Christian MGTOWs: What Do You Want?

I’ve been contemplating this a bit. If possible, I am looking for some serious discussion about this and feedback as I am very, very interested in people’s thoughtful answers.

If necessary, allow me to explain where I’m coming from with the question. Obviously, I identify a great deal with the MGTOW movement and school of thought as well as MRAs and the issues they confront. Like many Christian MGTOWs, I’m sick and tired of what we have and don’t have in churches. We get “Men Step Up” or other accountability groups that are willfully ignorant of men’s realities, lack any sort of restorative and protective spirit towards men, and consequently, just don’t come across like they even care about the men to whom they “minister.” It’s the boot camp school of thought at best, and at worst, it’s a loveless demonization, condemnation, and an atmosphere that reduces men to performance objects (in great part, of course, for women).

I complain and protest it with no intention of quitting doing so. The other thing I do is this: produce something like what I want to see. Sometimes a man or woman needs a rebuke or boot camp, as it were. I often say–though it’s FAR too simple of a way to illustrate this overall, but may convey the imagery–it looks like men get almost nothing but “boot camp,” with women getting nothing but the “nurse’s office” (and major softball when it comes to their sins by comparison).

Yes, I’m sick and tired of real attention and real ministries and real responses to problems with an understanding, responsive, gentle, protective, supportive spirit seeming to go almost exclusively to women. If I’m talking to MRA/MGTOW crowds, this needs no introduction.

But once again, then: what do you want? Now that you have left churches and mainstream society for very understandable reasons, what do you want to proceed to build? My answer is found all over this blog as a starter–what’s yours?

I can see that MGTOWs want to be heard. Briefly, I would plug that it tests the faith to remember that God hears when no one else does, cares when no one else cares, and the world is no match for His power. Keeping all that in mind, I pray that Christian MGTOWs will continue to turn to the Lord.

How illustrative could you get as far as what you would like churches to look like as opposed to what they are now?

I don’t have a one-track mind with men’s rights in Christianity, so my primary interest is the church and ALL of Scripture’s principles materializing in it. As far as the church, then:

*If you were to be heard, what would you tell your local church, EXACTLY, what you would like to see them do?

*In the spirit of the saying “if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself,” if you’ve given up on churches, what would you like to do yourself while existing churches prove incurable?

*What would you like to see become of Christian MGTOWs in terms of building what you want to have? How will you influence it to go in that direction?

It’s no question that nature abhors a vacuum. Identifying a problem is the unavoidable first step toward making a solution. With MGTOWs being exhaustively descriptive about what they don’t want, where I see most of the discussion leaving things is with a vacuum. Yes, I understand that that’s kind of the point of “Going their own way” to leave it open-ended for the individual. For those of us who believe in Scripture’s teachings, and of course the overall implications of the problems of things today, I am greatly interested in both ideological and vivid descriptions of action that illustrate what Christian MGTOWs desire and a place where they could feel at home.

One thing I want to see is some more horsepower coming from women in the way so much tends to be consumed by women. For example, I want to see women say “Eek! Abused men don’t have any DV resources! Let’s act and organize to change that!” And the reason is because women do so to such great extent for themselves and men’s donated energies and resources have so much to do with the culture’s responsiveness to them. Suffice it to say, it’s important for the energy flow to be a two-way street more than it is, if only for men to have more left over for their own gender. But I believe in spiritual family being alive and active between genders.

In any case, please, your thoughts!

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My Story, “Finding My Own Way” (an appeal to MGTOWs)

MGTOW is often called the “red pill.” The red pill–A reference to “The Matrix” of course–jolts us away from an addictive illusion, to a shocking truth, but ultimately to a real freedom.

The addictive illusion? That we need women’s approval like we need our kidneys, and we are just means to women’s end without equal innate value, that it is of lesser importance when women hurt men in various ways than vice-versa (an attitude well-reinforced by real data about women receiving FAR lighter sentences for crimes than men, the lack of DV shelters for men, etc.). Since we cannot possibly live without women, the price of a woman is ratcheted up infinitely and crosses far over the line into costing parts of a man’s very soul. I’m going to make the occasional comment about this, as I think is USUALLY understood about MGTOWs (and if not, for the most part, you’re horribly mistaken): MGTOWs are NOT against relationships with women or even marriage. What they DO understand is an embedded psychological slavery inflicted upon men that men are fulfilled by paying any painful price, compromising their very being clear to self-emasculation, dehumanization, and soul-selling, to get married and/or have a relationship. (I see a relationship with a woman as a potential life partner, and someone who accompanies a man boldly and shares all of his risks and adventures as he goes his own way, and such women do indeed exist)

And the culture is not protecting us. It’s actually promoting the system because it appears to make men move productively. Men are subject to objectification for their productivity (again, the reason why the “red pill” allusion is so apt) and a large part of it says that only women have innate value, but to us their happiness from us is a prize to us indicative of our worthiness as human beings–motivation to perform. Of course, feminism inverted what it perceives the dreaded “patriarchy” of being in that regard, and in all practicality, they succeeded, especially since traditionalists (who are not so different) don’t fight back on men’s behalf, but prove mainly to be part of the machine that convinces men that their value has to be redeemed by their performance.

The MRM, of course, confronts a multitude of practical issues reflecting a cultural disinterest in protecting men–blatantly–to the point that the exploitation of men is self-defeating, because men can only be so productive in the face of such spectacular apathy and neglect.

So what’s the individual man to do? Leave the hopeless system. It’s only the practical thing to do, because it’s a system that casts blame and shame–not real, actual help–when men underperform in their sight, and it cannot be satisfied. It’s a chicken and egg problem, because men are like any humans who need provision before they can be expected to perform. Men can thrive and perform in a system in which their interests are looked after and men are allowed their freedoms and independence.

Taking a few HUGE steps back, I look at this as a Christian. The anti-male culture was something that snuck up on me frequently that I didn’t want to believe existed, but far too many times it took me by surprise (with so few others acknowledging its existence) until I decided to face it, daily, on my own terms. To some, it would seem like a “fixation” to men in the manosphere, MGTOWs, and the MRM, which is indeed unfortunate, because I’d just as soon live out the childhood fairy tales of rescuing a princess, taking down a foe, raising a family–alternatively, today’s women could be encouraged to join the fight and reboot the system, but rare is the woman who wants to confront the need to face the culture. But when so few are looking after a problem that is a threat to you, unfortunately, that forces the need for you to be somewhat “fixated” on the potential threat.

Let’s just say a straw broke the camel’s back for me a few years ago regarding the injustices against men–a very big straw, but not one suffered by me directly. After a lifetime of being infused with notions of the sheer preciousness of women and how terrible it is for them to be done harm, I saw continuously–and in one final jolting, enormous fashion–that men are considered acceptable to hate and not considered worth protecting, defending, or giving justice in the face of harm. This was around the year 2004 when some bombshell news knocked me right down and I realized the cultural misandry was an inescapable reality that I could not ignore, as much as I might want to think that it’s “all in my head,” yet this was before the MRM, MGTOW, and the manosphere grew into what it is today, and for all the people in my life who had their sense of righteousness, this issue didn’t come up–thank God for the MRM today, which makes things so much easier. I had nowhere–nowhere and no one–to go, but to Christ.

The world isn’t fair. The MRM details a long list of injustices and clearly they are far from the only ones that exist. Women suffer injustices too. All people of all eras suffer injustices. The world’s collective sense of justice is fickle, unreliable, undependable. The one who pins his heart on the fickle world will be betrayed and brokenhearted very quickly, and ultimately, that goes for anyone. And every era has its wars and challenges, and today’s unique battle becomes tomorrow’s cliche, or storytelling trope–the legends of battles fought yesterday were once new and surprising situations for the people who actually faced them. Today’s battle is that which is detailed in the MRM, without a strong precedent, and without popularity. That’s what makes it a struggle, although struggles are nothing new.

That’s what following Christ is all about, in any era–standing up against and being conquerors of the world, a journey found in the heart; a willingness to follow a cause that may not be so visibly seen but is steadfast and true. It’s about a “narrow path,” not being swayed by the fickle and unjust world. It’s about becoming a greater “you” who lives in a harmony with that greater standard that is steadfast and exists apart from the flow of culture. That is the meaning of the word “holy,” or “set apart.”

What is a true Christian man, in essence, if not a true “MGTOW”? But one thing I harp on a lot in my writing is that there is a big inner hurdle in traditionalist culture that led to this mess, keeps the mess going, and opens the door to feminist exploitation (still ending up on men’s doorsteps to fix women’s problems after calling men “oppressors”)–a machismo in men that stubbornly and proudly refuses to admit its vulnerabilities and neediness. That’s ultimately what MGTOW is about, yet doesn’t state such in such an honest and humble fashion: we as men have frailties and unmet needs. We can’t take the hatred. This is a lack of love. And it’s a lack of love on behalf of the world that lacks the love to give; the world needs a supplier of love too. We are goaded into this pride by a world that will (often) further say “man up,” don’t complain, don’t whine, be a man. MGTOW is about escaping this futile system completely.

But escaping to where?

The bitterness of MGTOWs and the manosphere is obvious. It’s there for good reason, with untreated wounds and unmet needs. But if we fail to abandon machismo, we will struggle to treat the festering wounds that lead to bitterness, and make the problems we ourselves complain about much worse–since, if we have no unmet needs and vulnerabilities, what’s to complain about?

Men are to be strong and providers. Very well, but we need a provider too. None of us are Superman. So where do we go?

I turn to God. I grew closer and closer to the Lord in my vulnerabilities. The Bible is full of stories of people brought low–humbled–to be confronted with their need and dependency on God. And this was definitely the case for me. It’s not a need that “only people in trouble” have, but people who “feel” in trouble are merely exposed to the fact that they are not invincible, and neither is anything in the world–it’s not only those who actually see the need to take the red pill who actually need it, but everyone does. And yet we cry out for justice. We have needs beyond food and shelter. We can seek out those needs, but we cannot produce the cure.

I want to boldly suggest to MGTOWs to seriously consider the path of Christ. You are already bold to defy the better part of the world; you are already sold that the better part of the world is an unreliable and unjust place; you are already bold to fight it and escape for your lives, body, mind, and soul; you are already bold enough to say that there is a better way than what the world offers, with all of the heartbreak that it imparts, and seek it out with hopefulness and not hopelessness; many of us may be hurt, but we are not giving up as if waiting to decay.

We are “going our own way,” but what is the point if we are “going” without a destination? Clearly there is something we want that many of us do not yet have. We are “going,” because we are searching for something outside of us, led by something WITHIN us, rather than pushed around by the direction of the culture. Cleaning out the noise of the culture is the first step, such that we can confront ourselves honestly for our own needs to “go our own way” to get met, but where is the destination?

I was a MGTOW LONG before I ever heard of such a movement. I went my own way, detached from fickle world, in order to find something I desperately needed that the world would not offer. But I went out needing to find something. I found Christ. I was raised in the church, which I do not count a total waste by any means, but it was not enough. I had to connect with Christ as my very own purpose and make Him a part of me. Cultural misandry (such that the mainstream still ignores it for what it really is) made me painfully aware of my need to go my own way and find the destination that was Christ, who showed me the truth. Keeping with the “red pill” allusion, it’s not only the people who actually take the red pill who need it–everyone does. But some of us confronted our need for it.

I hope I have shown that I resonate with MGTOWs profoundly and that feels like an understatement, since, once again, I believe I was truly a MGTOW before I ever got wind of such a movement or phenomenon. That’s why I’m asking the rest of you to hear me out on this: when I “took the red pill” and sought out, I found Christ who met those previously unmet needs and gave me my real unshaking foundation. I’ve had harsh trials since then, but the sheer impact of that “red pill” shocker and the antidote that came with it have made my genuine connection to God unwavering.

What happens after that? After I am provided by God with what I could not otherwise receive, I have more to give. The “red pill” is the realization that the world can’t provide what we need, and the real alternative is Christ. After that, I learn to look back mercifully on that same world (albeit with difficulty). Think of The Matrix again, recalling the scene where Morpheus leads Neo in the program with the woman in the red dress; the people of the Matrix are “the very minds of the people we are trying to save.” They have the same problem we did, but do not realize it; they’re dependent on the system, even while taxed and tormented by it, just like we were. They “fight to protect it.” Once I find Christ, I know they have the same need: take the red pill, face the shocker, awaken from the phony reality, and grasp something real and unshaking.

If you take me for a fool that my conclusion to MGTOW is finding Christ, then I hope you can at least bear with me, because I think my story ought to be recognizable.

Thank you for reading. I pray that when you find your own ways, you get to the destination that has what the rest of the world did not–could not–offer you.

“MGTOW” and Common Sense

For a Christian man, seeking Godly masculinity in a post-feminist world is a complicated affair.
 

Well, it is and it isn’t. The simplistic and liberating way to look at all things in this life is to obey God and keep His commandments, and imitate a solid number of Godly examples of men all throughout Scripture. I’ve written a lot about this already.

But then comes the matter of interacting with today’s society, law, and culture. With some glimpses of the conflicting schools of thought regarding some desperate attempts to reach for traditional masculinity and femininity versus feminism’s efforts to destroy them both, I fear a feedback loop, because flaws in the former led to the latter. Some of what I am about to illustrate, I hope, will clarify this statement. But the short of it is, the fact that men are perceived as stronger is, effectively, what makes them weaker.

How so? Well, a man is strong, and therefore he doesn’t need protecting. And when people are many times over more interested in protecting women from men than vice-versa, then that’s the irony at work: I am effectively dwarfed and defenseless before the sheer power of women, because of the fact that I’m expected to be stronger.

I don’t make promises in this regard, but you could say I’m a “MGTOW” because I err on the side of singlehood for this reason. Am I saying “all” women are dangerous to men? No. Not at all. I think many women today probably make wonderful wives while they pursue Christ wholeheartedly, albeit with their fair share of human error just like a man.

The following is a story about a man who was caught on camera defending himself from a woman who started attacking him with a stiletto: link

On the one hand, I was happy to see that his plea of self-defense was accepted and he was acquitted of charges of assault against the woman who attacked him. On the other hand, many people recognize the man by his jacket and he is subject to antagonizing. He was a very tall man who struck a woman who first attacked him. And many people simply won’t have it; a man is just not to hit a woman for any reason.

Why not? Well, because men are too strong to be allowed to hit women. And effectively, then, women become the most staggeringly dangerous adversary a man can possibly face, not DESPITE the fact that she’s seen as weaker, but BECAUSE of it. Feminists will scream “girl power” at the spectacle of a strong and (to them) imposing man being defeated in any and all capacities by the allegedly underdog and oppressed sex, and that is a beautiful thing to them. And then, traditionalists likewise don’t really offer an alternative, because likewise they see the man as stronger, and not needing protecting–since who needs to protect a big, strong man?–nor allowing him to protect himself.

As MGTOWs are very smart to figure out, traditionalists and feminists have a lot more in common than they like to admit. In both cases, the stronger men are, the weaker men are, effectively.

I repeat something to women, whom I love dearly, to hear me out, please: please see the difference between accusing ALL women of being monsters to men, and the accusation that men are truly in far too much danger simply to say, “ah forget the modern world, I’ll just be an old-school man’s man and settle down with a family.” We have a fight on our hands we didn’t ask for, and many of you (women) did not ask for the modern world either. We cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist. The other side of the coin of traditional masculinity/femininity is that women seeking traditional femininity don’t see protecting men as a “feminine” thing to do.

To that I would say, look at the Proverbs 31 woman: She opens her arms to the poor

    and extends her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

 
Yes, women can rescue men. In fact, that is crucial for breaking today’s vicious feedback loop of traditionalism and feminism causing men to become weaker and weaker. How would women feel if:

*No Domestic Violence shelters existed for women?
*Women were deprived (effectively) from a basic human right to self-defense against men?
*You could scarcely find any writing advising you what sorts of men to seek and what sorts of men to avoid for marriage?
*You saw that men initiated 70% of divorces and women were subsequently destroyed by family court left and right?
*If you felt demands on you to be women of good character and to treat men well without any regard for the injuries you face emotionally and culturally as women?
*No spirit of gentleness and compassion, and respect for your situations, but only demands for your roles as women?
*A man could accuse you of a crime and he would be automatically believed unless blatant evidence (like a video recording) proved him wrong? And then, you were twice as likely to get convicted, and then destined for a sentence two to three times as harsh?

Would this cause you to think an extra ten times before going anywhere near any man? I’d think it would. If our culture were that resistant to protecting you, but only liked to put demands on you, that is an abusive lack of love. Would that be the same as accusing every last man of being a direct danger to women? Of course not. But I don’t see anyone pulling any punches when it comes to protecting women. And men need to learn to do the same, with women’s support. And this needs not to be mistaken–by anyone–of hating women as a gender.

On men’s side, we must abandon machismo. The manosphere is an explosion of anger to the blatant, untreated injuries of men in an otherwise total absence of a discussion regarding so many of those real situations.

Rather than gather in rage and anger over the hurts, why can’t men gather in the trenches with a mutually protective spirit all over again, with gentleness and compassion toward one another? Why not–rather than anger–we provide a safe place for one another to be honest about our pain and seek healing? I don’t mean to be misleading, because those avenues DO occur in the manosphere, but the remaining anger is a matter of machismo; we still fear the loss of our masculinity, like the realities of our vulnerabilities makes us unmanly. We don’t want to admit our hurting and disadvantaged state, which tends to be met with more contempt still in the mainstream culture of feminism/traditionalism which continuously demands that men be strong, productive, and less needy. However, if we fail to abandon machismo and embrace the realities of our vulnerabilities, we contribute the same poison into the world that caused our problems in the first place.

I want to focus on the positives in that regard: MANY good things are happening in the wake of men’s rights issues being exposed. Many women are demonstrating a genuine, unselfish sense of justice for men’s sake and supporting them in circles that are protective of men. More admirable still, many women are turning the other cheek to men who (inexcusably, in my opinion) demonstrate a retaliatory anger toward women in general when men’s indignation ought to be steadfastly aimed at an oppressive culture, not an oppressive gender; many women are showing understanding and patience for some of the awful, misguided bitterness of many men. Such women are absolutely crucial for the healing of the culture. A page called “Women Against Feminism” on Facebook caught the attention of Time magazine with a mere twenty-five thousand likes–many of those being men–as women who (in many cases) spoke out against feminism as a man-hating entity. The effect of women toward restoring the culture is huge and vital.

As I seek masculinity, personally, my reference is the Bible. Again, take King David, who was a King, a musician, and a ferocious warrior all at the same time, and did not have a single problem pouring out his deepest vulnerabilities to God. THAT is how we break the feedback loop that has caused men to be seen as too strong to need protection, too strong to admit to the reality that a woman can indeed harm a man. We need to reconcile what our current culture has had a total impasse at reconciling to break the cycle: acknowledging that vulnerability does not conflict with masculine strength. Quite the contrary, a lack of ability to acknowledge vulnerabilities is the worst enemy of our strength.

Modern traditionalists who oppose the ideals of post-feminist mainstream–if they really want to reach their destination–must understand the true nature of the dimensions of masculinity and femininity; it is just as important, on each side, to realize the ways men and women are alike as they are different. Read Proverbs 31: women must be strong too and be rescuers of others; read the story of Ruth and Boaz: yes, women can be pro-active pursuers (in a sense) too. On the other side of the coin, men can express vulnerabilities like any Godly man portrayed in Scripture, as such is crucial for their (or anyone’s) strength.

In the midst of the confusion of the world, speaking for myself, I find Scripture as my guide and standard through the tosses and turns of the culture.

Christian MGTOW? Some of My Reactions . . . 

My writing here, on this blog, represents getting a lot of my thoughts down on the matter of men’s personal fulfillment. Christian mainstream culture is darkly polluted with misandry: a constant railing against men for their duties and responsibilities without an element of compassion with regard to the actual situations of men. Men are human, and that means two things for the sake of the discussion: we have the same innate value as women, and we can’t function without being taken care of as such (whether we do so on our own or with help).

 
To answer the question of the article’s title, I would say “almost.” Defining MGTOW is something of a paradox, because it has no definition except that a man MAKES his own definition for the course of his life, after identifying a misandric culture which means to use and exploit him. That said, there are a number of tendencies that I feel can be addressed.
 
First, I’ll speak about my disagreements with the MGTOW approach, if they are in fact real disagreements. The end goal of a man should include a give-and-take relationship with the Body of Christ which currently makes a habit of ignoring men’s issues, and is thus simply not a viable option for a man currently; my advice is to keep that at a safe distance and keep your guard up. “Christian” culture must get the message, in my opinion, that wanting things from men is fine–in fact, complaining about men is fine–but not without some serious legwork on the part of those who want to reap from men, that “love your neighbor as yourself” stuff.
 
In terms of men, they sow with their effort sparingly, and fail to realize that they ought to expect to reap sparingly. (2 Corinthians 9:6) But all they know how to do, for the most part, is to keep on complaining about what men do or don’t do, slog on the “duty” and “responsibility.” Such entities deserve nothing from men and can expect not to receive anything, not because men ought to outright spite others–do not hear me wrong–but because we need to take care of ourselves so as to be capable of having something to offer. The Body of Christ was meant to interact with and take care of itself, or it cannot expect its members to function.
 
So I agree with the necessity of MGTOW. We are called to be free, to be loved, and to give generously. Another phrase going around out there is “men on strike,” which I also feel is misleading, because in all reality, it’s the mainstream society that went on strike on men first. The proposed scenarios–not the least of which being the unacceptable legal/societal/cultural conditions for marriage–for men are simply no longer even doable. But again, my end goal is to see a restored, healthy interaction between people. Perhaps other MGTOWs believe similarly, but I am not so clear on this point.
 
Another matter is the MGTOW approach to women. Where I agree is that men must–absolutely must–know how to preserve themselves from women in a world fixated on protecting women from men but has very little interest on protecting men from women; in today’s society it is simply too easy for a man to become an abandoned victim of a woman (investigate Men’s Rights resources for a LONG run-down of how that happens). Effectively, we have men white-knighting Jezebels and slaughtering one another, among other problems. This matter is the doing of the mainstream–that is to say, men and women both–but I believe the exceptionally rare case of a woman who demonstrates fully capable of recognizing a man’s equal personhood ought to be recognized and SUPPORTED by men. A woman who is demonstrably on the same side as men? Precious–and no, for the ignorant, being married to a man is not automatic proof. But I believe if the MGTOW movement wants to be thoroughly credible, part of its modus operandi ought to be supporting such women. Men must make room for them, rare as they may be, in the discussion with full appreciation.
 
Dear MGTOWs: friendly fire upon women who actually have compassion for men as equally human is absolutely the worst. They too are precious human beings with value unto themselves, and have much to offer the world, just as men, should they so choose. To me, the institution of marriage (that is, of the 21st century) is unsafe because of the legal and cultural context, but that is not the fault of the woman who desires to be part of a solution and not part of the problem and she does NOT deserve to be a casualty of MGTOW. Negative effects on her are every bit as unacceptable as negative effects on men. Men can demonstrate support of such women and that can be a huge factor in its success in changing our greater culture.
 
Oh, and then there are the PUAs. Misguided to say the least, PUAs are the opposite of self-respecting, degrading their bodies on sexual immorality. MGTOW PUAs are of course cynical in women’s abilities to offer a loving relationship, but they go after sexuality alone. The nature of lust, people, is idolatry, which means saying “come to life” to that which does not have life on its own: if a woman does not love you, but you think her body can, then it’s only your vain imagination at work saying “come to life” to her body in your heart. If a woman truly does not love you, such as a prostitute (see Proverbs 6:26) then you REALLY degrade yourself by being reduced to a “piece of bread.” You sin against your body (1 Corinthians 6:18), by joining it with that which does not love you. Women are not “prizes,” but can potentially offer loving relationships or people involved in sexual immorality are simply reducing themselves to objects.
 
MGTOW is what we had coming. And frankly, for the most part it’s an absolutely necessary movement provided that it takes productive steps forward. Men are achieving what the mainstream does not want them to achieve: self-awareness, a recognition for their value as individuals and the futility of our current culture that wants to take from men without paying attention to their needs. Men are becoming aware and, as I titled this blog: “self-defensive.”