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Do Men Still Need Women?: Part One - The Rise of the MGTOW Movement

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This is Part 1 of a three-part series on the tragic breakdown between the sexes.

In the book of Genesis, God clearly addressed the need for men to bind themselves to women in holy unions. After saying, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” He took a rib from Adam’s side and made him a helpmate and companion, Eve. (Genesis 2:18-22)

Arising one from the other, the two were created to be inseparable, joined as one flesh. And so they were, as countless men and women have been within the bonds of holy matrimony down through the ages — until our modern era. That’s when the sexual revolution, the rise of cohabitation arrangements, feminism and the ballooning divorce rate combined to strike a major blow to marriage.

The divorce rate in America currently sits at a staggering 40-50 percent, followed by 60 percent for second marriages, according to Divorce.com.

If all of that is not bad enough news already, meet the men of the radical movement called MGTOW. For the uninitiated, MGTOW stands for “Men Going Their Own Way.” Which way might that be? As far away from women as possible. To the red-pilled men of MGTOW, the concept of marriage — and even of exclusive relationships — are nonstarters, to be avoided at all costs.

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Currently, the MGTOW movement is exploding in the United States, Australia, Europe, Japan and many other countries. It has even spawned a secondary movement among impressionable teenage boys called TGTOW, “Teens Going Their Own Way.”

MGTOW’s basic premise is that today’s women aren’t anything men should want. They see women as hardened, loose and narcissistic by way of radicalized feminism. These men view women as out for themselves and only ready to settle down after they’ve quenched their desire for multiple sexual partners (their so-called “body counts”), after they’re done disparaging men for inherent “toxic masculinity,” and after they’ve falsely accused men of sexual assault as part of the #MeToo movement.

Ultimately, MGTOW adherents believe women see men as nothing more than a means to a calculated end — something akin to human cash registers. And when that cash register is empty, they leave, because that’s what women do, MGTOW men point out. Most can easily quote the statistics that prove women ultimately end relationships: 69 percent of all divorces are initiated by women.

MGTOW men also believe that society has partnered with women on this. They point to the abundance of resources available to women, and, more specifically, to a court system that has historically been brutal to men, favoring women in terms of child custody, support, property settlements and alimony rulings.

If all of that seems unnatural, harsh and even a bit misogynistic, so be it, say MGTOW men. They simply refuse to participate in a gender war they seemingly can’t win. And they see moving away from women — as fast as they can — as an act of self-protection and self-preservation.

As Sandman, the YouTube screen name of one of the movement’s influential figures, pessimistically told The Western Journal when asked whether he thought bringing men and women back together is a possibility, “Short of civilizational collapse, it’s not going to happen.” He continued, “Men and women can only repair their relationship if we face hardship and burden again and are forced to be codependent to each other again.”

How MGTOW Began

Beginning in the early 2000s, MGTOW emerged as a kind of panacea for men who were tired of being manipulated, targeted and disrespected by women for simply being their masculine selves. It was their response to the perceived inequalities, gender injustices and the consequences thrust upon them in relationships.

“Men are tired. Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault,” wrote Susan Venker in her controversial opinion piece, “The War On Men,” which appeared on Fox News’ website.

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In her research, however, Venker cited feminism as the catalyst for this disillusionment, as well as the breakdown between the sexes. She similarly attributed to feminism the transformation of women into nothing men actually want at present. Instead, women are viewed as a threat — more transactional and self-serving in nature — manipulative at best. Their heart, femininity and particular value are lost today. What is left is nothing that men need.

The popular host of the “Men Need To Be Heard” podcast, who goes only by the name Dan, put his own spin on this phenomenon, boiling the loss of men’s interest and desire for women down to a single sentence: “Men don’t see a point in relationships anymore.”

Watch this man explain so powerfully what it’s like for men today.

The MGTOW movement has mostly grown organically, which speaks to its long-term viability. There are no headquarters or formal chapters. The Internet is its main driver, predominantly YouTube and TikTok. Its leadership ebbs and flows, but the aforementioned YouTuber Sandman and another who goes by the screen name Taylor the Fiend are popular mainstays.

Perhaps more influential than both is — oddly enough — a woman. Pearl Davis, the popular outspoken podcaster and YouTuber, has built a career infuriating women by making arguments in support of men — and that often align, intentionally or not, with MGTOW philosophy.

She also seemed to corroborate Venker’s insights during an interview a couple of years ago with a number of modern women called, “What do most women bring in 2022 that is special?” Listen as one respondent in the background cries out sheepishly, “Nothing!”



There are several degrees of MGTOW that men engage in, also called levels. The first level includes men who understand the risks of becoming involved with women, but choose to do so anyway. Level two MGTOWs date, but with no intention of ever marrying.

Level three MGTOWs won’t date, nor will they engage with questionable institutions and organizations they see as associated with destroying men’s lives, such as the legal system. Level four MGTOWs remain fully disengaged from women and under the radar with the previously mentioned institutions and organizations.

A major tenet of MGTOW is the outright rejection of raising other men’s children. This stance, in particular, has drawn criticism (including from this writer) for being a cover for cowardice and weakness that camouflages itself as strength and discernment. Love takes courage at a baseline. Adopting a whole new family at once and loving it takes even more. Certainly, God hung all of the commandments on two, with the second one being, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Wouldn’t loving another’s child qualify by extension? Shouldn’t men who have married single moms and courageously taken on stepchildren be applauded?

MGTOWs beg to differ, especially given the many child abuse allegations that are routinely brought forth in divorce proceedings. And especially when viral videos like the following one crop up. In the video, a woman advises a friend who had become pregnant by another man to keep the paternity a secret so that her husband would believe the child was his and assume all loving, legal and financial obligations.

MGTOW and The Gender War

Responses like MGTOW are symptoms of a very real problem in our society, just as the public discontent being shared by single women regarding the version of single males who are showing up on their doorsteps is less than thrilling or impressive. The liberation of womanhood seems to have castrated men.

And without strong men to meet these women where they are, the whole dynamic has been thrown off — and so is the happily-ever-after that these women had envisioned for their lives. It’s as if these women can’t seem to get out of their own way. In their hubris, however, they continue to carry out the feminist charade, despite the incessant loneliness and unhappiness that so many of them lament in tear-filled YouTube posts. Commenting on these posts and often tearing women apart is a favorite sport of MGTOW men, which ultimately perpetuates an echo chamber of confirmation bias.

For their part, MGTOWs posture that women were more free, happy and satisfied as traditional wives and mothers than they are in the complex, overburdened, partnerless, childless existences that they are forced to endure today.



Women subscribing to the growing TradWife movement seemingly concur. These women want to assume traditional roles as wives and mothers. They refute the notion that all women should desire careers outside the home. They rebuke the radical ideologies of today’s feminism, moving the needle closer to the center by intentionally extending a metaphorical olive branch to men.

For this, they are under attack by society and plenty within the feminist movement. The truth of the matter is, though, that the young women joining the TradWife movement are not that different from the teenage boys who have joined the TGTOW movement. They, too, have learned from their predecessors, and don’t like what they see.

Not unlike the MGTOW movement, TradWives are “going their own way” — away from feminism — to bring balance back to the family. Estee Williams, one of the most recognized faces in the TradWife movement, says as much in her video, “Why is TradWife Content Blowing Up?.”



In theory, feminism might have looked good, but in practice, TradWives view it as having failed women by stripping them of those things that bring true meaning to life, including a dependable husband, a loving family and the joy that children bring. And it’s only getting worse. According to a Morgan Stanley report called “Rise of the SHEconomy,” 45 percent of women between 25-44 will be single by 2030.

Still, for many MGTOW men, it is simply too late. The distrust they hold for all women is just too great. They claim that TradWives will become just like the others over time.

Conclusion

MGTOW, TradWives, Passport Bros and TradCons are all movements recognizing a need for change in the face of an overarching one that seems to be leaving many behind. But MGTOW is the only one among them that will ultimately result in the very same outcome as its supposed nemesis: feminism. That’s because MGTOW, like feminism, contributes to the separateness between the genders and quite possibly the end of humanity.

That’s no mere exaggeration. Even men who are not formally a part of the movement are expressing similar sentiments and embracing a MGTOW lifestyle, whether they realize it or not.

Here’s just one example, a heartfelt accounting of what it’s like for men to date in this day and age:

“If you have a big heart and old soul, and you’re single, don’t date,” the man advised in a TikTok post. “Stay single and you won’t have your heart broken. These days, relationships are not the same. There’s not … it’s not like the movies … it’s horrible.”

All of this begs an obvious question: Are these men just hurt, angry and sour on women due to bad relationship choices?

It’s possible, and perhaps highly probable — just as is the case for so many women.

In his YouTube video, Christian influencer Mark Ballenger of applygodsword.com labeled the MGTOW movement a “crisis,” that is certainly “not the answer for Christian men.” To the contrary, he pointed out that, “Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, men can become true men again, and they can learn to lead women back into their true femininity.”



Until then, movements that encourage morality and the rejoining of men’s and women’s hands are the right ones. Those that keep our Creator at their center are even better. The MGTOW movement cannot be of God, because the movement is devoid of hope. It is more evidence of how, when God does not remain at the center of our lives, man goes astray in the crafting of his own solution. He is lost.

Check back next week for Part 2 in this three-part series.

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Laura J. Wellington is an award-winning children's television creator, author, blogger and technology entrepreneur. A TED Speaker, she is the founder of the THREAD MB blog as well as the ZNEEX app, combining new friendships and walking on the local level.
Laura J. Wellington is an award-winning children's television creator, author, blogger and technology entrepreneur. A TED Speaker, she is the founder of the THREAD MB blog as well as the ZNEEX app, combining new friendships and walking on the local level.




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