The Red Pill Movement (MGTOW): Men Waking Up as Loners

In contrast to the “pickup artists” (PUA), some men have “taken the red pill” when their relationships with women went sour and have chosen what would traditionally be called the bachelor route.

The MGTOW symbol

The MGTOW symbol

These are the MGTOW (pronounced MIG-tau): “Men Going Their Own Way.” The singular is MGHOW: “Man Going His Own Way.”

If you spend any time reading MGTOW websites and forums, you’ll find them populated largely by men who have had hellaciously bad experiences in their relationships with women, and who have decided to opt out. Some continue to have one-night stands with women or use the services of prostitutes in order to satisfy their sex drive. Others “go monk” and become celibate. In this community, men actually brag about being virgins.

Needless to say, PUAs despise MGTOW as Dorito-munching, mother’s-basement-dwelling losers who are sad and lonely because they could never get a girl. And MGTOW despise PUAs as preening, hormone-driven pretty boys whose whole life revolves around the women they despise.

And MGTOW as a group do despise women.

These Red Pill men have woken up, not so much as losers, but as loners.

Most of them had their brush with women, got burned—sometimes quite badly—and decided that it’s better not to play with fire.

And if a man wants to be single, that’s certainly his choice. There have been single men throughout the ages. Some of them have done great things.

The problem is not so much in their deciding to become single, but in their intense disdain for and even hatred of women, and in their blaming women for all of their problems as men.

MGTOW

Once more, as with the first article in this series, “The Red Pill Movement (MRA): Men Waking Up as Victims,” and the second, “The Red Pill Movement (PUA): Men Waking Up as Animals,” we won’t spend time describing the MGTOW community. You can get the basic idea from Wikipedia’s MGTOW article.

The MGTOW movement has also gone through some changes over the years since it first identified itself in the early 2000s. For the “old school” view, see the blog “NO MA’AM” (now apparently inactive) and the original “MGTOW Manifesto”—which lacks the later hostility against women and the “marriage strike” that characterizes much of the MGTOW community today. Today’s MGTOW community is represented in the blog and forums at MGTOW.com and in the MGTOW subreddit at Reddit.com.

For men in the MGTOW community, these websites are breezy island havens from a hostile, gynocentric, man-hating world. For people not in the MGTOW community, they commonly look more like festering swamps of misogynistic bigotry.

AWALT?

In fact, one of the core dogmas of the Red Pill movement generally, and MGTOW specifically, is represented by the acronym “AWALT.” Here’s how it is defined at the RationalWiki’s slightly satirical “Manosphere glossary” (which is worth reading for its entertainment value alone):

All women are like that

Abbreviation: AWALT

In direct opposition to not all women are like that, the assertion that all women are like that means that females are hard-wired to respond to certain situations in a certain way; and that, more specifically, if given the opportunity, they will tend to behave as manipulative, abusive, sociopathic, destructive, drama-oriented liars. To the extent that women differ from one another, it is in how and to what extent (rather than whether) they manifest these traits when they are allowed to do so.

If you go into a MGTOW forum and say, “Not all women are like that!” (which has its own acronym: NAWALT), you will quickly be shouted down as an infidel and a heretic. AWALT is ex cathedra. It’s an established article of faith. You’re not allowed to question it.

And the MGTOW sites and forums are full of fervent testimonials to AWALT.

See, for example, the article “Comments from Married Men” at MGTOW.com. It extracts comments from one of its forums on that subject, arranging them in nine sections that have no immediately discernible thematic organization. But the overall theme and message is crystal clear: DON’T BE AN IDIOT LOSER AND GET MARRIED! You’ll regret it every single day for the rest of your life!!!

You’ll regret it because the very second you slip the wedding ring onto her finger, your fun, intelligent, gorgeous, sex-loving soulmate will instantly transform into a fat, lazy, whining, nagging bitch who will never have sex with you again. The day after the wedding she will quit her job and flop down on the couch in front of the TV with a Dove Bar in each fist while simultaneously spending all of your money on plastic crap at Walmart and threatening to clean you out of everything you own if you don’t work 80 hours a week to feed her insatiable desire for clothing, shoes, jewelry, and a much bigger house than this hovel we live in.

Read ’em and weep!

Of course, it’s a self-selecting group. Men in happy marriages don’t go to MGTOW forums on the Internet and recount in lurid detail exactly how execrably atrocious their wife or ex-wife is.

But for those men who do have the misfortune of marrying a captivating young beauty who in the harsh light of the morning turns out to be a lazy, gold-digging harpy, the experience can be so traumatizing that when they see or think “woman,” that image of woman completely fills their field of vision. Nothing else exists.

And so they console one another: “AWALT, man!”

The fully realized MGHOW

Here is the abridged testimonial of a successful MGHOW from the above-linked article:

Thanks to going to bed at 5:30AM after a relaxing night of surfing the internet and watching porn, I slept in a little bit late this morning. It was actually the afternoon – 12:25PM to be exact – when I finally sat up in bed, yawning and scratching my big bachelor nuts. . . .

So, anyway, I’m up at half-twelve. I had a nice cigarette whilst checking my e-mails. Then I had a coffee and another cigarette whilst playing a bit of Soldier of Fortune II until I got bored of shooting virtual people’s virtual brains out. A nice big fry-up followed. Mmmm… sausages and bacon. . . . Come two o’clock and I’m down at the local supermarket. I bought some booze, hamburgers, potatoes, bacon and waffles. I also bought some pizza that, right at this moment in time, I’m currently stuffing into my mouth. Munch munch. I’m also currently watching Beavis & Butthead. I downloaded a few episodes via BitTorrent the other day. It’s not even six and I’m pleasantly drunk, eating pizza and watching some great comedy. What’s planned for this evening? I’ll probably have a nice relaxing bath and read Viz whilst I’m soaking in the tub. Then I’ll probably have a few more glasses of wine and watch some of the many South Park and The Simpsons episodes that are lying around the Hard Drives of my five computers. Also, I’ve just reinstalled Deus Ex and I’d like to play some of that too. Who knows what the future may bring? Whatever I want it to, that’s what.

Are we supposed to be impressed?

As I was reading through this rambling Paean to the Modern Neanderthal Man, it actually started to get funny. I started thinking: This is just too perfect! Maybe the joke’s on us. Maybe this was written as a satirical caricature of a MGHOW. Maybe it will end with the punch line, “Hello, my name is ____, and I’m a MGTOW loser. But at least I don’t have to deal with a nagging bitch of a wife!”

But no, he was serious. He ended with this:

If I was married I would probably be standing in a stupid department store right now, looking at my watch and tutting whilst the wife decides which dress she’s only going to wear once she wants to buy with my money! But I’m not married. I’m an eternal bachelor. To put it another way, I’m eternally happy and free.

“Eternally happy and free” to do what? Totally waste your life?

Yes, my subheading is satirical. I’m well aware that there have been and still are many single men who do great things with their lives. And I’m sure there are many decent and productive men in the MGTOW community.

But with “testimonials” like that, is it any wonder that MGTOW have gotten a reputation for being Dorito-munching, mom’s-basement-dwelling losers?

AWALT is no excuse for LOSER

Okay, “LOSER” isn’t really an acronym for anything in the Red Pill movement.

But many of these Red Pill men, including a disproportionate percentage of MGTOW, have come to the conclusion that their life sucks and that it’s all because of those horrible, horrible females.

So once again I’ll say to Red Pill men: Stop blaming women for your problems. It’s not manly. And it gets you nowhere.

If you’ve hitched yourself to a woman who tears you down and sucks you dry, then by all means do what’s necessary to extricate yourself from the situation. Or if that’s not possible (due to children, etc.), then take whatever steps you need to keep yourself sane.

But you still have to be a man.

You still have to take responsibility for your own life.

You still have to follow your own goals and ideals, and work toward accomplishing something you believe in.

There are many men who are stuck in sucky marriages but who still do great things. They have drive, ambition, and a vision of what they want to accomplish.

Of course, they would prefer to have a good marriage too. But they don’t let their bad marriage stop them from accomplishing their goals. For such a man, the focus is on accomplishments in the world of business or finance or politics or art. Where the money that flows from those accomplishments goes is a secondary consideration. So even if their gold-digging wives or ex-wives are bleeding them dry financially, they keep right on going.

I’m not saying this is a good situation. I’m not saying it’s right for women to leech off of men. Quite the contrary. Some women are indeed blood-sucking gold-diggers. And that is to their great shame.

Rather, I’m saying that if your focus is on money, possessions, and property, then a gold-digging wife is a life-ending disaster for you. But if your focus is on accomplishing something good and worthwhile in the world, you can keep being a winner as a man even if you are the loser financially in marriage or in divorce court.

So do what it takes to make your life work. Extricate yourself from a bad marital situation if you can. Protect what assets you can protect. But don’t blame your terrible wife, or that terrible, blood-sucking female race, or those terrible feminazis, if you are a failure as a man. That’s on your shoulders.

Men must take responsibility for themselves

So to the MGTOW specifically I say: If you want to be single, no problem. That’s your choice.

But take responsibility for your own life. Do something good and productive with your time, energy, and talents. Don’t let your bad experiences with women be an excuse to check out of society and waste away your life in some isolated man cave.

Once again, I speak from experience. I’ve been through the whole thing. When I was young (24, to be exact) and even more foolish than I am today, I married the wrong woman (we were not the best match for each other), and proceeded to have a marriage that was fine at first, but gradually went downhill until it ended in divorce twenty-four years later. By the time the divorce was final, I had spent half of my life in a deteriorating marriage.

Was that my former wife’s fault? It would be nice to be able to blame her. But the fact of the matter is that I was the headstrong young male who pursued her for nine years until she finally agreed to marry me. And though she is, of course, responsible for her own decision to marry me and for whatever she did during the marriage, I can’t avoid responsibility for the fact that I made and pursued the decision to marry her despite many indications that it wasn’t such a great idea.

And when the mismatched marriage finally broke up, it was my job to pick up the pieces of my own life and continue on to accomplish what I am here on earth to do.

That’s what it means to be a man. And the original MGTOW philosophy was not about dissing, denigrating, and blaming women, but about achieving one’s best potential as a man, regardless of what women do.

For some men this will mean being single. For others it will mean being in a relationship or a marriage with a woman.

Either way, a man is responsible for his own life. If you make bad choices or get yourself into bad relationships, that is still your responsibility.

So although I know the men in the Red Pill movement hate to hear it, I’ll say again, as I said at the end of the first article in this series:

Man up, quit complaining, and do the hard work.

If you want to be a man, you have to act like one.

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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12 comments on “The Red Pill Movement (MGTOW): Men Waking Up as Loners
  1. Tony says:

    hi lee

    Good articles about the whole red pill movement, on MGTOW you know that there are several acronyms that are used and one that was not in this article was “red pill rage” this refers to men waking up to society and that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and this is where men can sometimes falter by staying in this phase.

    This is obviously not good because these men are still letting others have power other them they aren’t really MGTOW, and they need to move on and make something of themselves just like you have stated in this article and not continue to believe that women are these sweet angels that are the centre of their world.

    Anyways good balanced article I am tempted to post these articles on a MGTOW comments section on youtube to see what they think these.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks. I’m glad you liked the articles—especially since you were one of the people who prompted me to write them.

      I agree with you 100% that as long as men let others (in this case, toxic women) have power over them, they aren’t really MGTOW. That’s my biggest problem with the MGTOW movement as it now exists: It’s still heavily stuck in blaming women. And as long as you blame someone else for your problems, you are not taking responsibility for them yourself—and you are also taking the power out of your own hands to do something about your life.

      You’re welcome to post links to the articles if you like. I don’t expect men in the movement to appreciate them, but maybe it will give a few of them something to think about. Someone did link to the first article in the series on the MGTOW subreddit, which led to a spike in hits that lasted for about 24 hours.

  2. No, MGTOW as a philosophy does not “hate women” or “blame women.” The MGTOW point of view is more like “nature hates men.” This is explained in several videos by prominent MGTOW like Barbarossaa, Spetznas and RazorBladeKandy and in a post by yours truly here: https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-most-of-the-Men-Going-Their-Own-Way-MGTOW-guys-hate-women/answer/Richard-Wheybrew

    Reading MGTOW posts on forums and Reddit and saying you understand MGTOW is like reading letters from 3rd graders and saying you understand literature. Most of the guys on these forums are new to MGTOW and, like you said, are just getting over a string of horrible experiences with women. They’re in the process of reshaping their identities and it’s not pretty, but it is necessary.

    Your an ordained minister? Some men who find MGTOW have lost their houses, their children, their wife and half of their property all in the same week. If you were counseling them would you say “hey man, I know you had a bad week, but you need to get over it?”

    If you’ve never been through a situation like that, bully for you. But for people who have lived through something that forces them to confront all of the assumptions they had about men, women, family, society and relationships, words can’t really describe how awful it is to have your identity eviscerated in that way — or how painful it is to rebuild yourself from the rubble.

    Instead of mocking these men, you would do well to try to put yourself in their shoes. If you can’t do that, you’re just part of the misandry and gynocentrism MGTOW fights and you’re every bit as bad as the feminists.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Dick,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to respond, and for the link.

      As a matter of fact, I did go through all of that, and I did have to rebuild my life from the rubble.

      It took longer than a week, but within a fairly short time I lost job, career, property, and everything else you mention except for my children—whom, as I said in the first article in the series, I was able to continue to be an active father to for the rest of their growing up years. Other than that, nearly everything from my former life, which had been stable for over a decade, is now long gone. I was able to walk away a free man who still had a relationship with his children. But other than that, in the end I lost everything. Not half. Everything but some personal possessions. This was not only because of my ex-wife and the divorce, but due to the whole circumstance of my life at the time based largely on decisions I had made myself. So once again, I don’t blame my ex-wife for it. And this isn’t a self-therapy blog, so I don’t spend time talking about it here. But it took me years to claw my way over the rubble and out of that bomb crater.

      In short, I’m not just talking out of my ass. I know exactly what it feels like, because I’ve been through it myself.

      And of course I don’t know as much about the MGTOW movement as you and others in the movement do. However, it was months ago that some of my readers asked if I would write something about the Red Pill movement, so I started paying attention to it and researching it. I’ve read many articles by MGTOW leaders and by standard news outlets about the Red Pill movement, as well as spending time reading the forums at Reddit and MGTOW.com. Does that make me an expert on MGTOW? No. And I don’t claim to be one. But it was enough to give me the gist and flavor of the movement. And in my articles I focused on what seemed to me to be most important to say about it to my readers and to any Red Pill men who happen to stop by here and read the articles.

      You could say that as a philosophy MGTOW does not hate women, and perhaps that’s true. But as a practical reality, MGTOW articles and forums are dripping with disdain for and yes, hatred of women. AWALT by itself is an example of caricaturing the worst aspects of women and tarring all women with the same biased brush. So you can quibble about whether or not it is “hatred” of women, and whether that is part of the “philosophy” of MGTOW, but the effect is the same: women are seen as defective creatures who are inferior to men, and as a major component of men’s problems, if not the major component—and are treated as such.

      Nor am I particularly impressed with blaming it on nature rather than blaming it on women. My response to that is the same: suck it up. You’re still a man, and you still have to take responsibility for your own life. Everyone faces difficult circumstances. What separates the men from the boys is that the men recognize the circumstances and don’t use them as an excuse for paralysis and inaction. Men have been facing these circumstances for hundreds of thousands of years now. And we seem to have survived as men.

      If circumstances have changed and what worked for thousands of years no longer works, then by all means go ahead and work to change the societal situation to the extent that it’s possible. We live at a time in human history when a massive paradigm shift is taking place, starting several centuries ago with the Age of Enlightenment. I have no quarrel with Red Pillers and MGTOW working to make the world a better place for men (though that seems to be mostly an MRA thing). But I do have a quarrel with their saying, “Women, nature, and the whole world are against us! Woe is us!” Feminists say the same thing about men, nature, and the whole world. So how is the Red Pill perspective any different from the gynocentric perspective than Red Pillers see as the enemy? It’s just a mirror image of the same thing they’re fighting against. And that makes it a zero sum game. It’s not a workable perspective on the problem. It doesn’t provide a real solution, but only perpetuates a battle of opposing forces that results in stalemate, not progress.

      Despite my use of some light satire, the purpose of my articles is not to denigrate Red Pillers in general, and MGTOW in particular. Rather, it is to give a kick to the butt and say, “Quit complaining, quit blaming everyone and everyone else, take responsibility for your own life, and get to work. And by the way, quitting society is not a real solution.” I have no quarrel with those in the movement who are already taking responsibility for their own lives and doing the hard work. But it’s impossible to spend much time in any kind of contact with the Red Pill movement without getting a serious dose of, “My life sucks because of everyone and everything else—especially those damn women.” How is that different from Hillary blaming everyone and everything else for her election loss (those evil Russians, Comey, even the DNC) while claiming to take full responsibility for it? The same inherent contradiction suffuses the Red Pill movement. That’s my main quarrel with it.

      But to answer your your question more directly, I certainly would not say “get over it” on Monday of the next week. That would be heartless, and the wrong time to say such a thing. But over time, yes, that would be exactly my message. It happened, and there’s nothing you can do about that. You can’t undo history. And you need to move on with your life. Yes, you’ll still have to deal with the fallout. It’s not going to be easy. Speaking for myself, I’m still dealing with stray fallout to this day, even though ground zero in my life was a decade ago. But you can’t let your past cripple your present and your future. You have to leave it behind and move on with your life.

      You also have to pick your battles, and decide what’s worth fighting for, as compared to what you’re fighting about mostly from hurt, anger, and a desire to win and for your ex to lose. I made the decision that my relationship with my children was worth fighting for, but the money was not. And I remain happy with that decision to this day. Once the initial bomb has dropped and the initial rupture is over, being a man means regaining your balance and thinking strategically rather than emotionally, assessing the situation, and determining what, exactly your goals will be going forward, what’s worth expending your energy on, and what you just need to let go of. That is also the counsel I would give over time to a man who has been through the type of devastation I went through.

  3. The Ghost says:

    You may have thought you read all you need to know but you still don’t get it, do you? You think we WANT to do “something meaningful” with our lives. That’s for the sheeple like you who just blindly follow the herd off the cliff. We’re opting out of life completely, working only as much to sustain ourselves and our simple lifestyles. We are no longer willing to contribute to the anti-white, anti-male society that hates us. And you know what? We’re happy! Yes, happy! That may surprise a herd-follower like you but you’re not “going your own way” are you? And no, I don’t blame women at all. I blame the enablers like you who treat them like Queens when they’re nothing but wicked witches of the West. You are like those perpetual morons who hold up those “Refugees Welcome” signs, inviting in the filth of the world to rob, rape and murder us because it makes YOU feel good, consequences be damned. So now these witches prance around thinking that they’re worth more than the contempt they deserve, preying on yet another sad sack chump and ruining his life. I suggest you grow up and grow a pair. Women are not angels and their corrupt morals have been, and will continue to be, the downfall of many a great man.

    • Lee says:

      Hi The Ghost,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

      Your insults are standard MGTOW boilerplate, so I’ll pass them over for now and focus on the substance of your comment. But please do see our comments policy.

      As I said in the article, if you want to be single, that’s certainly your choice.

      Further, if you want to live subsistence-style, that is also your choice. However, if you work at all, you are still contributing to society in one way or another. Humans as a species are social animals, not loners. It is very difficult to entirely unplug from human society and still survive. If your choice is to contribute only minimally to society, at least you are contributing to society at that minimal level.

      Notice, though, that the celebrated scientists, mathematicians, inventors, and philosophers featured on the MGTOW.com History page were not men who withdrew into their shell and contributed as little as possible to human society. They are great men precisely because they made great contributions to the advancement of human science, mathematics, technology, and philosophy, thus raising the level of humanity as a whole. If you choose to live at a subsistence level and contribute as little as possible to a society that you see as corrupt, once again that is your own choice. But in making that choice for yourself and your life you are ensuring that you will never join the ranks of those great men.

      You say that you don’t blame women, but then you go on to call them wicked, moronic, morally corrupt witches who are the downfall of many a great man.

      No, women are not angels.

      Neither are men.

      All of us here on earth are in process.

      Considering all women to be utterly corrupt and unsalvageable monsters is no more rational than considering all women to be spotlessly pure angelic beings standing high up on pedestals. Here on earth we humans, both men and women, are neither angels nor devils. We all live on a spectrum somewhere in between—some closer to the angelic end of the spectrum, some closer to the demonic end of the spectrum, and most in the vast, mixed middle.

      I am truly sorry that you and your fellow MGTOW have had such bad experiences with women. Women can indeed be horribly corrupt, just as men can be. And for those men unfortunate enough to get tangled up with a corrupt woman, the results are often horrifying.

      However, just because you and your fellow MGTOW have experienced those particular women, that does not mean every man’s experience with women is the same as yours. It is not rational to ignore the facts and realities of human life. Contrary to AWALT dogma, the fact of the matter is that there are many happily married men who are doing great things and whose wives are supporters of and even equal partners in their great accomplishments. Just because you and your fellow MGTOW got the short end of the stick with women, and have not experienced that reality for yourselves, that does not mean it doesn’t exist.

      Your life is in your own hands. You can do with it what you wish. If your experiences with women have been so scarring that you can never consider being with a woman again, I can understand that. Just understand that your experience with women is not every man’s experience with women.

      And realize that if you want to be a great man, you have to do great things.

  4. Steven Timm says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! Thank you so very much, Lee!!!! I stumbled on your article while doing some recon work on the blue pill and I cannot thank you enough for your article on MGTOW and the Red Pill. It was kind of funny, because I read that posting on MGTOW about the person playing Soldier of Fortune II, tutting at his wife at the department store, etc. I found that article several years ago and I loved it!!

    Myself, I went MGTOW many years ago and swallowed the red pill. I like your article because you are not, in my opinion, lashing out at men, MGTOW or the Red Pill philosophies. Rather, you are challenging men who already are MGTOW to truly live up to the real meaning of MGTOW and not blame women for all their problems in life. I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. Personal accountability needs to be the refrain of everyone on Earth, but sadly, this is becoming a rare commodity indeed.

    Personally, I have gone monk on my MGTOW journey. That has been a difficult decision, but, in companion to this, I also declare the name of Christ in my life and therefore I believe that sexual union should only be practiced in the bonds of marriage, and I understand the restrictions Christ has placed on sexuality and the reason behind those restrictions. I do not like using women just for my sexual pleasure and for no other purpose. Now, some MGTOW’s would disagree with me on this, but with a chosen lifestyle, as you mentioned, comes accountability. If I declare the name of Christ in my life, then I will be held accountable to that name and how I treated creatures that he created in his own image.

    I agree with the Psalmist when he says to find a righteous woman is more valuable that rubies! I know some men that have Proverbs 31 women as wives and to be very honest, it kind of makes me jealous in a way! I esteem those women highly as they take after such giants as Hannah, Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Sarah, Leah, Rachel and above them all is the Mother of our Lord, Mary.

    Thank you again, Lee for getting to the heart of MGTOW and what it truly means!

    God Bless you, Lee and keep declaring the truth!!

    Steve Timm.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your good thoughts. Yes, my purpose in writing the article is not to attack anyone, but rather to offer a spiritually-based perspective on MGTOW, and to give a kick in the behind to MGTOW who have retreated to their own private island where they’re going nowhere fast and blaming women for their withdrawal from society and their lack of any real goals or accomplishments in life.

      That sort of thing I have little respect for. But your view and commitment to what it means for you to be a MGTOW I can respect.

  5. samuel2112 says:

    Thank you Lee for your article. I recently discovered Swedenborg. I am a practicing Buddhist but appreciate Christian Mystics as well. It is ironic that Swedenborg never married and may have been MGTOW himself.
    Lee, MGTOW is about men feeling valuable within and feeling worthy as human beings. Society gives men messages from love songs and movies that to be complete as a human being you need to have a wife or girlfriend. I realize women get the same messages. MGTOW should not be about hatred of women at all. However some men have had as you had stated have had some horrific experiences with woman and need a safe space to vent. Society has encouraged men to hold in their feelings and be like a macho tough guy. It is not healthy for men to hold it in and many MGTOW men are very hurt. Eventually, as MGTOW men heal as I have don, they begin to take responsibility for themselves and see the pointlessness of blaming women for their problems.
    MGTOW is some ways has some similarities to feminism in that feminism has told some women that a woman needs a man like “a fish needs a bicycle”. MGTOW is saying the the same things to men. MGTOW is about men valuing themselves as human beings not contingent on having a female significant other. MGTOW is about men redefining their gender roles as just be strong and don’t feel. MGTOW has allowed men to get in touch with their feelings-it is helpful to feel your emotions at times in a healthy way. Yes I hear what you are saying Lee, the misogyny coming from some MGTOW is excessive and uncalled for. However, these men are hurt and angry. It is better they vent on the internet than hurt themselves or others. Remember most of the angry MGTOW’s are in the beginning stages and raw. Eventually, these men learn how to be independent and happy being single. Healing takes time. In fact MGTOW is sort of like men’s liberation from their societal and gender roles as feminism is for some women. MGTOW has helped men get started on some type of spiritual path. Isn’t it interesting that Swedenborg never married- I am not sure he had girlfriends. But he certainly “went his own way” as an independent thinker and didn’t conform to society’s gender roles. Back then for people to be unmarried-you stood out more than today where it is more common. Lee check out this video

    • Lee says:

      Hi samuel2112,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your thoughtful comment. I think there is much truth and reality to what you say. And I do hope these early stage MGTOW will eventually heal from their awful experiences with women and focus more on developing themselves both as men and as human beings.

      When Swedenborg was a young man he did make an effort to woo and marry a woman. Unfortunately for him, the object of his affections did not return them. When he realized this, he released her from the written pledge of marriage to him that her father had given him. That experience seems to have taken the wind out of his sails, though there is some indication that he may have made one or two further unsuccessful attempts at courtship before settling into the life of a bachelor. So perhaps he was, in a sense, a MGHOW.

      However, unlike today’s garden variety MGHOW, Swedenborg continued to have a great affection for women throughout his life, and clearly longed to be married. So if he did “go his own way,” it was due to his circumstances rather than to his own inclination or choice. And it certainly never involved any rejection of or distaste for women.

      Later in life, during his theological period, he wrote an entire highly evocative (and highly controversial) book about marriage. In that book he states that marriage is the ideal God-given state for men and women to be in, and far preferable to celibacy—which he describes as an unfortunate and much less spiritual state.

      Some of his personal writings indicate that he believed that a particular highly intelligent woman known to him would be his eternal marriage partner in the spiritual world. However, a relationship with her was impossible in this world because she was already married—to a man ill-suited to her character.

      As I say in the above article, it’s entirely a man’s choice whether he wishes to have a relationship with a woman. And if a particular man wants to be single, that is his prerogative. However, I continue to believe that for those who are able and willing, being married is ultimately a more satisfying and more spiritual way of life.

  6. samuel2112 says:

    Thank you Lee for your excellent explanation of Swedenborg and his “love life”. I thin your blog is magnificent. I have been involved with mens groups and mens liberation for a while. Your blog needs to be in a book eventually-you have a very authentic, and balanced view on gender relations. I think one of the biggest problems for our society now is the horrific relations between men and women but rarely is it discussed inasmuch as it makes men and women uncomfortable.

    I do disagree with one opinion you have. You wrote “However, I continue to believe that for those who are able and willing, being married is ultimately a more satisfying and more spiritual way of life.” This is why MGTOW (without the misogyny) is so needed. Men have gotten messages through love songs, holidays like Valentine’s day.” that to feel complete they need to have a female significant other. I would say that for some men being single can be a more satisfying and spiritual way of life. I think the Apostle Paul mentioned that being single can be superior in some ways than being married. In today’s time where more and more human beings are single more than ever given the nature of our society and gender relations, single men need to be encouraged that they are valuable being single. Single men need to be encouraged that they are complete within themselves. Single men need to be encouraged that being single is not weird, or makes a man an outcast-that in fact their are advantages to a man being single. Single men for example, have more time to do service work for our society and are not limited in any way by having a partner and/or family.

    Here is my point Lee. You mentioned Swedenborg writing highly of marriage as superior to being single. I had read that Swedenborg had a view of marriage where a person does not necessarily have to be married to another person. I had read that Swedenborg mentioned you could be married to yourself. is that so?After all although Swedenborg had unrequited love, he still was single his whole life so it would not be unusual for him to say this. What Swedenborg meant by being married to yourself is having a relationship with your inner essence-your inner soul and spirit. So while I agree with you Lee that Swedenborg wrote highly of marriage it did not necessarily mean one has to be coupled. According to Swedenborg you could be married to yourself.

    I respect your view as marriage being superior to singlehood for men and you have it appears a very healthy marriage. I just want to say that men choosing to stay single maybe equally as valuable and some men may actually evolve spiritually and emotionally being single than being married. Our culture is fascinated by being couples that it makes single people feel sort of left out or bad. For example, so many songs on pop radio stations are about being in a relationship. Many movies especially romantic ones have a theme of somehow meeting Prince or Princess charming as one’s salvation. But thankfully much Christian pop music has lyrics relating to the love of God and man. I just want to close that I think it is important for single men to value themselves in their singleness and know that if they desire a life without a woman by their side in a marriage or relationship, that their life can be just as happy and fulfilling. Keep up the great blog Lee.

    • Lee says:

      Hi samuel2112,

      Thanks for continuing the conversation. I do appreciate and enjoy the open-minded and open-hearted spirit in which you write.

      And thanks for your kind words about the blog. We recently passed 300 posts, which probably amounts to fifteen or twenty books’ worth of articles. And I do plan to turn some of this material into books in the future, not to mention writing some books from scratch. For now, though, this blog is where I (together with my wife) express and develop my thoughts on matters spiritual and practical.

      To respond first to your further thoughts on Swedenborg: I would say that Swedenborg mentioned that we could be married within ourselves rather than married to ourselves. More specifically, Swedenborg said that achieving a marriage of good and truth, or love and wisdom, or head and heart, within ourselves is the whole point of the path of “regeneration” or spiritual rebirth. Until both our head and our heart are fully “partnered” with each other and engaged in whatever work or activities we do to benefit and care for our fellow human beings, we are not fully developed as a spiritual (and thus true) human being.

      I cover this idea a little more, together with its relation to interpersonal marriage, in the article, “Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning.” In particular, the sections titled “Becoming married within ourselves” and “Inner marriage is necessary for interpersonal marriage” deal with this subject.

      So yes, I do believe, based on my understanding of Swedenborg and my experience of human life, that single people, both men and women, can grow and develop spiritually just as married people can. My preference for the married state does not mean I think single people are left out in the cold, or are somehow lesser human beings. We are all beloved of God, and God has a path forward and upward for all of us, whatever our relationship circumstances might be here on earth. (And honestly, it’s hard to imagine Swedenborg accomplishing what he did if he had been married here on earth.)

      I also suspect that many people who do not marry here on earth due to unfortunate experiences or circumstances, but who do the work of achieving that “inner marriage” or “spiritual marriage,” may in the other life find that the barriers to being married here on earth fade away, and find a partner to spend eternity with. However, I also believe there is room in heaven for those who continue to choose a single life.

      Yes, Paul said he wished people would remain single as he did. And that has heavily influenced large segments of the Christian Church, which consider celibacy to be a superior and more spiritual state than marriage. However, Paul also expected Christ to return very soon—within his lifetime. His general advice was for the married to stay married and the single to stay single until Christ came, when he thought everything would be reshuffled anyway. Of course, Christ did not come soon—at least, not in the way that Paul and many of the other early Christians expected. And that puts a different light on Paul’s sayings about being single or married.

      Back to the earlier subject, I do agree with you that people who buy into the popular cultural message that getting married will fix all your problems, make life instantly wonderful, and cause you to live happily ever after are in for a major letdown and crash if they get married with these pie-in-the-sky ideas running around in their head. The reality is that if you don’t do the hard work of developing yourself as a thoughtful, moral, compassionate, and spiritual person, you will never be able to sustain a good, deep, and happy relationship with another human being, especially within a marriage. Along these lines, see my article: “How to Attract the Opposite Sex—and Keep ‘Em.” (It gets better. I promise! 😀 )

      So even if you and I may be standing across the fence from each other on the issue of being single vs. being married, I think we agree that no matter which life we choose, developing our own self, and the “spiritual marriage” within ourselves, is a critical task without which the rest will ultimately not have much meaning or effectiveness.

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Lee & Annette Woofenden

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