I’ve always been fascinated with the MGTOW movement. Ok, technically not “always,” but since I first heard about it, I have been. I know several people who claim, or have claimed at one point, to be of this persuasion. There seems to be different levels of devotion to the cause, at least among the devotees I’ve known. Some say they have no need of women at all outside of occasionally using prostitutes for sex or having one-night stands. Others told me they have relationships with the opposite sex, but refuse to get tied down in a marriage due to the institutions inherent unfairness to men. I’m very familiar with the Men’s Rights push, so that last point does have a bit of logic to it. Divorce courts are often biased toward mothers and women in general.

All that being said, there are also some themes I’ve noticed among MGTOWs that don’t hold as much water for me. First off let me preface these comments by noting that they don’t describe all MGTOWs. But one thing I often see is a strain of thinking that portrays the entire female sex as somehow more devious than men, more prone to lying, more to cheating on, and manipulating “good” men. There also seems to be a tendency among some to take their bad experiences with a woman (or women) and project that negativity onto the entire female population. Of course, this phenomenon is not exclusive to MGTOWs, since I’m sure most of you know women who do the same thing to men.

In both cases the thinking is flawed. There is no inherently “bad” sex, only bad individuals. Also, maybe the person who caused you pain wasn’t actually malicious, just unready for a serious relationship and the responsibilities that come with that. Or yea, it could just be that they were a huge piece of shit. Either way, their personal failings shouldn’t be transferred to all future romantic partners. I realize this is easier said than done, as I’ve been guilty of that myself. However, letting past bad experiences completely block your search for a long-term partner seems kind of drastic to me.

I won’t say it’s illogical, though. You can certainly protect yourself from some major league pain by limiting the depth and intensity of your relationships. The hurt that can be caused by an erstwhile lover is immense. Hell, even if things go mostly to plan, the regular suffering associated with life itself can feel unbearable at times. Taking on someone else’s trials and tears, perhaps watching them die in the end, is horrific. But to me, the much sadder outcome is to die alone and without the deep loving connection that we naturally crave.

I got married recently. Every vow I said, both the standard ones and the set I wrote, I meant with every fiber of my being. Still, there is a part of me that understands marriage as the risky proposition it is. One of the saddest things in life is when you have to mourn for the future you thought you were going to have. Even with that knowledge, even when I think about all the possible negative outcomes, even if one of them came to pass, I would never wish to take back the attempt. In my opinion, the risk is worth the possible reward.