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.

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  1. Or why not call themselves FLACCID. Frustrated, Lonely And Cock Carouselled Inactive Dicks.

    Oh my god that’s horrifyingly hilarious. I love it.

    More seriously though, I really do feel for the guy. I just don’t have it in me to be this mean to them.

    Even though he probably deserves having shade thrown his way for being such a transparent MGTOW/MRA. Still, as Sherlock Holmes would say, “Human Weakness.”

  2. Unknown Traveler: You do know that Pride and Prejudice was a work of fiction, correct?

    And fine, if you want to go off by yourself and hate a whole gender, whatever. But why the need to broadcast this hatred all over the Internet, as if that gender that you hate is supposed to care that you’re “going your own way?”

  3. Unknown Traveler


    Who said anything about me. I’m beyond hating women. But regardless of my personal feelings it doesn’t change the fact that this is what is. As a man you either accept and conform or accept and then reject. No hate invovled this is the hand you’ve been dealt. And yes, pride and predudice may have been fiction, but despite that, the social boundaries that it was created was at one time real. It was a different game and had different rules but there was a kind of balance within those gender roles that worked, not so much as who had power over who but how male and female interaction was designed to compliment one another feelings and needs. I dont see that happing so much today. So no, this isn’t hate on women, simply the reality of male and female interaction in today feminist influenced society.

  4. That “you” would be the generic “you,” Unknown Traveler.

    I merely questioned your ability to tell fact from fiction.

  5. Unknown Traveler

    Fair enough. But understand I am not MGTOW nor have i ever claimed myself to be. I just understand most of the reasoning behind they’re logic. Just thought I’d share that reasoning here without a sense of hate.

  6. @Unknown Traveler, Women and men form lasting & satisfying relationships all the time. (So do women and women, and men and men, and all kinds of other permutations.)

    You don’t speak for men. Or women. Or anyone but yourself, really.

  7. Unknown Traveler: I don’t really care if you’re a MGTOW or not.

    And I’m still questioning your ability to tell fiction from reality.

  8. Unknown Traveler

    @ Cloudiah

    Well I won’t lie, you have a point. At the end of the day no one can speak for anyone else but for themselves. At least not without a proper study; which I don’t have. So due to a technicality let me go back and say, this is my opinion that this is what it is. But I do know a lot of young men don’t see a future with young women, they don’t see them as potential wives. I know because I ask plenty of them in RL. It’s my opinion there’s a problem with modern courtship, that it’s only going to get worse, and this is the effect of many men accepting they’re environment and adapting. I’m not here to convince you, I’m just revealing a different perspective. It’s one that I share. Take this opinion however you please.

    @ Sparky

    Pride a prejudice: The characters are fiction, the plot line is fiction, the dialogue is fiction, and the romance is fiction. However, the time period and social standards in which the book takes place was at one time real. I’m was using that from the book what was at time real as an analogy to compare the social standards of the past with the one’s of present day. How genders complimented each other in the past compared to present day. My point here being not to insist that this is the way things should be to date, but the difference in how and what relationships actually are. If you’re still questioning my grasp on reality then you need to clarify so I can answer you properly.

  9. I question why you seem to think we live in a “feminist influenced society,” why you seem to think a romance novel first published 200 years ago that skewered upper-class English social norms is in any way relevant (or should be) today, why you think that genders are supposed to “complement” each other, and why you think that women should care that some men “accept and then reject” old-fashioned courtship and relationship “rules” that are no longer relevant. To anyone. Anywhere.

    And also why you seem hellbent on explaining MGTOWs when we are perfectly capable of understanding the impetus behind it.

  10. Unknown Traveler

    (why you seem to think we live in a feminist influenced society?)

    Well Feminist ideals have in fact influenced half the population ( that being women) which in effect would also influence men. This ultimately makes change to male and female interaction and to some degree affect laws and politics, overall how society functions as a whole. To be technical, whether this influence be large are small, positive or negative doesn’t matter. An influence is an influence none the less.

    (Why you seem to think a romance novel first published 200 years ago that skewered upper-class English social norms is in any way relevant (or should be) today?)

    Because it’s part of our past. One should remember the past as it sometime can help guide the future. This doesn’t mean you should dwell on the past but simply reference it from time to time. That alone should be relevance enough.

    (why you think that genders are supposed to “complement” each other.)

    Because men and women destinies are entwine. That’s a fact for the inevitability of procreation. Like two pieces of the same puzzle, we are one. So why shouldn’t genders add complement or even compliment one another. For you to even ask such a question suggests women influenced by feminist think differently from that natural/inevitable fact. And if that’s what feminist are instilling then perhaps men should push for segregation instead of reconciliation.

    (Why you think that women should care that some men “accept and then reject” old-fashioned courtship and relationship “rules” that are no longer relevant.)

    It’s not that women should worry that MANY MEN are rejecting old fashioned rules. Women should be worried to the reasons why. Addressing the effect without addressing the cause still leaves the problem unchecked.

    Now I use MANY MEN for a reason as to what makes you think that the adaptation of men is a positive thing. Many that adapt fall under the line of PUA or Players. There are plenty of reasonable young men that don’t want children due to the mentality of women influenced by feminist. And then there are the Male feminist that are so Bias against their own gender one might think that hate themselves for being born male. As far as I’m concerned none of those are positive adaptation and though there are exceptions the negative adaptions outweigh them by a land slide.

    Simply put, whether the acceptance is adapt or reject, men are detaching themselves from women more with each generation. Whether or not women aren’t worried doesn’t change the fact that the problem still exists.

    (Why you seem hell-bent on explaining MGTOWs when we are perfectly capable of understanding the impetus behind it.)

    Because there are two sides to every story and on this subject I hear only prosecution, very little defense. I’m mainly her for myself. Knowing that I spoke out is enough.

  11. Knowing that I spoke out is enough.

    You go, champ!

  12. I like the way Unknown Traveler seems to be completely unaware that things like adoption and in vitro fertilization exists.

    See, that’s why I question your insistence on looking to the past, Unknown Traveler. The rest of us are living here, in the 21st century, where 200-year-old gender roles and societal expectations do not apply.

    Plus, you are conflating biological sex with gender roles and gender identity. These things are all different concepts. Biological sex has little, if any, thing to do with societal constructs of gender roles, or one’s gender identity. And there are far more genders than just the two opposite “male” and “female” genders that society chooses to recognize.

    So, again, why should women, or actually anyone, care that there are some men who are threatened by the idea that women are actually not “complements” to men; are not actually objects to be obtained and owned that should then keep their mouths shut and passively reflect back to men their own misconceptions about “women’s nature;” are not there to nurture and keep the home fires burning for men who must actively face the brutal world. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!) Women are people. Women do not exist to make men feel masculine by being the exact opposite of everything that men are.

    Why the hell should women care that there are men out there who think that women do not deserve the right to vote, or own property, or pursue an education, or make as much as men working the same job? Why the hell should women care that there are men who think that a woman who has had sex is a “sl*t” and a woman who has not is “frigid?” That a woman who was raped was in some way “asking for it?” That women should be denied basic reproductive freedoms and healthcare? Other than to fight against all these things that are clearly harmful?

    And how, exactly do trans women and trans men fit into this “complementary gender” thing, hmmm? Trans women are hit with all the same shit that cis women are hit with, on top of all the horrible stupid shit that society throws at trans people.

    So again, why, why, why, why should women and trans women care about the opinions of men who do not think they are human?

  13. Unknown Traveller you wrote ‘MANY MEN”, welll… I CAN WRITE IN CAPITALS TOO!!


    “Why the hell should women care” Full stop.
    Sparky rocks.
    The end.

  14. Unknown Traveler

    Why does it have to be about power and control. Why can’t it be about appreciation and respect. Most modern men with traditional values are well aware women aren’t property. Most are all for women’s rights as well as human rights. But just as these men show a willingness to appreciate a woman’s femininity though expressing traditional values they only ask women do the same for masculinity. The men you desribe in your responce are a minority, yet you paint all men with traditional veiws with the same brush.

    (So why should women care about men that you described.)

    They shouldn’t.

    (Now why should women care for men in a traditional sense. )

    Because it shows appreciation and respect and pushes men to become better men then they already are.

  15. Dear Unknown Traveler, what exactly do you mean by ‘a woman’s femininity’? and what exactly do you mean when you say men ‘expressing traditional values’? Because they are both heavily loaded with connotation. You are assuming that all women are wanting to attract women which is false. You are also assuming women want to be appreciated, by men, whatever the hell that means. Again can you please clarify?

    Then when you say “pushes men to become better men’ it just makes me wonder why you think it is women’s jobs to make men better? Surely it is up to the individual to make themselves better? We are not your mothers. Are you saying that it is feminists faults that mgtowers exist? Please take responsibility for yourselves and stop trying to define women in your terms, whatever hazy traditional tripe you are expounding, I’m not really sure you want to clarify here, you may find yourself hung, drawn and quartered.

  16. shit meant to write women attracting men only is the assumption.

  17. Unknown Traveler

    Katie, I imagined since we were talking about Mgtow the context of the conversation would’ve been clear. Heterosexuality, men attached to women and vice-versa. To add other elements would make this more complex than it really needs to be. And yes, I’m aware femininity, masculinity, and traditional values have a varsity of defined ranges, my point wasn’t in the specifications but the simple fact that people like to be appreciated by others. Since men and women are destined to co-exist it would only make since that we appreciate and respect one another. Most women like to feel beautiful, it acknowledges her femininity. So what’s wrong with appreciating a woman’s inner and outer beauty? Most men like to feel strong, what’s wrong with appreciating a man’s strengths? We are not looking for mothers. We are looking for co-existence, wives, community, unity, and even a little bit of balance. You’re so one tracked, stuck on individuality, power, and control. You fail to grasp the concept that in truth men and women are dependent upon another. I’m probably speaking to the wind here, and that’s such a shame.

    You stated that “You assume women want to be appreciated by men.” I apologize, but I don’t see why that’s an issue, Imagine if you will, if we were to teach young boys not to appreciate women, to respect them as people and nothing more. After all, women don’t care about his appreciation anyway. That is what you just said. So imagine the repercussion as those young boys turned to men. How they would treat women and possible wives. They would be quite something wouldn’t they?

    Finally, feminist aren’t at fault that mgtow exist. Every sentient being has a chose to do what they feel is best for their own existence. However, feminist are at fault for the environment of present day. That environment sets the stage for the chose. The chooser then chooses of his or her own accord. Every action has an equal opposite reaction. Despite what you might think that law doesn’t just apply to physics. I’m surprise feminist think themselves immune to it. You can’t just change the flow and expect no form of consequence.

  18. Unknown Traveler

    *sigh* I meant femininity, masculinity, and traditional values have a variety of ranged definitions.

  19. Crap, are we still lamenting the lack of Miss Bennets in the world? (Miss Bennet would have found this whole conversation hilarious.)

    Let’s review, shall we?

    Unknown Traveler’s original thesis:

    So what if some men go on the MGTOW path due to hate. It’s not how you find the path its about where it takes you. MGTOW is due to men coming to reality. There’s nothing for men in relationships anymore….The reality of male and female interaction due to the effects in which most feminist have utilized feminism is simple. There can be no traditional male without a traditional female.

    Feminists ruined relationships by ruining traditional femininity!

    Followed by:

    It was a different game and had different rules but there was a kind of balance within those gender roles that worked, not so much as who had power over who but how male and female interaction was designed to compliment one another feelings and needs.

    Complimentary gender roles!

    Because men and women destinies are entwine. That’s a fact for the inevitability of procreation. Like two pieces of the same puzzle, we are one. So why shouldn’t genders add complement or even compliment one another. For you to even ask such a question suggests women influenced by feminist think differently from that natural/inevitable fact. And if that’s what feminist are instilling then perhaps men should push for segregation instead of reconciliation.

    Complimentary gender roles! Because biology! Or else men will take their balls (heh-heh) and go home!

    Why does it have to be about power and control.

    Really? You’re whole schtick has been about power and control. Oh, you’re try to go about it in a world-weary, distant, sad-for-humanity way; but it’s the same old shit. Your whole point is that feminism – the radical notion that women are human beings and should have the same social & economic rights as other human beings – are driving men away from women. The unstated implication here is that (heterosexual cis) women had better conform to traditional feminine gender roles if they want to have any kind of romantic/sexual relationships with (heterosexual, cis) men. This isn’t about mutual appreciation, it’s about power and control. It’s about MGTOWs throwing online hissy-fits because women aren’t confirming to traditional feminine gender roles like MGTOWs want them to.

    The fact that you think that trans people, gay men and lesbians have no place in this conversation is telling.

    And, no, most men are not like this. Most men have been able to accept women’s basic humanity and equality. So the whole “you’re driving away men with your feminism!” thing is a lie.

  20. Unknown, I am a cis woman, married, with two children under five. My relationship with my husband is 14 years old and healthy. I am a feminist. And, I believe a standing testament that you can have a healthy relationship easily without compromising your beliefs. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t talk to me about balance and relationships mgtower go you’re own way on your space-ship to Mars, it’s better for everyone.

    ” So the whole “you’re driving away men with your feminism!” thing is a lie.” Oh Sparky it’s such a shame that you have shattered his idea that feminists are weird mythical creatures that live in trees as separate from humanity.

  21. And Unknown you are getting vaguer and vaguer, are you saying you just want men and women to be nice to each other? Well thats what everyone wants sweetpea, so you’re a feminist too. wooh I could just float away on a wisp of a crisp of an idea.

  22. Unknown Traveler

    @ Katie

    Feminism: a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

    This is straight from the dictionary so let me correct you as to what I call myself. I do not support bias forms of equality. I do not support Ideologies based on men being privileged and women being oppressed. I do not support movements that focus on the problems of only women or focuses on problems of only men. I do not support groups of people that justify solving such problems whether they be political or emotional at the expense of others. I am not Feminist, I am an Equalist. There’s a difference.

    Eqaulist: One who defends the rights of all, without discriminating the opposition’s rights. Such a one opposes segregating terms such as: “black power”, “white power”, “feminism”, etc

    That’s another textbook definition for you.

    Though as a person or group of persons you have the right do whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want. It still doesn’t mean there are no consciences. What you do and how you do it are two different things. You can sit down with others and discuss how things can progress for the betterment of all, or you can dictate and say “this is how it’s going to be and there’s nothing you can say about it.”

    That said let me redefine Feminism for you

    Equality for women and only women regardless of the effects it may have on men. Whether these effects be positive or negative are irrelevant. It is a mere byproduct of the feminist perception of equality being achieved for women.

    Now I never said feminist couldn’t have relationships, or get married. I never said women should be in the kitchen. I never said women should bow before men for we men are mighty beings. All I’m stating is there are qualities that most heterosexual males find attractive, qualities that are displayed in more traditional roles. Qualities that feminist have not only successfully removed but condemned as oppressive. Qualities that do not remove a woman’s right to vote, work, or own property. Women have the right not to display those qualities, but if women chose not to display don’t condemn men alone for reacting in various fashions, that being MGTOW, PUA, or MRA.

    News flash, the world isn’t made of just women. Passing your bias perception of equality off as equality is wrong. Not acknowledging the repercussions of your actions is wrong. Dictating what men find attractive is wrong. Claiming the right to label negative male reactions as fear of losing power is wrong. It’s wonderful you’ve been married 14 years, but why does the dance of give and take only apply behind closed doors? Why in the public eye is the dance in favor of the feminist perspective only? Maybe men want something too? Did you ever think of that? Of course you have but here’s the kicker. By the feminist perspective it’s all irrelevant.

    @ Sparky

    No Sparky, where done with Miss Bennett. Pride and prejudice was just a comparison, you’re the one who ran with it. And no, I’m sure if Miss Bennett was transported to this time she’d find most modern men vile and disrespectful. She’d probably wonder were Mr. Darcy went, oh wait, I just explained that.

    Politically correct equality and real interaction between people whether the group is large or small are two different things. Every person or groups of persons usually want something different. It’s up to the other person or persons to provide that something or not. That decision to provide what is wanted decides the interaction between those two groups.

    Now then, Trans people, gay men and lesbians do have a place in this conversation. I just find it unnecessary to make the conversation more complicated then what it needed to be.

    For ex. Did you know space has various types of stars?

    Compared to:
    Did you know space is composed of various balls of exploding gas mainly comprised of helium and hydrogen, constantly exploding giving off electromagnetic radiation? They range from blue stars, to yellow, and red. Each with their own characteristics and size reflecting the life of the star… etc, etc… I could keep going. And yes, all of what I said is relative information just not needed for me to get my point across. Space is made of various stars, period.

    Now are Mgtow throwing an online hissy fit? Maybe in the beginning, which is why in my first post I stated, “So what if some men go the Mgtow path due to hate. It’s not how you find the path but where it takes you.”

    You see eventually these men realize the influence feminist have on society, women, and male and female interaction. They know what most women have to offer but realize most women aren’t willing to offer it. They understand by asking women to acknowledge their feelings and what they would like offered is to be labeled an oppressor. They realize to get involved with most women is to settle for less. They realize these terms and hate these terms, but also have no say about the effect these terms. They eventually accept these terms, get over the hate and move on. But if feminist truly believe themselves immune to the laws of cause and effect then there really is no point in continuing this conversation.

  23. …then there really is no point in continuing this conversation.

    Something we agree on, as you do not seem to be able to grasp basic concepts.

    As much as you’d like to, you do not get to redefine feminism. And as much as you’d like to believe so, you’re redefinition of feminism is completely off the mark.

    For instance! You keep talking about “cause and effect,” as if we’re taking about the laws of physics, and not people’s lives and interpersonal relationships. It is not and inevitability that men and women have to conform to traditional gender roles in order to be able to live and love and work together. Trans people, gay men and lesbians do not complicate this conversation. The only way they do is if you are so terrified at people not confirming to your binary gender dichotomy that cannot even think about them. (Most people do not conform to binary gender roles, by the way).

    The people you are defending; the MGTOWs, the PUAs, the MRAs; these people are terrified of people not fitting into strict binary gender roles. They are pissed off that men’s traditional privilege and power are being eroded. They are pissed off that women are seen as equals and are seeing themselves as equals. And they hate women for defying them. They truly believe that a woman being able to work, or to vote, or to do any of a number of things that don’t conform to the traditional feminine gender role hurts them somehow. As you seem to believe. Else you wouldn’t be here spewing walls o’ text about stars, which has nothing do with the conversation about gender roles in society.

    So no, I don’t care what the hateful think. And those men who can’t seem to function in modern day society? Who get apoplectic about the very idea if a woman playing video games or speaking her mind on the Internet or whatever it is that angers them? They’re the ones who need to change. They’re the ones in the wrong.

    Not feminists. Not women.

  24. And if Miss Bennet were magically transported out the novel and into modern day, she’d be way more interested and excited about the expanded opportunities available to women today. She’d be much too busy living her own life to worry about what a couple of cranky misogynists have to say.

    Kinda like what modern women are doing today.

  25. Word Sparky. Unknown Traveller.

    “You see eventually these men realize the influence feminist have on society, women, and male and female interaction. They know what most women have to offer but realize most women aren’t willing to offer it.”
    – Blah blah blah, women won’t sleep with me because feminists!! wah wah!

    I cannot explain how much it doesn’t bother me that you are not happy that I am happy. I am happy, my husband is happy, my community has a lot of happiness in it. I have a great career and family and I made all that happen and feminism helped to make all that possible. Words cannot express how much I don’t want to talk to you any more. It’s not even about not feeding you. I’m just bored with you.

  26. Unknown Traveler

    Hmm, if this is your best counter then this conversation truly is over. You parade your husband like he’s some sort of trophy. I pray he really is happy and for your happiness, for your family and your career. Don’t bother replying, I won’t return your response. Live life and find peace. That goes for you too Sparky.

  27. emilygoddess - MOD

    I love when assholes say “don’t bother replying”, as if they’re the ones in control of the conversation.

  28. That’s me on the left, and my husband in the middle. He’s a fireman too and can make a lovely quiche.

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