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Don’t trust the “womanish” liars who say MGTOWs can’t marry; they might get you KILLED, Dean Esmay warns

Man Going His Own Way, apparently.
Man Going His Own Way, apparently.

So it’s another day ending in “y” and our old MRA sparring buddy Dean Esmay has gotten himself worked up about something again. This time, he’s pig-biting mad at “paranoid … YouTube MGTOW Sectarians” who have had the audacity to tell him, a married man, that real MGTOWs can’t get married.

Given that MGTOW stands for “Men Going Their Own Way,” and that the main thing these guys want to get away from is women, you might wonder why anyone calling himself a MGTOW would get married to one of those awful lady things.

But it turns out that some self-described MGTOWs “go their own way” by marching to the chapel to get married to the women they are afraid will ruin their lives. 

And this has caused a rift in the MGTOW movement, such as it is, with a small number of “married MGTOWs” like Esmay facing off against those in the MGTOW world who think that men should totally separate from women … except if they want to date them, or live with them, but definitely not marry them!

Blimey, this “going your own way” thing is trickier than I thought!

Now Esmay has decided to throw himself into the thick of it by posting a rambling, furious 4100-word screed on A Voice for Men accusing those who think MGTOWs shouldn’t get married of spreading an “indefensible false allegation leveled at innocent men” that “just might get you imprisoned or killed.” (Emphasis in original.)

Yes, that’s right. Esmay thinks that those who disagree with him on just who can call themselves MGTOWs … ARE GOING TO GET SOMEONE KILLED.

Let’s try to unpack his, er, logic, shall we?

Esmay starts off by offering his own take on the little rift that has formed between the handful of self-described MGTOWs, like him, who have aligned themselves with A Voice for Men, and pretty much everyone else who calls themselves MGTOWs. As Esmay sees it, these other MGTOWs are indulging in

a conspiracy theory that goes like this: scheming MRAs somehow discovered that “men’s rights” was going down in popularity but “Men Going Their Own Way” was growing, so Paul Elam suddenly decided he cared about MGTOW and got busy writing about it, but in an attempt to make it more mainstream and palatable, Paul Elam tried to tell MGTOW they can be married. But thankfully, alert and vigilant True MGTOW On YouTube exposed the dastardly plot and now all know the truth: Marriage and MGTOW never! Can’t be done! Un-possible! Only that lying monster Paul Elam and his cult followers say different!

As someone who’s been watching all this on the outside for several years now, this doesn’t seem like a conspiracy theory in the slightest. If you set aside some of its hyperbole, it seems like a fairly accurate description of what has gone down. You may recall, for example, the outcry amongst MGTOWs when Elam and his pal Peter Wright self-published their own little guide on the subject this past March.

But to Esmay it’s all a pack of lies. Correction: a pack of WOMANISH lies.

To be blunt, all that is an incredibly womanish lie; it’s dense, multilayered, and carefully crafted so that every reasonable discussion of it can be torpedoed by changing the subject, shifting the goalposts, and other Rationalization Hamster moves. Those who defend this lie, this indefensible false allegation leveled at innocent men, are also guilty of marginalizing the work of other Men Going Their Own Way who are certainly not named Paul Elam, and some of whom can’t even stand Paul Elam.

Did I say “womanish?” I meant “girlish.”

I honestly suspect that most of those promulgating this conspiracy narrative are the products of single mother homes, because they’re such girlish brats so much of the time, and their narrative is such pathetic gossipy schoolgirl drama and backstabby lies.

As Esmay sees it, no furshlugginer YouTube MGTOWs are going to tell him and his pals what MGTOW is or isn’t! Instead, he’s going to tell them:

The goal of movement MGTOW was to help individual men find themselves and find what they wanted, and help that individual man craft the best way to get it—for himself, in his own way.

Really? That’s what MGTOW is all about? By this expansive definition, I’m a MGTOW, and so are my cats. (Well, they would be, if they were dudes.)

But never mind, because Esmay is working towards his crescendo. Take it away, Mr. Married MGTOW:

This idea—that a married man may not be MGTOW—is a lie. It is an abusive lie that is sometimes harmful to the men who hear and believe it.

Apparently, any time anyone expresses an opinion contrary to his own it is not only a “lie” but is actually a form of abuse.

It is also spitting straight into the face of those who first founded the Men Going Their Own Way movement on the internet, some of whom remain active to this day. It is a betrayal of MGTOW. It is a subversion and hijacking of it. It is a redefinition, and a toxic one. And it should not be allowed to stand.

Dean then turns his invective-o-meter up to 11:

Why should it not be allowed to stand? Why should we not just accept that the popular YouTube set have helped MGTOW “evolve” to its current state? First because the original MGTOW have yet to leave the stage. Second, because the YouTube Sectarians are misleading people, including themselves in some cases. And their advice is dangerous.

Yes dangerous. Not to society, but to themselves and their followers. They’re a bunch of damned fools who are going to get themselves or their friends killed. And yes, I do mean that literally.

I would repeat that last bit about people getting killed, and put it in bold. But I don’t need to, since Esmay has already done so himself:

Repeat: if you say that there is no benefit to marriage to men, you are a dangerously ill-informed fool who is likely to get yourself or others killed.

Repeat again: the man who tells you that there is no benefit or protection to the marriage license just might get you imprisoned or killed.

It’s rare to see an MRA actually acknowledge that there are certain benefits to marriage; they’re much more likely to be railing against it at the top of their lungs.

But how the hell could suggesting that “MGTOWs can’t be married” possibly lead to anyone getting “imprisoned or killed?” Esmay explains that even though

marriage is generally a bad deal for men, cohabiting with a woman without a marriage license frequently, and indisputably, reduces your rights and renders you more vulnerable than if you got the state-approved piece of paper.

Esmay tells the story of a friend of his who committed suicide after being denied access to the children he’d had with a woman he’d been living with.

It’s a sad story, to be sure, but how exactly Esmay figures that his friend’s suicide is somehow the responsibility of “YouTube MGTOW Sectarians” railing against the idea of married MGTOWs and not, for example, the result of MRAs railing against marriage in general, I could not tell you.

Esmay thinks that “if you are telling men there is never any benefit to a marriage license, you are lying to those men and may get those men killed with your lie.”

But the fact is that MRAs and others in their general vicinity make exactly this argument all the time. Consider, for example, the thrice-divorced Men’s Rights blogger who, several years ago, wrote an angry post titled “Gay Marriage? How About NO Marriage!”

Modern marriage, in case these Einsteins haven’t noticed, has all the sanctity of a ten dollar hooker. Matrimony has devolved into just another throwaway institution in a throwaway culture …  an institution that is currently the most prolific source of oppressive discrimination against them? …

What remains of marriage is not salvageable. It’s water that can’t be decontaminated; a cripple that can’t be healed. And the best thing to do is to put it out of its misery and start the whole shebang over from scratch. …

MRA’s should do the decent thing with marriage and pull the plug.

And who wrote that? A blogger by the name of Paul Elam, on a little blogspot blog that he later turned into the A Voice for Men that we know and loathe today. (And he was proud enough of this post that he reposted it on the new and allegedly improved AVFM.)

Dean, I hate to tell you this, but your former boss at AVFM seems to be one of the “abusive,” potential death-causing “MGTOW sectarians” you’ve just devoted more than 4000 words to railing against.

 

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Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

@mrex

Yeah, if you’re common-law married, you’re not cohabiting, which means that your relationship, as it stands now, is irrelevant. Full stop.

But I want to discuss this so I’ll go along anyway. 🙂

Coolness.

Name the benefits that you gain from cohabiting that marriage doesn’t provide.

We aren’t unmarried due to any benefits (perceived or real), nor do we want to get married in order to receive benefits (perceived or real). The benefit of the relationship is the relationship itself and spending my life with someone I love, and who is my best friend. We haven’t done the wedding thing simple because it isn’t that important to us.

I don’t think there are benefits to cohabitating that marriage doesn’t provide, except perhaps that it’s easier to split up (legally, not emotionally) if you live together for a bit before getting married and find out you aren’t compatible for whatever reason.

I was happily unmarried myself for 11 years before we split; then it wasn’t so much fun.

Ugh. Sorry to hear it.

Quite frankly I was talking about risk, and independence, not happiness. There’s an inherent risk to cohabitation that doesn’t exist with marriage. There’s an inherent loss of independence and power that is simply part of being in such a close relationship. But if you’re happy to accept that risk, and that loss in independence, then I say “your life, your choices.”

Interesting. I suppose we have a difference of perception here; I don’t perceive any risk whatsoever by cohabitating with my partner (even before we were considered common law). Not financially, emotionally, etc. I also don’t feel I’ve lost any independence or power – could you give me some examples of this? I assume when you say power, you’re speaking about personal power, ie: the freedom to make choices for one’s self, etc? Or are you talking about things like compromise, or needing to consider and talk to your partner before you make a big life-altering decision like moving to a different country?

My entire argument was about brushing off these concerns and pretending that they’re not there. Cohabitation is a riskier alternative to marriage; whether it results in a marriage or not. It is not a less risky “test run” of marriage. A choice based on faulty information is no choice at all.

A relationship in which you feel you’ve lost your independence and power, and feel financially insecure, is a pretty shitty relationship whether you’re married or not. You seem to be saying that living together is inherently risky in a way marriage isn’t, and I just don’t see it, nor have you demonstrated why that would be so. Anecdotally, I’ve known people in marriages who felt this way – they were not good marriages. I don’t feel this makes marriage inherently risky or unsafe for all people.

However – when I was younger, I did want to avoid marriage based on my parent’s marriage. I got over that way of thinking though when I realized what their actual issues were, and how to avoid them/deal with them in a healthy way rather than do what they had done.

Remember, lot’s of people find that base jumping makes them happy and is worth it. Doesn’t make it safe.

If you equate relationships with inherent risk and decide the risks you perceive (as objective risks – financial ruin, etc) are not worth it, then by all means don’t enter into relationships. It’s cool.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@reallyfriendly

“Solanas should have been intelligent enough to understand the legacy she would have created in self-publishing her manifesto.”

True, Solanas was an genus, IQ wise.

She also was a brilliant satirist and mostly everything she wrote was hyperbolic satire. (This means that The SCUM Manifesto would be the exception to the rule if it was meant to be serious.) FFS, the play that she accused Warhol of stealing was titled “Up Your Ass”!

She was also a paranoid schizophrenic who spent much of her life homeless or in mental institutions, and she literally used to sometimes try to dig the transmitters in her body out with a fork.

The real question is why you’re so invested in taking Valarie Solanas so seriously?

“I would not label her as a troll as there is sorely lacking evidence in that regard.”

Seriously? You need to research her instead of taking all your info on her direct from the manosphere. Are you even a feminist?

Valarie Solanas was a completely shitty person and most definitely was a troll. She was a shock artist . She spent all her time pissing people off. Even when she wrote for her university’s paper, she would write these super over the top columns on patriarchy, trying to piss the men off, so that they would in turn write in to the school paper.

“Yes, she did claim that it was not to be taken seriously later in her life, though it does bring up the question to why she would claim it to be ‘deadly serious’ earlier on.”

And she told her friend before she did it that she wanted to shoot Warhol for the fame, so that she could get her plays produced. She didn’t mention the Manifesto at all. Why would she claim to be deadly serious? Because she was a fucking troll, and she was a shit person to boot.

Let’s put it this way. When Marc Lepaine, George Sodini, or Elliot Rodger wanted a gendercide, they went out and shot multiple strangers. They waited to publish their manifestos for the shootings. In contrast, Solanas had already self-published her manifesto before the shootings, and she only went to shoot her famous friends (whom she had huge personal grudges against). Then she left, didn’t try to shoot any male strangers on the street later, and later turned herself in. Then she basically told everyone “Read my book for a motive. It’s deadly serious!!!”

And her book was this ridiculous over the top manifesto that is largely an inversion of the worst of misogyny. Yup, deadly serious.

And then everyone ate it up, so much so, that we are still speaking of the Society Of Cutting Up Men (membership one-Valerie Solanas) as if it was some systematic glob of misandry half a century later. Yup, deadly serious.

“As a joke it is quite a stretch in my opinion – people hardly take such pains for a questionable attempt at humor. “

Haha, but the manifesto itself is one of the best jokes ever. (Not the shooting. Obviously actually shooting someone is not funny. You can appreciate the irony of the manifesto, without wishing actual violence on anyone.) Why do you think the manifesto gets taught in schools still? Do you think that its because feminists secretly want to kill/abuse men, as some MRAS love to cry about? 😉 Hahahahahaha.

Every time someone sets up some freeze peach Facebook page about domestic violence, the SCUM manifesto becomes funnier. Because freeze peach is for men.

Every time someone in the manosphere reduces woman to animals, or implies that woman can’t do much other than produce babies, the ‘chimp in a suit’ trying to turn sex into a performance becomes funnier.

Every time some male feminist thinks that SCUM is relevant 40 years later, because misandrony, the manifesto renews in relevance, and becomes funnier. Because even the nonexistent threats to men, like SCUM, get talked about seriously.

Because in this society, nonexistent misandrony is easier to see than real misogyny. And that’s the genius of SCUM.

And so on!

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@Tracey, thanks for replying. Sorry, I’m not ignoring you. It’s late! 🙂 Will answer your concerns later.

And I see the link to my o review did not work. I’m not being shady guys, I’ll dig that link up again later.

reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@mrex

Again, I must disagree with you. Yes, I have done research about Valerie on my own without referring to stuff from the manosphere. All my sources were from outside their circles.

Do I sound like I am taking Valerie seriously? Do I sound like I actually endorse anything she said or wrote? Did I say that she is a great representative of feminists?

If you are instead referring to the notion that she may be serious while you believe that she isn’t, then unfortunately there is no solid evidence that she was not serious. It is simply that. She is a very polarizing figure and there are numerous interpretations on her depending on how you look at it. I have already heard your argument before from the sources I went through and have just concluded that it was not enough for me. You may disagree, but please respect my opinion as well.

An undeniable fact is that she was subsequently defended by radical feminists and that is why it is very easy for people to link her to the movement. From what I read, she also accused feminists of appropriating her work and she had her own strong disagreements with the movement.

What you seem to be going out of your way to imply is that she couldn’t be a man-hater because it was all ultimately satire. There isn’t anything solid to support that. Yes, you could point out the outlandish nature of her writings and say that no one could have done that in all seriousness.

That is just your own interpretation of it. Only the author herself would know her own true intentions about her own work, and she wasn’t particularly helpful in that regard. Others have a much more positive view of her work. I personally find it incredibly stupid, even as satire.

And just to be clear, since you seem to believe that I only believe that she was utterly serious about it. What I am actually saying is that there is not enough evidence to know exactly what was her personal intent for her writing.

Hence when we dismiss it entirely on the notion that she is trolling, that is not being completely honest in our analysis. I apologize if my calling your personal analysis bad offended you – it was a blunt disagreement.

To smaller details now:

In regards to Warhol shooting there are contradictory interpretations of it. I have not found any of them compelling enough to stand by them, so I stand by the vanilla facts of it that has been verified on official papers (newspaper reports and trial proceedings). I do not know or assume her intent on this issue since testimonies vary.

About her being a shock artist and a troll, again you fail to convince me. You are definitely not the first to come up with that impression. I can refer you to sources that think otherwise.

The truth of the matter is that no one understands exactly who she is and we are all coming up with our own interpretations of her. I would rather put myself in a more neutral stance about this person, rather than being at either ends until further evidence convinces me of her conviction or trolling. I know that you feel validated from your own research to your opinion and I respect that. I don’t agree with your conclusion though I may share it one day once sufficient (for me) evidence turns up.

Thank you for taking your time to discuss this with me 8p

reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@mrex

On further reflection I suspect that we are talking at cross-purposes. I read the last part of your post:

“Every time some male feminist thinks that SCUM is relevant 40 years later, because misandrony, the manifesto renews in relevance, and becomes funnier. Because even the nonexistent threats to men, like SCUM, get talked about seriously.”

Err… just to be clear, I don’t think SCUM is relevant to feminism, period. We have a historical connection to it and I would be happy to leave it at that. If you backtrack through the comments I was discussing the possibility of actual man-haters in society. I just realized that you may have been arguing for a different intent.

Still, I enjoy lively discussions! Cheers 8p

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

@mrex – sorry, I missed the other half of your comments! Anyway…

You obviously have never seen two sociopaths try to ruin one another in civil court. Using frivolous bullshit and financial deception to bankrupt the other is the abuser special, so what makes you think that removing the protection of divorce laws makes anything better ?

I’m not arguing that cohabitation is ‘better’ than marriage. I don’t think it is, or that marriage is ‘better’ than cohabitation. I simply don’t agree that cohabitating with someone is a recipe for ruin. I’d say it depends on the person/people involved, and legal or not, people can make each other’s lives hell. If you’re in a relationship with someone and don’t want to live with them unless you’re married in case they try to fuck you over and you want the protections of the courts, maybe you shouldn’t marry them either? Shit happens and people change, sure, but… I’m not sure what you’re advocating. Yeah, you could break up with someone and they steal your iMac and then you have to go to court… so get married instead? A platonic roommate could steal my iMac too. So never have roommates?

Without going into details, there is an ongoing situation in my close extended family in which one barely-qualifies-as-human person tries to destroy another in court for complete bullshit. These 2 people were never married, but they do have a child together. So yes… seen it up close and personal. Thankfully, things have never gone the sub-human’s way in court. (I swear, I have never ever hated someone before being exposed to this person. They are truly awful in a way that I can’t describe.) So of course, things like this happen.

You don’t get through life avoiding risk, and of course you can take steps to mitigate risk… but there’s only so far you can take it. Avoiding ever living with a romantic partner because they might one day screw you over, but it’s ok to marry them bc then if they do screw you over you’ve got some asset protection? Not sure that’s a very healthy outlook on relationships in general, but again you gotta do what you’re comfortable with.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

@reallyfriendly @Alan

These terms are frequently referenced without explanations and so when the public views/reads them and compares its usage with what they know, it tends to create more confusion rather than clarifying things.

Good conversation, and I agree. To lapse slightly into marketing speak, you have to know your target audience’s language/lingo/jargon and speak to them there. Not that redefinitions aren’t needed (as you said) but for potential allies who aren’t privy, certain language can feel academic and alienating… and corrections can feel like scolding.

katz
katz
5 years ago

reallyfriendly: I’m a little confused as to what your main point is, so apologies in advance if I wildly misrepresent you.

There’s a whole conversation to be had about feminist language policing and its potential for alienating other people, but I don’t think that has anything to do with “misandry.” Misandry isn’t like, say, “crazy,” a common word used all the time by regular people who wouldn’t see a problem with it.

Misandry is a term used overwhelmingly by antifeminists specifically to promote an antifeminist agenda, and which most people who aren’t either antifeminists or those who observe them (ie, us) probably haven’t ever heard of and certainly don’t use in conversation. So there’s no issue about confusing or alienating people, because the only people who really use that term are already antifeminist. Using the word misandry wouldn’t just be using the everyday language everyone else uses, it would be actively allowing our opponents to define our terms for us.

Further, if your main thesis is “we should use language the way other people use it,” you’ve already broken your rule when it comes to misandry, because you already said (quite correctly) that you wouldn’t use the word the way it’s commonly used by antifeminists, ie, “any time a woman does something I don’t like.”

So the choice with the word “misandry” is either a) use it in a way that isn’t how it’s commonly used, or b) don’t use it. Either way we have to reshape the narrative, because the original narrative of misandry is willfully untrue.

TL;DR: Flexibility in feminist use of language shouldn’t extend to using words coined by your opponent.

reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@katz

Oh, oops, I guess I gave the wrong impression 8p.

Let me explain:

I’m am definitely not endorsing the popular use of terms when they are misrepresented. What I was trying to point out was merely excluding them without a proper explanation that makes sense to the general public would do us no good.

If we don’t go out there and define the term ourself, we leave it open to others to do it for us, and our opponents would only be too happy to oblige.

Most of the general public look at the word misandry as a parallel to misogyny. The catch is, they don’t understand the word misogyny the way feminists do as well. Hence why it is easy for our opponents to use this against us.

I know of a number of ordinary folk (not anti-feminists) who actually can’t tell the two apart easily, or are using very loose/very strict definitions for both. This is a problem that we have to tackle in a practical manner.

Outright exclusion prevents us from properly educating others on the issues, hence why I am reluctant to simply ignore it.

I may also have misrepresented your point too. If your point was to leave the word open with a clear explanation as to why it is not applicable, I’m with you, 100 percent.

If your point was to drop the word entirely but have a good explanation that people understand as to why, I’m also with you 100 percent.

However if your point is to exclude the word entirely without making the public understand why we should, then I am against that. It only leaves a tool out there for our opponents to pick up and use against us. Hence my point about us ‘dragging the public understanding screaming along’ with us.

For me it is much better to neutralize the misconceptions of the word rather than simply yanking it out, tossing it aside and pretending that it does not exist. Someone will always come by and pick it up to attack feminists with.

reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@katz

One more point: I do agree with you that the term is primarily used by anti-feminists. The bad news is that they have successfully put it into the public consciousness. It may not be as well-known as say ‘car’, but it is not as isolated as you make it sound.

One of the most common questions when I am discussing feminism if there is a word that is the male equivalent to ‘misogyny’. Not because they are anti-feminists, but just simply curious. The dictionary has the word already. If we pretend that only anti-feminists could use the term, then I fear we would only be deceiving ourselves.

Pretty Pink Punanni Princess
Pretty Pink Punanni Princess
2 years ago

If I found out I was married to a closet MGTOW, that would be an AUTOMATIC deal breaker. Like, my ring, the keys are left behind and all of my shit is gone by morning kind of deal. No way in hell. Any woman who willfully marries one of these specimens knowing exactly what they are without a gun being held to her head is either naive, thinks she’s got a “project” or is one of those ultra-conservative biddies who was “given away” by her father at the wedding and who’s been poisoning her mind with alt-right rhetoric since the day she was born.

What in the world?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Say, whatever happened to Dean Esmay? I can’t say I miss his voice in the manosphere or anything, but I’m still wondering. And what of Davis Aurini and Jordan Owen. AKA Skullboy and Bathtub Man.

Maybe there should be a where are they now? round up of some of the no longer hip and cool misogynists.