    “Keep in mind I was prepared to infiltrate their tree fort. Lol” — I’d advise learning enough about them that they won’t immediately label you an outsider and shun you. There are a couple people here who’ve tried invading their tree fort, but I can’t think of their nym’s right now >.<

  43. I figured that’s what happened, their registration has been disabled. And I did read the not misogyny thread…I was out a loss for words on the absurd amount of self-contradicting nonsense.

  44. Haha, oh Starla…. You have definitely come to the wrong blog to have a civil conversation with a MGTOW dude. If any come here, they come here to finish that fight they’ve been having with their mothers since they hit puberty. But if you want to know if your daughter should marry a MGTOW, by all means, read, learn, come to your own conclusions. Fell free to swear about them on the way.

  45. @timetravelingfool I don’t know where a good place would be to talk civilly with these people, if there is one. But my question was if someone on mgtow would want THEIR daughters dating someone like them. I don’t have kids but Ive seen enough to know I’d never let my daughter date a mgtower!

  46. Well, it would be a great question to someone who respected their daughter as a human being- what do you think they feel about their daughters?

  47. I don’t know, since they mostly bitch about mothers. I could only hope it was something that slipped their minds while they were busy complaining about how they are forced to coexist with women and simultaneously claiming they aren’t gay. I imagine it must be a handful.

  48. Argenti Aertheri

    “what do you think they feel about their daughters?” — Owly was strangely fond of his nieces, but seemed to think they were different than most “American women”. To extrapolate from Owly (not just a sample of one, but a sample of one very weird character) the women related to these men are “different” than “those other women”. Cognitive dissonance seems to be how these guys can manage to exist without exploding into a pile of contradictions.

  49. Argenti Aertheri

    Oh and from personal experience, they do take things like “men can stop rape” personally, and blame women for being raped, with stereotypical “but she’s a slut” or “what did she expect dressed like that?”

    My father is also a strange sample though, just today he was ranting about how liberals are wrong about everything. Thus, to him, anything a liberal (by his arbitrary definition) says, is inherently wrong, because a liberal said it. He’s a fun combination of fallacies and contradictions in other words — and he manages to reconcile his contradictions by turning into a screaming raging shithead if they’re pointed out (needless to say, he doesn’t have many friends).

  50. @Starla: I saw there was activity over here and wandered over.

    Good luck on the civil discussion possibilities–I doubt it is likely, but one never knows.

    I remembered a post about MGTOW and daughters, and found it for you:

    I think David has had at least one other, about how hard it was to raise daughters not to be whores…..but this was the first one I found.

  51. I always wanted to ask Owly at exactly what age he thinks girls go from “cute kid” to “soul-sucking evil temptress”.

  52. Thank you ithiliana, I’ll definitely take a look at that. Also while I’m thinking about it can someone tell me where you get the cat pics? I love kitties =)

  53. Argenti Aertheri

    Cassandra — I suspect I’d be disturbed, considering his views came from the Disney channel and his nieces were almost certainly Disney channel aged (either that or he gave popcorn to kids young enough to choke on it, with him, I’m really not sure)

  54. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Hello Starla, welcome!

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I get the cat pics and videos from Google searches and Youtube, and a few of my own kitties.🙂

    I don’t like your chances of getting a civil conversation out of any MRAs or MGTOW. Their whole stance is that women are wrong, criminally wrong, and to blame for everything.

  55. Their whole stance is that women are wrong, criminally wrong, and to blame for everything.

    Even when the women are boosting men’s rights, they are still evil, wrong, and to blame for everything.

    It’s a simple mindset, and they don’t seem to be able to give it up.

  56. Oops, the “they” in teh last line being MRM/MGTOW, not women. Pronoun reference error bad writer!

  57. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Oh, my mistake! I was thinkilng of the kitty pics and vids, not the catavars.🙂

  58. Haha, a bit of one. Boy do they have some rough lives. And what must be really hard is how they

  59. Eh, I knew the odds weren’t great for getting a simple answer, but I wanted to at least try. Then again the off of even getting a reply from them look next to nil right now. Lol. I just wondered if approaching them with a question instead of an insult would change the tides a bit. Oh well, I’ll get something close to an answer if I stick around.

    Thank you ithiliana for the interesting article, but it might’ve been better if it was someone who had kids…not even sure if that guy has even had a girlfriend. I mean they all sound immature but some more than others.

    Happy holidays to all!

  60. After reading their homepage and some of the things they’ve said here in the glossary, it just made me wonder if they’d want their daughter dating someone that has to be told its not okay to rape someone or thinks he should have a right to hit her if he wants to…it’s a legit question I think.

    I feel like MRAs and MGTOWs imagine that only women who deserve to be raped or hit are raped or hit. As disgusting as that is. So Daughter either ends up being evil (like the MGTOW’s ex-wife) in which case what’s a MGTOW to do but throw up his hands and say “I told you so!!” after Daughter gets raped, or Daughter can follow Dad’s wisdom and end up like Dad’s Totally make-believe Nice Woman from Back When Women Were Women and Not Feminists, in which case they’re not gonna get raped or hit by anyone.

    This is from an MRM site, and not necessarily MGTOW, but this is fairly illustrative.

  61. A lot of people DO think like that. More than you would think. I wrote a huge essay for a criminal justice class on American Meritocracy and its effects on victim blaming. In America there’s been a general sense of “you get what you deserve” since even its founding. Many people still believe it, and it extends to things like becoming a victim of rape/murder as well as economic troubles.

  62. Argenti Aertheri

    Kitteh, if you’re on, this is Starla’s start. Bumping as atomicgrizzly’s comment is relevant to why you asked about Starla (here)

    Sorry if my cross thread referencing is confusing!

  63. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Thanks Argenti, I’ll have another look upstream!

    How does one make a link to a particular comment, btw?

  64. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Right, that’s bothering me even more now. Talking civilly to the rapist and abuser lobby … but shutters down on a fourteen year old girl.

  65. TheDisposableMan

    >> I want to know if a misogynist would want a female loved one dating a female misogynist?

    This question is a bit of a troll because to a feminist all men are misogynist, even self admitted mangina David Futrelle, given half the chance. So using this definition, yes, I would want her to date a man. To be honest, I fear more for him than her. All it would take if for one of you harpies to get into his head and the feminized legal system would work him over for his crime… not being a supplicant mangina.

  66. Wow, interesting imaginary world TheDisposableMan lives in.

  67. Argenti Aertheri

    And here I thought he might just be ignorant, nope, totally deluded instead. *sigh* we can at least rule Mr. Al out as who’s sock this is >.<

  68. I would just like to add something here, that these men who you call MRA’s and Mgtow’ers might have some experience that is the basis for their bitterness. I hope that somewhere on your blog you express that feeling hurt and angry from a bad experience is legitimate.

  69. Man, I was going to go to sleep… Everyone who lives has experiences that cause bitterness, and we leave most of them alone. It’s only when that internal pain erupts into outwardly directed misogyny and hatred that we make fun of it. There’s a threshold between grieving and trying to hurt other people because of your bitterness. Don’t cross it, and we won’t mock you.


    Now I really am going to bed.

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