Monday, April 25, 2011

MGTOW: Myth and reality

Today, two videos.

The first, how Men Going Their Own Way see themselves. (Indeed, I found the video on MGTOWforums.com, billed as "MGTOW explained in 33 seconds ... .")

The second presents what I think is probably a much more accurate picture of the typical MGTOWer.





I know, cheap shot. Did I ever say I was above cheap shots?

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33 comments:

  1. I'm quite entranced by Jilted John. There's more, it seems:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Fellows

    So... thanks?

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  2. He is kind of a charmer. And I hadn't realized his song had been produced by the legendary Martin Hannett.

    I looked up some of Fellows' later work as "John Shuttleworth." Not, alas, all that funny:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ufc8bnD8DE

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  3. Oh the Brits...He almost looks like the young Michael Palin....Almost....

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  4. ... I'm a little confused here.

    So you're saying that MRAs think they are handsome but ignorant douchebags, while they actually are dorky tone-deaf brits? Actually, I can kinda see the resemblance.

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  5. Excellent. I've been looking for more novelty tracks to throw into a party shuffle, and this'll go great alongside "United States of Whatever!"

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  6. That song gave me happy legs! :D

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  7. Well, I mean the lyrical content was more than a little questionable, but the beat, you know?

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  8. The Clint Eastwood bit reminds me of this quote from The Manipulated Man by Esther Vilar:

    “If a young man gets married, starts a family, and spends the rest of his life working at a soul-destroying job, he is held up as an example of virtue and responsibility. The other type of man, living only for himself, working only for himself, doing first one thing and then another simply because he enjoys it and because he has to keep only himself, sleeping where and when he wants, and facing woman when he meets her, on equal terms and not as one of a million slaves, is rejected by society. The free, unshackled man has no place in its midst.”

    I dunno, I kind of agree with that. What's funny is that if a woman decides to go her own way, living life on her own terms, she is hailed as "strong" and "independent". But if a man does it, he must be a loser. Of course, part of going one's own way is that you wouldn't care what others think of you, so I guess it works out.

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  9. Ion:

    Course I disagree with the quote, but lets go down to your next bit.

    "What's funny is that if a woman decides to go her own way, living life on her own terms, she is hailed as "strong" and "independent". But if a man does it, he must be a loser."

    The only reason why this statement has a grain of truth is because we live in a society where the number of women a man gets is a measure of his worth. Its not that a man that doesn't marry is a loser, its a man that doesn't attempt to fuck every woman he sees.

    The woman is heralded as "strong" and "independant" not because she doesn't seek male companionship, but because in the past a measure of a woman's worth was how good of a husband she could get. Thus the feminist movement saught to reverse the notion that a woman could only be useful underneath a husband by glorifying those who saught to live alone.

    In other words, a patriarchal society causes these two problems, not one that adopts feminist ideals.

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  10. Kirbywarp, you claim that the patriarchy refers to men who 'don't attempt to fuck every woman they see' as losers. That may be true, but that isn't quite the example pictured here. All Clint Eastwood's character said was basically that he didn't want to get married, and would rather have women's companionship when he felt like it, and not when he didn't. In your own words, you then implied that he was a "handsome but ignorant douchebag". How so?

    And if it had been a woman claiming the same thing - that she didn't want to get married and preferred relationships with men on her own terms - would your reaction have been the same?

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  11. Ion:

    You cleverly forgot the rest of the speech, and I quote:

    "To ask me to quit drinking? Quit gambling, to save my money, and to bitch about her aches and pains all day? No thanks."

    In other words, women are nothing but nags who complain all day. Interesting that you hear only what you want to hear.

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  12. I didn't forget it, I just interpreted it differently. I thought he said that rather than being stuck with one woman who might nag him all day, he would rather have relationships on his own terms. But apparently he is not allowed to make this choice, or at least he is condemned for it. Interesting that you interpret everything to put the man in the worst possible light.

    And my question still stands - if it'd been a woman delivering the speech, something along the lines of "I don't need a man to whine and get jealous and clingy and bitch about his problems", would you have had the same response? Or would there have been high-fives and cries of "you go girl!" from the feminist community?

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  13. You certainly did interpret it differently, Ion. :P

    To answer your question, I would have pretty much the same reaction (the original statement was stretched a bit for comedic affect, sorry to see you didn't pick up on this). Sadly I can't speak for everyone else, you'll have to ask them.

    On interpretation, you must realize I'm not criticizing the character because he doesn't want to marry, and I'm reasonably sure no one here would either. Its his view of women that is wrong, and is what I'm criticising.

    For the MRM, I'm also reasonably sure no one here would have a problem if MRAs just happened to not want to be tied down. Its their narrow and frankly horrendous notions of women that is the issue. Saying that feminists complain about men who don't fit social norms is like saying they hate racists because they wouldn't choose to marry someone black.

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  14. You think a fucking nun would get the whole not marrying thing. Damn, there is a lot of just plain terrible writing in westerns, isn't there? Of course, the only western allowed in our house when I was little was Young Guns, so I found that one out rather late in the game.

    Also, Jilted John is the more attractive of these two guys, by a long shot.

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  15. DarkSideCat:

    Its worse than that, actually. According to the plot:

    **SPOILER**

    She's actually a prostitute. She of all people should understand not marrying. :P

    **END SPOILER**

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  16. Saying that feminists complain about men who don't fit social norms is like saying they hate racists because they wouldn't choose to marry someone black.

    I'm pretty sure that in this politically correct age, someone claiming he didn't want to marry someone black would be attacked and called a racist bigot by at least some people, but I get your point.

    Wait, the nun is a prostitute? So did she give that up to become a nun, or is the costume part of her kinky act? :)

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Also, I just noticed the nun is Shirley MacLaine. She was pretty cute back in the day.

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  19. What's funny is that if a woman decides to go her own way, living life on her own terms, she is hailed as "strong" and "independent". But if a man does it, he must be a loser.

    Sure, until she's in her late twenties and suddenly everyone's nagging her. Then she turns thirty and it MUST have been because she couldn't land a man.

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  20. There's a rape scene in that movie, that someone also posted downthread. So fucking disgusting. Reminded me of NWO asking why we talk about them here and can't just let them go their own way when they're not hurting anyone supposedly and it shouldn't be our business. Is he fucking kidding me? Advocating rape? When it gets to that point it sure the hell is my business. These men are no longer Schrodinger's rapist. If you're gonna go your own way, go your own fucking way.

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  21. WTF youtube comments are worse. She "provoked" him. Yeah, she was fucking rude, and even slapped him across the face. So slap her back and keep walking!

    MGTOW are nothing but sexist desperate, pathetic douchecanoes.

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  22. Ion: sorry, but you are constructing a straw(wo)man. I don't think the overwhelming majority of feminists are bothered by anyone's decision to remain single, in and of itself. Rather, it's the fact that MGTOW's dwell on how horrible women are and explain ad nauseam all the myriad things that women supposedly owe them, combined with the presumption that any women actually WANT to marry them -- that's what leads to us to condemning and mocking them.

    What does it mean to have relationships on your own terms? To follow your own timing? To have a relationship because you WANT to, rather than because you HAVE to? Not binding yourself to someone you don't even like in order to validate yourself in the eyes of your officious relatives and neighbors? Or does it mean having a relationship that's 100% about YOU, your wants and your needs, with the other person merely being a slab of meat and a servant? Schopenhauer wrote: "To marry, is to halve one's rights and to double one's responsibilities." That's true of marriage for both men and women; the loss of freedom and autonomy is inescapable. I understand, and I think all reasonable people do too, that this is not for everyone. But there is a big difference between the justification being, on the one hand: "Look, I'm kind of a self-centered loner, I'm used to not having to answer to anyone for my personal choices, and I don't think I can give up that freedom and at the same time, be supportive of another person," and the classical proto-MGTOW justification, which is "These presumptuous broads want the marriage to be about US, whereas it should be about ME!" Being unwilling to get married in and of itself is a neutral thing; being unwilling to get married because you just want to take and never give is contemptible.

    So to answer your question, whether going her own way makes a woman strong and independent depends on the context. As others have pointed out, women are still expected to gauge their "value" by their marriage and living vicariously through their husband (Freud's "penis envy" in an nutshell). If you check out anti-feminist and faux-feminist women's blogs, you'll still see this idea, that a woman's role in marriage is to be a self-effacing servant and an accessory. Breaking away from that mold IS sign of strength and independence because the pressure to conform is extremely strong. If, on the other hand, she doesn't want to get married because she is insulted that most husbands would expect her to make some kind of effort to make the marriage pleasant for them, instead of submit to merely being used, then she's an egotistical bitch, and it's to men's benefit she doesn't want to get married.

    I really don't think men experience the same pressure to marry, have kids, and remain all their lives in a soulless job. Bachelors are generally high-fived by other men. And in any event, the perception is that if a man never got married, that's women's fault, because no woman was ever good enough for him. "Old maids", by contrast, are ridiculed and vilified, and the popular perception of a woman who never married is that there is something so wrong with her, she wasn't suitable for ANY man. The quote is a prime example of our core societal value that women must mold themselves to accommodate men -- but not that men should mold themselves to accommodate women.

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  23. Amused:

    tl;sr*

    Thanks for untangling this out a bit further, I find a lot of truth in your second paragraph.


    *too long; still read. :P

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  24. my only comment is that I kind of like the Jilted John song, but I suspect that is not true of MRAs or MGTOWs.

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  25. Kinda makes me think of the Monks; "Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face."

    http://youtu.be/X7r5RYThiHM

    Or "I Ain't Gettin Any"

    http://youtu.be/ZvDVQ-1NSDw

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  26. Amused-I do not think they do any more anyway but in the 1950s and early sixties if my copy of "When Everything Changed" is anywhere near accurate, they certainly did.

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  27. What does it mean to have relationships on your own terms? To follow your own timing? To have a relationship because you WANT to, rather than because you HAVE to? Not binding yourself to someone you don't even like in order to validate yourself in the eyes of your officious relatives and neighbors? Or does it mean having a relationship that's 100% about YOU, your wants and your needs, with the other person merely being a slab of meat and a servant?

    The first one. Who's building the straw man now?

    As others have pointed out, women are still expected to gauge their "value" by their marriage and living vicariously through their husband (Freud's "penis envy" in an nutshell). If you check out anti-feminist and faux-feminist women's blogs, you'll still see this idea, that a woman's role in marriage is to be a self-effacing servant and an accessory.

    This might have been true a few decades ago, but I really don't think the societal pressure is nearly as strong nowadays, at least from what I've seen for myself. In fact, people or groups espousing those beliefs today are more likely to be attacked by feminists and the general public alike. After years of "girl power!", some are even commenting that the balance has gone too far in the other direction - The Onion spoofed this back in 2003.

    I really don't think men experience the same pressure to marry, have kids, and remain all their lives in a soulless job. Bachelors are generally high-fived by other men. And in any event, the perception is that if a man never got married, that's women's fault, because no woman was ever good enough for him.

    That hasn't been my perception either. In fact, I've had a female colleague comment to me recently that a guy who hasn't been in a serious relationship by a certain age is probably damaged goods. In her words, "if nobody wanted him so far, why would I want him now?"

    Not exactly "changing herself to accommodate him", eh?

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  28. "The first one. Who's building the straw man now?"

    I wasn't talking about you personally. But you suggested a pretty broad definition of the extent to which it's beyond others' judgment to live one's life on one's own terms -- up to and including blaming women for not being excited about living in poverty, cleaning up vomit, and being married to men who don't give a shit about them.

    "This might have been true a few decades ago, but I really don't think the societal pressure is nearly as strong nowadays, at least from what I've seen for myself. In fact, people or groups espousing those beliefs today are more likely to be attacked by feminists and the general public alike. After years of "girl power!", some are even commenting that the balance has gone too far in the other direction - The Onion spoofed this back in 2003."

    It's less than it was, but it's still pretty strong. And while feminists may attack such conventions, any mention of a woman being strong and independent generally produces wincing in polite society. I don't know exactly what you mean by saying that the balance has gone too far the other way. A person's accomplishments, wants and desires shouldn't be dismissed as worthless on the ground that that gender isn't supposed to have them. If men don't want to be "success objects", then they shouldn't participate in cultural pressures that define a woman's success by her husband's.

    "That hasn't been my perception either. In fact, I've had a female colleague comment to me recently that a guy who hasn't been in a serious relationship by a certain age is probably damaged goods. In her words, "if nobody wanted him so far, why would I want him now?"'

    In my experience you'll find a far greater number of people either assuring him that he will find "the right girl", or musing about how girls are so spoiled these days, they don't do whatever it takes to make a man call them girlfriends. Just because one woman isn't willing to bend over backwards doesn't mean women in general aren't still expected to.

    And by the way -- her comment was reasonable. I don't know if she used the words "damaged goods" or you embellished a little there, but if a person -- and that goes for men and women equally -- has never been in a long-term relationship, it becomes more and more of a red flag with age. For all the grandstanding, people actually have a pretty strong drive to pair up on at least a semi-permanent basis. So if you meet someone who is 33 and has never dated anyone for longer than a month, that raises serious questions. Is he a closeted gay? Is he impotent? Does he have a sex drive so low, no one wants to be with him after the first time? Does he have weird sexual hangups or fetishes that drive people away? Is he a religious fundamentalist who will want proof of virginity at marriage and a baby every 18 months? Is he a political extremist? Does he have such an abominably awful personality that milk curdles and flowers wilt if he's in the same room with them? Is he so completely absorbed in his career and does he have a job so demanding that he isn't available except for 30 minutes a week? I'm sure that, unless he looks frighteningly ugly and/or smells like a week-old corpse, more women than not will give it a try and see for themselves. But some women will conclude that it isn't worth the time -- and that's not an unreasonable conclusion. And, once again, the same holds true if the genders are reversed.

    Not exactly "changing herself to accommodate him", eh?

    Well, she's a rebel then. But your sarcastic comment supports my argument that there is still an expectation that women change to accommodate the default represented by a particular man.

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  29. Love, love, love the dancing backup singer guy. Amazing.

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  30. The dancing guy is, I believe, supposed to be Gordon.

    There are several different Top of the Pops performances of the song on Youtube, in case you want to see his band in different weird outfits.

    As for MGTOWers, and "changing oneself for marriage," as I've said before, MGTOWers DON'T just "go their own way." They swear off women, and then devote literally hours every day to attacking them online, calling them (much like Jilted John does) sluts and slags, and talking about how the only women that are any good are the supposedly submissive Asian women they fetishize, etc etc.

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  31. @Desert Rose: I had the same reaction to the other YouTube posts--"this is how it's done"?!? What? Rape? Sex? Being a man? Being Clint Eastwood? And the Deadwood clip! That guy's an MRA silver medalist? Really, MRAs, go your own way. PLEASE.

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  32. David: Your musical knowledge is officially amazing.

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