First men, now boys are ‘Going Their Own Way’
THERE’S a growing movement of men in Australia called "Men Going Their Own Way" (MGTOW).
It’s an offshoot of the men’s rights movement but rather than getting stuck in and tackling issues, these guys have vowed to stay away from women, stop dating and not have children.
"Essentially, MGTOW is a statement about living life your way rather than trying to make a woman happy or being a slave to cultural expectations," one NSW member says.
"This isn’t about a specific rule book, more a mindset, although there are purists in the movement who are the most extreme and avoid women entirely. There’s a growing number of men who’ve had enough — enough of feminism and enough of being told they have to work for a greater good, which doesn’t actually exist."
Start looking into this "manosphere" and it’s like going down a rabbit hole — happiness here is supposedly freedom.
And shunning relationships is now seeping through to the younger generation.
Tom*, 15, from NSW is what you could call the growing number of TGTOW (Teens Going Their Own Way).
"It’s probably not true of all women, but I’ve got the feeling that women are dangerous. Maybe the men around me have just had bad experiences," he tells news.com.au.
"It’s scary being a teenage boy; I’m not sure how it’s all meant to fit together in the future," says Tom.
"Last year, my uncle lost everything because his wife of 40 years decided she didn’t love him anymore. Just like that, she randomly got up and left. It got nasty and he lost everything — his house, cars and loads of his money. There’s no way I’m ever getting married."
Of course, teenage boys look at other males in their life to gather some perspective on life. Seeing an older brother go through the trauma of false allegations in a messy breakup can also leave scars.
Tom says, "My older brother, who’s 20, was dating a girl for a few months. She turned really nasty in the breakup and made a string of allegations to the police. That made me suspicious of women too. My brother’s a good guy.
"Why should she be able to just say what she wants, accuse him of anything and then get on with her life like that? It doesn’t seem fair to me. I’m not sure what rights I have. Maybe none?"
So, what has gone wrong? Why are young people not seeing happy futures with a partner — or even setting a goal for family life?
Author and psychologist Meredith Fuller says, "None of these views surprise me because I hear them all the time — each time it strikes me as incredibly sad. We have a younger generation who are chaotic and rudderless; they have no role models, no mentors and no sense of where they fit into society.
"It’s crucial that we encourage our children find a mentor — a teacher, a relative or someone who teaches them sport — someone who they can communicate with, talk honestly to and learn skills about healthy relationships," she says.
"Both sexes have different challenges; we’ve lost sight of that. We’re stuck in a gender war and it’s harming our children. It’s become very narcissistic, selfish and a sense of entitlement is running rife.
"We need to get a focus back on having respect for other human beings, for partnerships, loving bonds and trust rather than simply seeing what you can get out of a relationship.
"Children need to learn that sense of give and take; they need to be taught about delayed gratification. Life is not all about self; it’s not all about making yourself happy instantly and constantly. And it’s not about running away from the opposite sex, it’s about learning to communicate effectively and genuine caring."