What is MGTOW? – A complete guide to Men Going Their Own Way

What is MGTOW

What is the definition of MGTOW?

MGTOW (pronounced “MIG-tau”) is an acronym for Men Going Their Own Way. It is a mainly pseudonymous community of men that caution other men from getting involved in romantic relationships with women and to avoid marriage like the plague!

MGTOW’s main objectives seem to be to stay away from women, stop dating and to never have children. It is different to men’s rights movements in that it encourages self-ownership of the issues instead of trying to change the world with activism and protests.

The theory of Men Going Their Own Way is for dudes to forgo relationships because of a perceived imbalance of power between the two sexes. In theory, these fellows have altered their lifestyles and views on life so that they can live happily without the need for a girlfriend or wife.

While this all sounds absolutely fantastic, the MGTOW movement has had a tendency to attract men that are extremely bitter and cynical about the female of the species and this has given the movement a bit of a bad reputation.

MGTOW appears to be the latest in a series of social reactions from men to changes in society over the last few decades. Many women argue that they do not have equality in the workplace and while this may be true, the one place that they have definitely achieved equality is in the social arena.

Followers of MGTOW believe that female perspective on how we should live our lives are fast becoming the only way of thinking. This is a stark contrast to the male perspective of years gone by.

Just go back 20 or 30 years and you may remember women encouraging men to develop their feminine side, to get in touch with their feelings, and to move towards a female perspective. Most men obliged willingly by helping with the kids, sharing the domestic chores, and opening their minds to a “woman’s point of view”.

While this all sounds hunky-dory, the problem occurred when the balance of male and female ways of thinking swung past the mid-point, to the extent that women and even lots of men started to believe that the female perspective is the correct (and only) way to think.

This turnaround has caused some worrying consequences. A prime example is a huge rise in women making false criminal accusations against men, especially during a divorce. In fact, many of the laws that were introduced to protect women from men are now being abused by women to get revenge during using the current legal system.

Members of MGTOW state that many women believe it’s okay to get pregnant without their partner’s consent. It’s no secret that this worrying trend has proved to be a great method for trapping a man and it has become only too common for weak guys to be lumbered with completely supporting both their woman and the kid(s).

A post shared by Byron Sadik (@byronsadik) on

In these times of change, many men are responding to this shift in the balance of power by getting their asses out of harm’s way, steering well clear of chicks and joining the MGTOW movement.

back to menu ↑

How and when did MGTOW start?

Look online and you might be fooled into thinking MGTOW is a recent social phenomenon, but the original pioneers of the movement are really figures such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Galileo, or even Jesus!!!

It is not entirely clear exactly when the online MGTOW movement got started but it is suggested that it was in the early to mid-2000s, but it goes without saying that men have been going their own way for centuries!

MGTOW is not as old as fire, but it’s as old as a man’s first discovery of it. Fire always exists – even when you can’t see it – and it only takes a spark or a bolt of lightning to ignite a blaze.

MGTOW could be regarded as a reaction to recent cultural shifts, but the exact phrase “Men Going Their Own Way” can be found in print and newspaper clippings dating back to 1853, and spanning the 20th century. If MGTOW is fire, then perhaps feminism is gasoline.


Throughout history, survival and fathering offspring have been the success model for the entire animal kingdom because that is all they are programmed to desire. But the same cannot be said for men. In fact, approx 60% of the men that have ever lived never fathered kids, so are they considered useless? Not at all, they have been leading major accomplishments in science, discovery and human endeavor and coming up with inventions that have shaped the world we live in.

A post shared by hypocrisyMGTOW (@mgtow69) on

back to menu ↑

What does the MGTOW movement believe?

1 – A woman’s nature is hypergamous. This means that they are looking for the most powerful partner they can acquire through marriage. In most societies, this has come to mean the richest man, in contrast to years gone by when the most physically powerful men were the most desirable.

2 – Another belief of MGTOW’ers is that women have grown increasingly hedonistic, incapable of long-term planning, materialistic and sexually aggressiveness. As for the order of these beliefs, who knows as the MGTOW movement does not really possess much in the way of a formal theory or ideology.

3 – That men are now at a disadvantage due to changes in society. The list of examples includes the contraceptive pill, child custody battles (that often tend to favor women), unfair alimony claims and easier access to abortion. According to MGTOW, these changes have encouraged women to trade-up their partners with increasing regularity.

While this may sound fair, what isn’t so fair is when she demands that her former husband and the welfare state must support her. This can also lead to the man losing his home and having little access to his children.

4 – MGTOW are also pissed that men get stuck with all the crappy jobs such the dirtiest and most dangerous occupations. MGTOW claims that it’s really no surprise that women live longer and have healthier lives than men as they have a much easier time in the modern workplace.

5 – That men are torn between two ways of behaving. On one hand they are trying their best to accommodate women’s demands for equality, and on the other hand, they have a deep-rooted (and primal) desire to protect women. This is confusing the heck out of many guys and it appears to them that women just want to “have their cake and eat it, too”!!!!

The phrase “Man up!” says it all in that it demands men to play their traditional role as a provider only to be put into a situation where they can lose everything they worked all of their life to provide.

6 – Have you ever heard of white knighting? A “white knight” is that guy who believes that his actions are self-serving but really they are helping his oppressor (g.f or wife). As you would imagine, the term “white knight” refers to a man that tries his hardest to be chivalrous. This kind of chap tries to win women over with material bribes, displays meekness to their social views and allows women to rule him.

A man who has perfected the art of white knighting is often referred to as a “mangina”, a rude and insulting term that describes his total-surrender.

MGTOW sees this pattern of behavior as self-defeating and that at some point in his future, he will be financially and emotionally drained before being replaced with a more powerful (wealthier) man.

back to menu ↑

What are the levels of MGTOW?

According to Vice writer Mack Lamoureux, there are five levels to MGTOW:

  • Level 0 – Situational awareness: This is the lowest level of MGTOW. At level 0, a man is deemed as having swallowed the “red pill” and believes that gender equality is both a lie and propaganda.
  • Level 1 – Rejection of long-term relationships: At level 1, a man as rejected long-term relationships but may still indulge in short-term relationships and sex.
  • Level 2 – Rejection of short-term relationships: At this level, a man does not meet women for relationships or hook-ups.
  • Level 3 – Economic disengagement: Level 3 refers to more than just issues with women. At this stage, a man refuses to earn more money than is necessary to sustain his life. He often has negative views of the government and hates “the system”.
  • Level 4 – Societal disengagement: The highest level is reserved for those men that refuse to interact with society. These guys want to get as far away from society as possible and usually live (or hope to) live “off the grid”.

back to menu ↑

Why is MGTOW rising in popularity?

In a nutshell, a lot of dudes are just realizing what a bum deal marriage is (at least for them). They are waking up to the fact that there is little benefit for a man to get married because of the one-sided marriage laws (especially in the US).

In too many relationships, a man makes most of the household income, while the woman often spends more than she makes which results in a drain on his income. And to top-it-off, if she decides to leave him she will try her best to take half of his stuff with her.

Hypergamy example. from r/MGTOW

It is not unusual for women to be sexy and fun before marriage and after they have the ring on their finger, put on weight, lose interest in sex and become a nag.

It seems that many women try really hard to show their best side when they are trying to convince guys to marry them and once the deal is done, they have no motivation to continue trying, which ends up with them putting on weight and being more dominant and controlling.

Marriage – where your sex life goes to Die. from r/MGTOW

Society conditions us to believe that we need a woman to be happy when in reality most single men are much happier. Single men are free to spend their time on more useful activities or even no activities at all.

Advocates of MGTOW think of a woman as excess baggage and a drain on their valuable free time. With the rise of social media, men are slowly waking up to the situation, and that is why MGTOW is rapidly growing in popularity.

back to menu ↑

What is “red pilled”?

Men who believe in MGTOWs ideas often refer to themselves as having taken “the red pill”.

A post shared by hypocrisyMGTOW (@mgtow69) on

Fans of the 1999 movie “The Matrix” will probably get the reference but for those that don’t, Neo (the main protagonist of the movie) is awakened to the world’s true nature after taking a red pill.

If Neo had taken the blue pill, he would have stayed in an artificial reality, which in MGTOWs view represents the group of men that have not yet discovered the MGTOW movement.

In other words, to take the red pill is a metaphor for embracing the (sometimes painful) truth of reality and to take the blue pill is a metaphor for remaining in the (sometimes blissful) ignorance of illusion.

back to menu ↑

What do members of MGTOW do?

MGTOW is a growing movement of men that believe that they cannot “win’”in relationships with women and that they must “go their own way” to be happy. This group has evolved to protect men’s social, financial and emotional well-being until such time that women’s attitudes drastically change.

MGTOWers spend considerable time debating about how to spend their time now that they are free of women. This can be anything from leaving large legacies to their community to living an ascetic, monastic life with art, a skill, or a craft as the focus.

MGTOW members also provide ongoing support, advice, and encouragement for men that are tempted to back to their old ways because they still want love, sex or affection from women.

back to menu ↑

What is a “sexodus”?

A “sexodus” describes the growing trend among men to opt out of relationships with women (and also with society). These men stop dating, leave the workforce (if they are able) and spend increasing amounts of their time alone or online. In other words, a sexodus is the result of Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW).

Very different to traditional men’s rights groups (which use activism to push back against feminism) the MGTOW movement simply encourages men to reject long-term relationships, earn only as much money as they actually need to live, and to eventually disengage from society.

back to menu ↑

What is the manosphere?

The term “manosphere” refers to an informal network of blogs, forums, and websites which focus predominantly on issues relating to men and masculinity.

The content of manosphere articles can vary wildly but regular topics that you will see are men’s rights, fathers’ rights, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) movements, self-improvement, and anti-feminism.

Manosphere websites regularly use the terms “red pill” & “blue pill”. Men that accept the manosphere’s ideology are said to have taken the red pill and those men that disagree with their ideology are seen as having taken the blue pill.

What does mgtow mean

back to menu ↑

MGTOW  on Youtube

back to menu ↑

MGTOW on Reddit

On Reddit alone, there are now over 66,000 subscribers to r/MGTOW and it’s growing daily!!! The page describes itself as:

for men going our own way by forging our own identities and paths to self-defined success.


Posts on this subreddit offer an insight into the world of MGTOW with article topics ranging from sex robots to why men should divorce their wives. Other posts discuss visiting hookers, how capitalism is sexist, how women fake orgasms to keep men submissive and so on…BUT BEWARE as some of the posts are pretty dark!!!

The MGTOW community advocates “meninism”. Another new term that is described as a counteraction to feminism which sees women’s rights directly disadvantaging the male of the species.

Rules created by women. Now go to your man cave and keep the noise down. from r/MGTOW

An Old Married Man’s Lament. from r/MGTOW

If you liked this article, you may also like to discover the best places for men to travel alone from our men only section.

And a big thanks for the image Scan the red pill kindly shared by People’s Open Graphics under a Creative Commons (BY) license and for Red Pill Blue Pill The Matrix by Philip Taylor PT.