WTF is a MGTOW? A Glossary

On this blog, MRA does not mean Magnetic Resonance Angiography

For newcomers to this blog, here’s a handy guide to some of the strange acronyms and lingo you’ll encounter here and in the “manosphere” in general. (For a definition of that term, see below.) I will update this entry periodically as needed.

First, the acronyms you’ll see most often here:

MRA: Men’s Rights Activist
MRM: Men’s Rights Movement

MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way MGHOW: Man Going His Own Way.

Ok, so what do those terms mean?

MRM: The Men’s Rights Movement: A loosely defined, but largely retrograde, collection of activists and internet talkers who fight for what they see as “men’s rights.” Unlike the original Men’s Movement, which was inspired by and heavily influenced by feminism, the self-described Men’s Rights Movement is largely a reactionary movement; with few exceptions, Men’s Rights Activists (or MRAs) are pretty rabidly antifeminist, and many are frankly and sometimes proudly misogynistic. Those who oppose the MRM are generally not against men’s rights per se; they are opposed to those who’ve turned those two words into a synonym for some pretty backwards notions.

MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way: As the name suggests, MGTOW is a lot like lesbian separatism, but for straight dudes. MGTOW often talk vaguely about seeking “independence” from western and/or consumer culture, and a few MGTOW try to live that sort of zen existence. But most of those who embrace the term have a deep hostility towards and/or profound distrust of feminists and women in general. Many MGTOW refuse to date “western women” and some try to avoid women altogether.  I think the Man Going His Own Way acronym MGHOW adds another layer of confusion to an already awkward acronym, so I use MGTOWer instead.

Some other terms and acronyms you’ll run across here:

Anglosphere: Countries in which English is the primary language, or, more narrowly, those countries that used to be British colonies. They are full of evil Western Women (see below).

Incel: Involuntarily Celibate. A term, and identity, adopted by some dateless guys (as well as some women, but it’s the men we’ll focus on here). While there is nothing shameful about being dateless, or a virgin, or having a really long dry spell sexually — most of us have been there at some point — the term “involuntarily celibate” seems to suggest that the world owes incels sex, and that women who turn down incel men for dates or sex are somehow oppressing them. For those (male, straight) incels who are genuinely socially awkward or phobic, this can be a self-defeating stance that can lead to bitterness towards women. And often does.

Mangina: Derogatory term used by MRAs, MGTOW, etc. to describe guys who disagree with them — e.g., me. You can figure out the various connotations of this term yourself.

The Manosphere: The loose collection of blogs, message boards, and other sites run by and/or read by MRAs, MGTOW, and assorted friendly Pick-up Artists. The primary source of material for this blog.

NAWALT: Not All Women Are Like That. Dudes in the manosphere make so many ridiculous and untrue generalizations about women that they’ve come up with their own little acronym to describe the most common reaction to their nonsense: “not all women are like that.” Remarkably, many seem to think that making a reference to NAWALT is actually some sort of clever rebuttal of their critics.

PUA: Pick-up Artist. PUAs are obsessed with mastering what they see as the ultimate set of techniques and attitudes — known as “Game” — that will enable them to quickly seduce almost any woman they want. There is a vast literature on “game” online, though PUA (insofar as it is not complete bullshit) is at its essence simply a male version of the age-old ploy of “playing hard to get.”

Western Women: Also known as WW. Evil harpies, at least according to many in the manosphere. Contrasted with “foreign women,” a term that (in the manosphere, at least) sometimes refers to all women outside the Anglosphere, but often refers to a subset of these women from poor and/or Eastern countries, mostly Asian, who are regarded as more pliable and thus more desirable to haters of “Ameriskanks” and other WW.

  1. Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)


    I feel I missed something here, because I’m saying that multiple examples are a good thing; and the thing is is that no matter what you do, someone is going to feel personally attacked, which isn’t the intention, and be an asshole about it.

  2. @Jarnsaxa

    I wish there was more of a variety of people in video games, especially women, who obviously have it the worst, but men too–I know a few gentle-hearted, passive men who would never be included as characters in most AAA games’ stew of toxic masculinity. … another example of misogyny/patriarchy sucking for everybody, I guess.

    Amen to that.

    One example (although he is far from passive) of a male character breaking gender roles is Tidus from FFX who has no problem expressing his feelings. Aaaaaand naturally he’s called a ‘whiny bitch’ and ‘pussy’. One ‘reviewer’ went so far as to replace his name with “Meg Ryan” during cutscenes… Ugh…

  3. Hahaha. All I said to Mark was that he probably can’t get any sex and the next thing he’s gone into some kind of weird frenzy writing a long winded, disgusting, filthy reply that all women are analistic monkeys who suck so many cocks ra ra ra (won’t repeat it all as it was just nasty, hate filled crap). You ‘ain’t gettin’ any are ya dude and just proved it spectacularly. Ahhh that has made my day!

  4. Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)


    Probably me saying that MGTOW helping evolve humanity is an oxymoron did, too…if they knew what an oxymoron was. I don’t know if he knew, but I’m sure that would have pissed him off if it did.

    We both did good. We all did.

  5. Scented Fucking Hard Chairs


    … Oh crap, I thought the “No sex” jibe was aimed at us (we get that every day), not the dipshit. My apologies for the snark. ^^;;

  6. That’s okay Scented Fucking Hard Chairs .. haha love your name and @Pandapool, amen sister! And yep we all did good on this one!

  7. EJ,
    Hemet is a misogynist asshole.


    Yeah, Mark. I’m so ashamed of being a happy cocksucker. Boo-hoo. How will I live with myself? Maybe a nice hummer in the shower will cheer me up? Oh gawds no! There I go again! I’m out of control! I’m Hoovering up cock right and left! Literally. I look like a trained seal. It’s a nightmare. I’m going to have whiplash for days. Nooooooooooo!

    Again these douchenozzles reveal themselves far more than they intend to.

    “Men don’t eagerly prefer oral sex on women. They don’t go down at all. I know because I’m a man and I have about as much chance of licking a woman to ecstasy as I do of solving a Rubic’s cube, drunk and blind folded in a hurricane. Also, ARGLE-BARGLE-SEMEN-BARGLE!” -Mark

    That “cock sucking parasite” stuff had me rolling. Especially since it reminded me of:

  8. Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)


    Stop. Touch. And tell.

  9. Catching up…


    In my dialect, “have” and “of” are generally pronounced the same way if “have” is preceded by a consonant (so “what will you have” vs. “I could [of] done that myself”). True story: when learning to write as a child I had real problems differentiating the written words “are” and “our” because they were generally pronounced the same way.

  10. Re: Mark’s melt down

    I do think it’s hilarious what passes as an insult for guys like that. “Congrats on all the sex!” is up there with “I hope you enjoy your cats!” in terms of insults that really aren’t.

    I’m sure that of all the things that could go wrong in a relationship, ‘enjoying the sex’ is not one of them.

  11. Pandapool:


    Wait, was that punk band mentioned a joke about what Mark said? Because my eyes started glazing over about two lines in.

    Ha, yeah, at some point in his rant Mark said “analistic monkeys.” I think he meant “animalistic monkeys” maybe. But “Analistic Monkeys” sounds like an awesome name for a band.

    Also, all hail the banhammer! Thanks, David.

    Also, Go Team Venture!

  12. @fromafar2013

    Heh so true. You damn sex-lover! Why don’t you go have lots of sex! U mad yet?

    They also have this strange ‘hatred’ of oral sex as if it’s some sort of immensely demeaning act. Seriously, if you don’t like oral sex then that’s fine, but you’re missing out :P.

  13. EJ (The Other One)

    They also have this strange ‘hatred’ of oral sex as if it’s some sort of immensely demeaning act. Seriously, if you don’t like oral sex then that’s fine, but you’re missing out :P.

    Sorry, they do what? I do my best to empathise with everyone, but if they dislike cunnilingus then there’s something wrong with them.

  14. Insidious _ Sock. This has all the hallmarks of a dumb scam so that when these websites of yours get a hit, it makes it look popular. How many are unique members and how many are just random hits plus your graphs look like something out of nursery school.

    I’m afraid if men go their own way, not many will notice no matter how much you think they will. The world has billions of people in it and your little group of friends are but a mere drop in the ocean. Go your own way, it’s your choice. Have fun!

  15. I absolutely love your website; I have been reading it for weeks. I consider it a sacred duty to make the majority of MRA’s and MGTOW’s uncomfortable which will (hopefully) cause a few of them to sit down and reflect on their attitudes and change.

    I do have one minor qualm, however. I don’t think all Incels should necessarily be included in all of this. The Incel community has been around much longer than the MRM, and has nothing to do with bitterness politics. The fact that some Incels have latched onto the MRM pisses me off, but the “movement” itself has nothing to do with these hucksters. I used to consider myself an Incel many years ago, but I didn’t blame anyone for my problems. I just felt that various circumstances of my life prevented me from being viewed as a potential romantic and/or sexual candidate by the majority of people; which sometimes did lead to bitterness, but more out of not being able to have the experience, not at other people in general. Kind of like a person who recently broke up with their partner seeing happy couples everywhere. Bitterness alone won’t lead someone to the dark side. Other factors are at play as well.

    I’m going to break rank a little bit here, but I do think sex is a psychological need for most adults. It’s not something that is required for one to live and breathe, but it’s been demonstrated that being sexless and without romance without choice for many years can produce various psychological problems such as lack of confidence, the inability to adequately communicate with people one is attracted to, insecurity issues, etc. Obviously no one should be forced to sleep with someone just because of that, but those are some other factors of being sexless and without romance as a matter of circumstance, not choice. It’s not so much that every Incel feels that people “owe” them sex or romance by being frustrated at their life, much like a person who gets sad for being turned down doesn’t necessarily think the other person “owed” them anything. Disappointment is a part of life, and an emotion that everyone experiences. It’s what people do with that disappointment that defines their character. If they turn to the dark side and look up to these truly evil men, then they now deserve to be confronted and told in no uncertain terms that they are wrong and are on the wrong track. If they continue down this path, then they will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; no one will want to date or screw them because they’ve become misogynistic assholes, not because they are shy.

  16. I think people take issue with the incel word itself because it means “involuntarily celibate”. If someone really wants to have sex, there are professionals who can help a person with that. Obviously not everyone is up for sex with a sex worker. But involuntary, to me, brings with it connotations of being forced. No one is forced to be single or sexless, and the implication puts the onus on other people instead of the incel. If the general incel community were inwardly focused, I don’t think anyone would be splitting hairs over the term “incel”. It’s only that they’re often misogynistic. It’s unfortunate that they’ve taken over the group, because to people on the outside, they fit the very stereotype that they’re trying to dislocate from. I’d prefer “chronically single” or “chronically sexless” as opposed to involuntarily celibate. The definition of celibacy implies a choice, so it’s a bit of an oxymoron to begin with.

    As to your other point, I’ve been single and sexless my whole life (I’m 25 atm). I also may be vaguely asexual, but I may not. I don’t spend time around men for the most part, so I haven’t had any opportunities to test out my sexuality on anyone. In high school I really believed I wanted a boyfriend because, well, that’s what teenagers do. Once I got to about junior year of college, I realized that shit wasn’t gonna happen unless I made it happen. When I tried to make it happen after college, it was weird and awkward and I hated going on dates, so I stopped doing that. Now I’ve decided that all of that stuff’s not for me, and I’m probably more confident for it. I wear what I want, I do what I want, I say what I want, and never do I have to worry about if someone finds it attractive or not.

    The point I’m trying to make is that Western society puts HUGE pressure on us to pursue sex and romance, to the point that people feel suicidal or even homicidal if they can’t have it. I felt it as a teenager, and I felt like a failure because of it. There is a biological element to our desire for sex and romance (at least for sexual people), but I think Western society blows it hugely out of proportion. It’s in every movie, every song, every book… we’re inundated with it day after day, and only once you step out of that bubble do you realize how intense it is. Because I may be vaguely asexual, maybe all that seems less important to me than it would a highly sexual person, but I still think people need to put more stock in their platonic relationships. We need more celebration of friendship. At least if douchebros can’t make friends, they can blame that on men as well as women.

  17. Hi, Wanda! I totally understand those feels about wishing platonic friendship was more celebrated.

    I’m ace (or asexual) as well, and I definitely had some problems with feeling like I must be broken because I hadn’t had a crush or anything, but all my friends were dating (and half of them are getting married, now, which is weird).

    Also, I’ve had the awkward “Friend who is a guy suddenly realizes how much time we hang out, and assumes it must be because I’m into him so he talks himself into being in to me and then asks me out and I’m like… Um, not that you aren’t awesomesauce, but I didn’t really want to go there, at all, ever, and I swear it’s me not you and can we just go hiking now, please?”

    And, yeah, I do take issue with Incels choice of label. The “involuntary” makes it seem like the default is that everyone is entitled to sex, which implies that everyone else is obligated to provide said sex. Especially when they pretty much complain about all the people that won’t jump to sleep with them.

    One thing you might want to be cautious about, though. Don’t throw sex worker’s under the bus by directing incels towards them. Seriously, throwing them to incels is meaner than throwing them into a pit filled with rabid were-giraffes.

  18. *just because I just realized my wording was bad and ambiguous, I don’t think we should throw anyone into a pit filled with rabid were-giraffes. We should be nice and act like decent human beings towards people of all professions and walks of life.

    Well, maybe not nice. It’s okay to not be nice to everyone all the time. Especially if someone is trying to harm you/intimidate you/generally not meeting minimum standards of being a decent person…

    You all know what I mean?

    I’m going to stoop trying to elaborate before I shove my foot too far into my mouth.

  19. WRDEMP: We would never mock a guy just for being single and sad about it, just as we would never badmouth someone who was actually concerned about men’s issues like prison rape. But in our experience, the incel community is extremely toxic, full of misogynists and would-be rapists who see women as evil for not catering to them, while completely ignoring that many women also can’t find sexual partners.

    We had a guy here who had an elaborate plan of government-mandated dating to provide guys like him with a steady supply of women. He propositioned his psychiatrist and his own mother, called the police (or threatened to, I forget) on his parents claiming they were murdering him by not getting him a sexual partner, and often posted faux-out-of-control rants with lots of keyboard pounding to make it look like he might snap and go on a rampage at any moment. The kicker: He admitted he actually got laid on a regular basis, but still called himself “incel” because he believed he was entitled not only to sex, but to the exact kind of relationship with the exact kind of girl he wanted.

  20. Wow. I totally missed WRDEMP’s post. Like, *shoooooomp* right over the oblivious contrapangloss head.

    Yeah, nope.

    WRDEMP, I’m going to respectfully disagree with you both on the “sex is a need” thing and the “Incels shouldn’t be lumped in” thing. See Katz’s reply. Also, browse around this site where David’s posted on some of the more misogynistic incel hangouts.

    You do get to have your own opinion, but I’m with David and Katz on this one.

  21. @contrapangloss: My apologies if I made it sound like misogynist incels should seek out sex workers. What I meant is that if a person really does want to have a sexual experience (I’m talking a normal, non-woman-hating person), then sex workers ARE an option. In this way, no one has ZERO options if getting laid is super-duper important to them, and I’m sure sex workers would be fine with a customer who wants to have a good experience with something new. I certainly don’t want woman-hating incels to be searching out sex workers.

  22. You’re cool. You didn’t actually make that strong of an implication, and you seem pretty chill otherwise!

    Sorry if it seemed like I was a bit jumpy on-y with the critiques, and I hope you see your green geometric-y self around here again! :)

  23. Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)

    Wanda should come and hang out with us under the blecher during lunch.

  24. @Pandapool: If you guys bring fruity wine coolers and gummy bears, I’m there.

    @contrapangloss: I understand the jumpy on-yness. A lot of newcomers on WHTM need Feminism 101, but I am a Tumblr veteran, so my moments of “foot in mouth” are becoming more rare. XD

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