Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mens Rights Activists/MGTOW: What do you want?

I ask because a significant number of you now are opting out of the marriage market and the task of child rearing.

Now, most traditionalists conservatives would insert the cue to the shaming language here, with some vague nonsense about how you need to 'step up' or 'be the man'. Attempting to shame you isn't my style, and it is rarely my intent to make a moral language appeal to you. I find that sort of thing generally insulting, partly because of the implicit parent->child communication mode that it tries to invoke. I'd prefer to address you adult to adult, as peers and potential allies. Now that we have that out of the way.

Let me explain what I want. I'd like you to get married, stay married, and have lots of children and grandchildren who will give a damn about you and form your true social security when you get old. I want this partly because I believe this will make you and yours happier in the long term, but let's be honest, a large part is because I know your primary demographic I'd rather live in a world where your children and grandchildren are numerous than one where they are few. So this isn't about anything universal, it is very particular and I make no bones about it.

So what is it that you want? What changes to laws, culture, or social attitudes or contracts would be needed for you to be able to contemplate what I want without the need for too much alcohol or harder drugs to make it seem like a good idea?

Now, obviously I can't wave a wand and make your desires happen. But articulating what it is exactly that you want is generally a prerequisite to obtaining it. It also points the way to the path of alliances and exchanges that you may need in order to obtain it.

9 comments:

The Cottage Child said...

most traditionalists conservatives would insert the cue to the shaming language here, with some vague nonsense about how you need to 'step up' or 'be the man'.

Some, maybe, but not as many as you might think. I do agree with the balance of your statement:

Attempting to shame you isn't my style, and it is rarely my intent to make a moral language appeal to you. I find that sort of thing generally insulting, partly because of the implicit parent->child communication mode that it tries to invoke. I'd prefer to address you adult to adult, as peers and potential allies.

Wow, exactly. I'm happily married, and would like for other people to be as it applies to their own happiness, Biblical directive, and the stability of society, but I think it would be negligent based on reality, not to mention extremely rude, to suggest that someone isn't being manly because he chooses to abstain from the contemporary legal family construct. You pay, no say, is what is amounts to. It's gross.

I would like to know what MGTOW want - maybe they just need to go their own way, it's where we are for now? It's not a matter of something to judge, more a need to understand the last straw - I don't want my daughters to choose spouses badly, certainly, but I really don't want my son to, he'll have no options, essentially, once he does. That doesn't/can't work for an invested traditional family.

One thing I think is - well- off putting to those of us who hope to gain some level of heightened empathy if not total understanding is the "well, if you have to ask, you won't understand". Most of us are sincerely asking, "what do you want - what do you need? I suspect it will take all of us and then some to bring it about, but it would help to know what "it" is.

Jehu said...

Yes, I don't deny that the existing contract is pretty seriously slanted against a man contemplating marriage, or that the MRA/MGTOW crowd has legitimate grievances, because obviously they do. They could quite obviously go their own way, but I'd prefer to be able to offer them an acceptable alternative to vanishing without issue.

I'm not seeking so much to gain empathy for them though as to discover what would be the parameters required to bring them into the fold, as it were. Saying 'I feel your pain' is distinctly unnatural to me even, perhaps especially when it is true, and it usually carries a pretty serious reek of condescension.
Besides, with very few exceptions, MRA/MGTOW types are men, who generally favor having solution-oriented talk to feelings-oriented talk.

The Cottage Child said...

Saying 'I feel your pain' is distinctly unnatural to me even, perhaps especially when it is true, and it usually carries a pretty serious reek of condescension.

Yes, that's true.

Rollory said...

I wouldn't call myself MGTOW - want to do exactly what you describe - but my ideal society would be essentially a Victorian one - pre-women's-suffrage. Same laws, same mores, similar style of life (well, without the house servants. Doing that sort of work for yourself builds character).

Jehu said...

Marriage 1.0 was a fairly workable arrangement, I agree. Ideally, states and subgroups that enjoyed free association could choose between 1.0 and 3.0 (3.0 would have to be negotiated obviously, but 2.0 ought to be abolished).

postgygaxian said...

I would have wanted a woman who was willing to have kids with me while I was still young and healthy.

I might be technically capable of begetting children. However, I am middle-aged. Any children that I conceive would be at risk of birth defects.

If I had married young, I would have tried to conceive kids.

At this point in my life, I don't think I could conceive healthy kids - therefore I don't need to conceive kids - therefore I don't need sex - therefore I don't need women.

I could have negotiated with a lot of the details - e.g., should the woman work, should the woman get an education, etc. That sort of thing was open to whatever the woman might have wanted.

When I was younger, I had an intense sex drive and I tried hard to get a woman. I was willing to encourage my girlfriends to seek education - they were all highly educated.

Now that I am older I have very little desire for sex. Highly educated women do not hold any particular attraction. Women are interesting but I feel little urge to chase them. I certainly don't want to make babies with my life as it is.


You don't have to deal with me. I will probably be dead before society wakes up.

You have to deal with the chaps who are like me, but young enough to have the huge sex drive necessary to motivate marriage.

Jehu said...

Postgygaxian,
What are you---40-50 perhaps? I infer from your name that you're an old school gamer, which likely made you a college student during the 1980s or perhaps late 70s. Having children at your age isn't out of the question. Yes, there's more risk than when you're younger, but it's quite a manageable one, particularly if your wife is younger. My own wife is about 5 years younger than me.

postgygaxian said...

'Yes, there's more risk than when you're younger, but it's quite a manageable one, particularly if your wife is younger.'

I suppose that I might have a narrow window of opportunity. If it becomes logistically possible to have a child before I turn 50, I suppose I ought to have a medical opinion ready to go.

Right now I have excellent medical care, and I am trying to stave off the visible signs of middle age. I'm not yet 50, and I should ask a fertility specialist about the risks of birth defects for any children I might conceive.

Jehu said...

Glad to hear it. I suspect pretty strongly that you'll hear that your risks are down in the less than 5% range, possible much less. Honestly I think you'll find that finding a wife worth marrying will be the most difficult part.