Men Going Their Own Way
Today I discovered a fascinating community of men online. They call themselves "Men Going Their Own Way" (MGTOW), and all of them have opted out of the dating game. Some have even opted out of participating in society altogether.
Sounds whiney, right? Well, only on the surface. What you discover when you dig a bit deeper is that many of these men are quite the catch, and they know it. Instead of spending their time dating, they share information about entrepreneurship, commit themselves to creative projects, learn about investing, look after their health, and practise self improvement. And they do this all for themselves.
The MGTOW community congregates around one core belief: that dating is not worth it. This is a surprising conclusion, since thanks to the introduction of the contraceptive pill and women's liberalisation, the cost of sex is at an all time low. Throw in hook-up apps and dating websites like Tinder and OkCupid (is that still the main one?), and the dating marketplace looks heavily stacked in men's favour.
So why opt out? There are two sides to this equation. On the one side, the speed dating culture that technology swept in does not actually favour men. It simply reinforces how replaceable they are. Men (and probably women too) are sick of being discarded. On the other side, some men no longer feel sufficiently incentivised by what women have to offer. Or to put it in economic terms, dating fails a cost-benefit analysis.
Sex has little value to men who have had plenty of it. For them, women need to bring something else to the table. Traditionally, this was maternal care, emotional support, and a promise of fidelity. Today, however, the same forces of liberalisation which drove down the cost of dating also scattered those auxiliary benefits to the wind.
In hindsight, this shouldn't be all that surprising. Markets, and dare I say it, nature itself, do not tolerate imbalance. When the environment changes, behaviours change, and the ecosystem adapts. Once buyers and sellers hit evolutionarily stable strategies, the market settles around a new equilibrium point. MGTOW communities are just part of that new equilibrium.
It's difficult for me to decide whether the MGTOW choice is healthy or not. All we can say is that it exists, and it is growing in popularity. But the market will shift. It is always shifting. Which makes me wonder... when will we see an active WGTOW community?Men Going Their Own Way
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food. Click here to subscribe to his weekly blog, or stalk him on Facebook and Twitter.
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