I catch a lot of flak from some MGTOWs in the manosphere for being a stay at home wife and mother, because I’m a parasitic bitch incapable of love or feeling, exploiting my husband and giving him nothing in return and blah blah blah, but I feel compelled to defend MGTOWs against some unreasonable accusations lobbed at them by a usually fair, balanced reporter: Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason.com.
For certain, there are some in the MGTOW community who do hate women, and consider them downright evil, but those are a vocal minority, and just as a whole lot of radical, hateful feminism arose from the lived, painful experiences of women, so too, I think, does a lot of the more radical sentiments expressed by some MGTOWs arise from the lived, painful experiences of men. If we’re going to define an entire movement by its radical element, feminism is over before it even starts. If feminists reject being defined by their most hateful, violent, disturbed adherents, then so too can any other social movement.
Nolan Brown starts out with a massive contradiction of her own philosophy:
As evidence of claims that libertarianism holds little appeal for women, critics like to highlight limited-government cheerleading from groups or figures known for sexism, especially men’s rights activists (MRAs) and their various offshoots (Gadsden flags in the Twitter profiles of #GamerGate fans are seen as very telling). While they’re wrong that libertarian philosophy is somehow inherently hostile to women, it’s hard not to notice that a lot of dudes who don’t take well to women’s autonomy are also drawn to viewpoints that might be described as crudely libertarian.
The key words there are autonomy and libertarian. Nolan Brown has this exactly backwards: it’s not men who object to women’s autonomy who feel a kinship with libertarianism, it’s men who insist on women’s autonomy. A huge function of big government is to redistribute the tax dollars of men to women, while freeing women from any reciprocal obligations, which are termed ‘abuse’ and ‘oppression’ by most feminists.
Libertarianism requires women to function as autonomous units within an autonomous community, with extremely limited interference from government. Everyone’s well-being, safety and security depends on the relationships they are able to establish with other members of the community in which they live, a return to a historical norm. Women (and men’s) freedom to make choices is not curtailed by a libertarian approach, it is expanded.
But, and here comes the sticking point, the freedom to make choices comes with the responsibility of accepting the consequences of those choices. Accountability. The word feminists hate more than any other, when it’s applied to women. They expect, demand and will vote for politicians who enforce accountability from men, but the moment you try to apply the same standard to women, feminists cry foul. Accountability is at the heart of the MGTOW movement.
Nolan Brown engages some lazy, tired stereotypes about men and MRAs and MGTOWs in making her case, writing that ‘while libertarian-leaning sentiment makes sense among the He Man Woman Hating club and your run-of-the-mill MRAs, there’s nothing in libertarianism as a political philosophy that is inherently sexist or misogynistic.’ Precisely why feminists tend to hate libertarianism, and MRAs lean towards it. Libertarianism doesn’t engage with benevolent sexism aka chivalry. There is no ‘women and children first’ policy. In a libertarian world, it’s not #HeForShe, but #WeForAll. While Nolan Brown acknowledges that the MHRM is right to target the government for unfair laws surrounding ‘alimony, child support, custody battles, [and] campus sexual assault policies,’ she completely missteps with regards to domestic violence laws, which she thinks are ‘just fine as is’. No, ma’am, they’re not, but that’s a different article.
Nolan Brown makes the very logical point that ‘[d]isagreements over how best to help women, the economy, and all people in poverty do not mean libertarians hate women, the economy, and people in poverty,’ but refuses to extend the same argument to MGTOWs: rejecting relationships with women based on risk factors arising from deeply unfair laws does not mean MGTOWs hate women, risk or the law as a principle. Accusing MGTOWs of hating women, risk and laws provides the foundation to shame them into compliance with women’s needs, but it’s not working very well.
MGTOWs reject women, because an entire generation of women have been reared under feminism, and their sense of entitlement to men’s resources with no corollary obligations has been deeply ingrained in them. The sense that women are legitimately entitled to half of a man’s assets, whether she contributed to them or not, simply because he entered into a legal contract of marriage with her, strikes many women as a foregone conclusion. Of course Tiger Wood’s wife should get half of his earnings from playing golf because….well, just because. MGTOWs reject this completely. It doesn’t matter if his assets consist of an Xbox, a Keurig and a few skateboards, or a multi-billion company he built from scratch with his own ingenuity and effort. The idea that women are entitled to half of everything, without reference to what they contributed, is a violation of everything we understand as fair and just.
That might sound strange coming from a woman who has been economically dependent for most of her adult life, but while I will absolutely claim that my work has allowed my husband to earn more money than he might have if he had a working wife he had to balance competing interests with, the SAHM premium is not even close to being double his salary, so my claim to 50% of his assets is bullshit. At best, I can claim an 11% stake, because that appears to be the premium married men who live with their children and have a stay at home wife earn. Because I knew before I got married that I wanted to raise children in a stable, happy, functioning relationship, and be at home full time because I genuinely believe being raised by a loving parent is infinitely superior to being raised by the hired help, and because my husband made the same decision long before he met me, we are dedicated to keeping our family life and our marriage intact. Divorce is not an option. How many more couples would work to stay happily married if the women knew they would not be walking out with 50% of his assets and the children?
In a libertarian world, division of property and custody of children would be determined, not by a rote government formula, but in accordance with the private agreements of individuals, established before the couple moved in together or had children, whether married or not. Until such time, many men are simply refusing to bet half their stuff she won’t cheat or him, get bored, or decide she ‘isn’t happy’. That doesn’t mean they hate women, it means they’d rather not see half their labor fund a woman who has decided to trash the relationship that gives her the legal right to half his stuff.
It’s risk management.
And it’s not that MGTOWs fear taking risks. Men in general have a much higher tolerance for risk than women (interesting link that examines the relationship between risk tolerance and entrepreneurship), but’s there’s risk and then there’s risk. Add children to the equation, and for many men, the risk is simply too great. When Rebecca Minnock made false allegations of abuse against Roger Williams, the father of their son, Ethan, and consistently interfered with Williams’ ability to continue a loving relationship with Ethan, a judge stepped in and awarded full custody to the father. Minnock responded by kidnapping Ethan and going on the run, and she received a great deal of sympathy in the press, with headlines demanding that she be given full custody, regardless the emotional abuse she visited on her son and his father.
When women are torn out of the lives of their children, we respond with compassion, indignation and sympathy, no matter how abusive the mother. When men are torn out of the lives of their children, we simply don’t care, even if there is not a shred of evidence the men, and the children, deserve to be subjected to such emotional trauma and pain. Imagine for one second the reverse was true: any man, for any reason at all, could simply decide to end his relationship with a woman, take the children, she would maybe get to see them every other weekend, but she would be completely powerless to enforce such an order, if she managed to get it in the first place. Imagine that men had a powerful MRA lobby that actively and successfully opposed all efforts women made to ensure the legal standard of shared custody. If women simply refused to have children in that situation, would we call them losers? Women who couldn’t maintain a relationship with a man? Would we laugh at them, mock them, demand they ‘woman-up’, no matter what the risks?
MGTOWs refuse to subject themselves, and children, to the possibility of such pain. Until the legal standard of equal custody is enshrined (and feminists will fight tooth and nail to make sure it never is), many more men are simply going to refuse the risk. Wanting to protect themselves and their potential children from abuse doesn’t mean MGTOWs hate women and children: quite the opposite. It means they would rather forgo the joys of having children, take the loss themselves, rather than pass it on to the innocent.
MGTOWs understand that the principle weapon used against men is the court of law. It’s government, voted in by women who intend to keep their power to exploit and control men, particularly through the family courts. MGTOWs who refuse to work more than they need for basic survival are refusing to fund the system that oppresses them. And yes, the system does oppress men. What word would you use to describe a family court system in which men had automatic custody of children, and could have women jailed for refusing to work and turn over their income to men to support the children they may not even be allowed to see? That is exactly the situation Afsana Lachaux finds herself in, and if you find yourself agreeing that such laws are outrageous, then you are in agreement with MGTOWs and most of the MHRM.
Some MGTOWs refuse all relationships with women, and some MGTOWs are married. What all MGTOWs have in common is that they refuse to silently condone a system that is stacked so unfairly against them. MGTOWs don’t hate women, children or relationships. What they hate is a legal, cultural and social system that turns those things into poison. Some engage in the system for the scant protections it provides them, while actively trying to dismantle the more harmful aspects. Some refuse to engage in any way, shape, or form.
Hating a system that exploits, abuses and emotionally tortures men is not misogyny. Supporting a system that believes women are more ‘nurturing’ on the basis of their gender, treating women as incapable of supporting themselves, allowing women to garnish unearned resources from men on the basis that they need to be ‘protected’ and ‘taken care of’, treating women as essentially overgrown children who cannot be held accountable for their own choices?
Libertarians reject every single one of those arguments. So do MGTOWs.
And there is nothing sexist about either of those things.
Lots of love,