MGTOW is one of those acronyms that strikes fear into a woman’s heart. Basically, it stands for: Men Going Their Own Way
I, as well as a lot of women I know, were baffled as to why men were making this decision. To turn away from asking girls out, to not have relationships with them. Why were men choosing to do this?
Over the years, particularly since the 1970s-80s, women have been taught to make themselves indispensable in the workplace, strived for equality in the home, and in the lives of their children, what was going wrong. Why were men going their own way?
I threw such a humongous hissy-fit that everyone was frightened to approach me. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it. You see, when it came to chocolate, I was a horribly possessive woman.
Before I even attempt to offer an answer to the question, let me go back in time a bit – only as far back as the 1990s. A time when I could eat all I wanted without putting on a pound when I had a ‘chocolate drawer’. Once, one day, when I returned from a meeting with the Marketing Director (who, incidentally, I worked as an assistant for), where we were deciding what to do for the 75th Anniversary of end of the First World War, someone had taken a Kit-Kat from that drawer without asking and (oddly enough) I noticed it had vanished. I threw such a humongous hissy-fit that everyone was frightened to approach me. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it. You see, when it came to chocolate, I was a horribly possessive woman. Looking back, if there was one thing I could change in my life, that one small, but passionate, episode would be it. Most people would choose to change a decision they made on the wrong career path they took, or the house they bought, or the spouse they married… but mine, well, it was that childish hissy-fit.
“I know,” shaking my head in a, ‘I can’t believe I’m saying this’, type of tone, “I’m lucky.”
Who wouldn’t want to live a life where the only thing they would change in it was an overt emotional reaction to a stolen chocolate bar?
You see, over the years, I’ve heard (first hand) a lot of horrendously awful real-life tales. Upon choosing to carve another career path for myself – from PA (Personal Assistant) to CPA (Clinical Psychotherapeutic Assistant) – it was only natural I would be privileged enough to hear those types of tales. For my sins, I decided to focus on gender – in a time when the politics of gender differences and similarities was such a rapidly changing field of study, it was (and is still) a full-time job in itself to keep pace. At times, listening to their stories, I could not deny being shocked, amazed and baffled at the mountain of horrendously awful stories that spewed forth from folks’ mouths.
The weirdest thing was, when these individuals first walked in the room they seemed like perfect people with not a care in the world. Excellent masks, I thought. Of course, they thought something was ‘wrong’ with them and that they had to hide it.
The simple fact for most of them was that the idealised society they had been spoon-fed from birth hadn’t happened for them. The macho lives they had been trained to expect, the goals they had been encouraged to aggressively accomplish, the shoot-em-up patriarchal thrill-fests from the TV/film industries they emulated and aspired to, simply hadn’t materialised. They were not living the life they had wanted, dreamed of or desired. In fact, in most cases, life had simply up and slapped them in the face and then some.
Thankfully, I didn’t see it that way.
What I saw in each of those horrendously awful life stories were slightly chipped china tea cups. Admittedly, some of their cups had been knocked from the table onto the floor and had shattered into a million pieces. But my job was to help them pick up those sharp and, often, painful shards, find the right type of glue and help them put it all back together again. That, and assist them to find a good enough reason to do so.
The thing is, everyone has a chip in their china. It’s that chip that can stop someone braving the odds and jumping in, or going ‘over the top’, with not a care in the world. If anything, this is rather like marketing yourself as a man. Putting all your energy into putting yourself out there, is rather like stealing one of my chocolate bars. Which is OK, if you’re confident enough to take the flak but, a lot of people aren’t like that.
Marketing yourself as a man in this modern age of strong female archetypes offers just a bit of a conundrum.
It’s like listening to those negative voices about your wrong choices, over and over again and not finding any answers to counteract them. Let’s be honest, there’s a hell of a lot of testosterone floating around inside your brain and brawn and, while getting to grips with those terribly taunting voices between your ears, grabbing them tight and flinging them as far as they can be flung is hard. A lot of men (and women) are told:
- You are not good enough!
- You could try better
- You should do something else
Marketing yourself as a man is a tiny bit (just a fraction of a fractal of the immense power available in our brain) like being one of those soldiers in WW1. Those poor young men stood in that muddy trench, wrapped in a wet and horribly fitting uniform, rifle in hand, helmet dripping from the rain and blood, hands trembling like buggery. They waited, hearts pounding, for the shrill of that well-rehearsed whistle to scream into the air and pierce their ears. They knew they were duty-bound to climb the rungs of that slippery wooden ladder and put their young heads over the top of that hell-hole of a trench. They knew it would be a matter of time before a bullet with their name on it would find them. If they were lucky.
It makes me weep to think of what they suffered.
But, what has a young soldier sitting in a muddy trench in WW1 got to do with chocolate and women? It was scary for a young boy of nineteen years of age (sometimes younger) to sit in those trenches. It took a tremendous amount of courage. More courage than I will ever get to understand (hopefully). And, certainly, more courage than it takes to ask a girl out.
Granted, today, on the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1, men have become so sick of the prerogative given to women who simply marry them to take all they’ve earned, that they’ve decided going it alone is a better option. Houses, cars, money, kids, heart – all the things they’ve been taught to strive for, ripped to shreds. Who wouldn’t retreat from fighting on a battlefield forged by the might of the legal system bent mostly in favour of a woman?
Thankfully, there are ways around this conundrum. If you really want to be with a woman and know she’s for real, I’ve written a few articles that may give a few valuable hints. Not just from a woman’s perspective, but from a psychotherapist’s too.
Are you ready for them? Let’s take aim…