Inside the world of men who've sworn never to sleep with women again

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) believe men are always victims in relationships 

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The first rule of Fight Club – the 1999 film about an underground boxing club for men grappling with masculinity and dead-end jobs – was to never talk about fight club.

Almost two decades after its release, tens of thousands of men have formed a real-life online community called MGTOW, or Men Going Their Own Way.

Their first rule? Abandoning all romantic relationships with women.

On Reddit alone, some 15,000 readers are subscribed to the MGTOW page which declares it is for "men going our own way by forging our own identities and paths to self-defined success; cutting through collective ideas of what a man is.”

Other websites including are also dedicated to what they see as each man's fight for sovereignty of himself. And despite their hatred for women, homosexuality isn't accepted, either.

Posts on the Reddit page offer an insight into their world: They range from worrying that future sex bots will be hacked by central government, to encouraging men to divorce their wives. They also debate how "even men in Hollywood" are “cuckolded” and wronged by women.

Others discuss the merits of visiting prostitutes, and how pop songs are feminist propaganda. The more you scroll, the darker it becomes.

One recent post described how women “fake orgasms often, because it makes men more submissive”. Another talked of “ditching” his “blue pill friends.” Others proudly declare that they are still virgins.

The MGTOW forum on Reddit, which has more than 15,000 readers

“I want sex and company, but I don’t want/can’t put in the effort to get it,” wrote another user on the forum. 

The MGTOW community has a pretty clear set of expectations for themselves and the wider world that are based in meninism: a counteraction to feminism which sees women’s rights directly disadvantage men.

While feminists might argue that their movement aims to help both men and women break free of harmful gender stereotypes, meninists disagree.

To them, men are the victims of heterosexual relationships, comparable to a horse with a cart strapped it its back. MGTOWs borrow heavily from pop-culture to explain their beliefs, particularly the film the Matrix where the Chosen One chooses to reject his blinkered "blue pill" life in favour of the awareness offered by the "red pill". 

The Matrix scene where the Chosen One rejects the 'blue pill' life (Warner Bros)

The ultimate goal for MGTOWs is total freedom from societal constraints - known as Level 4.

“Level 0” involves “taking the red pill” and recognising gender equality is a sham. Level one sees a man rejecting long-term relationships but engaging in sexual encounters, which he will reject in level two.

As the MGTOW movement is entangled with alt-right and libertarian politics, the third step sees the man focusing on earning money in order to sustain himself. 

Japan has a worrying number of virgins

In this quest, obstacles include feminists; white knights (men who are “chivalrous” towards women); social justice warriors; those who are pro-LGBT rights and support safe spaces, amongst other things. 

Their heroes? The so-called herbivore men of Japan who have no interest in finding long-term female partners, a label with which half of men in their 20s and 30s identify.

The origins of MGTOW are unclear. The MGTOW website loftily suggests their ideals hark back to “Schopenhauer, Tesla, Beethoven, Galileo, or even Jesus Christ”, and equates it to "fire".

“MGTOW is not as old as fire, but it's as old as a man's first discovery of it. If MTGOW is fire, then perhaps feminism is gasoline,” reads the history page. A more concrete theory is that MGTOW was created by online aliases Solaris and Ragnar in the 2000s, when they penned a manifesto calling for men and women to adhere to traditional gender roles and to fight for pared back govermment.

And while their communities may be virtual, their determination seems very real indeed.