WTF is a MGTOW? A Glossary

On this blog, MRA does not stand for Magnetic Resonance Angiography

NOTE: This page is in desperate need of revision and expansion. In the meantime, I suggest you use Rationalwiki’s Manosphere Glossary.

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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2 months ago

Single man here. Had a relationship over 25 years ago with a woman of whom I thought she is going to be my life forever. It didn’t work out. She was suffering from “passive-aggressive” syndrome and didn’t want to get help. It absolutely drains your energy to deal with a person like that. Ultimately we decided to end the relationship. She then tried (through legal way) to get a hold of my assets. Mind you, we were not married. To keep it short, even HER lawyer told her, that we had not shared an address long enough for her to make any claims. essentially I dodged a bullet, but for the sake of argument, had she had it her way, I might as well moved to the moon. I don’t mistrust women, but I do mistrust the government, its laws pertaining marriage and divorce. MGTOW has a bad reputation because of some knuckleheads ranting because they can’t have a relationship. Otherwise, a men going his own way and doing his own thing is just as valid as a woman doing her own way and doing her own thing. What bothers me is that some females call me a coward and self centered, not willing to care for a woman (I am financially quite well off). That ought to be my choice .

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
2 months ago


[A] men going his own way and doing his own thing is just as valid as a woman doing her own way and doing her own thing. What bothers me is that some females call me a coward and self centered, not willing to care for a woman (I am financially quite well off). That ought to be my choice.

In my experience with this blog, which has been a few years now, no one will tell you that you shouldn’t go your own way. In fact, we often strongly encourage particular men to go their own way. You’ll get no argument from us!

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Hello – I’m sorry to hear about that. I had a friend (a man) who was in an emotionally abusive relationship (with a woman), so you’ll hear no argument from me that women can do that to men.

But one of the problems with the MGTOW movement is that they generalize and say all women are like that. Or lazy, or financially manipulative, etc., etc. And it’s just not true. It’s lazy thinking (not saying you believe them, but some people do).

You’re not a coward or self-centred for taking care of yourself. You don’t need to be in any relationship. But the MGTOW rhetoric also has lots of toxicity you’d be better without.

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