I was kicking around on YouTube over the weekend and got pulled into the “related videos” vortex. I’m not sure what sort of dark sorcery powers Google’s related video algorithm, but it can take you to weird places quickly. I don’t know how it goes from something funny to the 10 scariest videos online to “How To Improve Your Health by Covering Your Ass with Butter (DON’T USE MARGARINE)”. But somehow, some way, there’s some sort of math for it. In my viewing adventures, I learned there’s a thing called MGTOW. In case you haven’t heard of it, it stands for Men Going Their Own Way. It sounds pretty inclusive, but the parameters of what actually constitutes MGTOW are pretty specific. That made me laugh.
I had no idea MGTOW was even a thing. I read some stuff on it, and like most things, there were parts I agreed with and parts I didn’t. Some of it applied to me, but most of it didn’t. As far as doing your own thing and not letting the demands and expectations of others dictate every facet of your life, I’m all for that. It may sound solipsistic and self-absorbed, and some are that way with it, but I’m not. For me, it’s about boundaries, about knowing myself, clearly defining what are and are not acceptable ways to treat me, communicating them clearly, and respecting the boundaries of others in kind without demanding they acquiesce to my whims and preferences. That’s as far as it goes with me. If that disqualifies me from using a particular label, I’m cool with that. Unless that label comes with a hefty paid endorsement deal. Then I might whore my brain out a little bit.
I’m not a fan of identity or gender politics. To me, they consist of one sex making demands of the other or one group telling everyone else why its way is the only right way to do things. It’s noise to me. I don’t ignore it; I analyze what’s being said and determine whether or not it merits a response. Usually it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong. I agree there are real issues faced by both sexes and these issues should certainly be addressed. But they’re best addressed by collaboration, and there seems to be far too little of that around.
Even though I’m doing my own thing, I’m not MGTOW. Even though I treat women with respect as equals, I’m not a feminist. I have no sacred cows, but I don’t make it my business to slaughter everyone else’s. That puts me outside of most groups, and that’s cool with me. I’m sure there’s some kind of label for that somewhere. It’s probably on YouTube too, sandwiched somewhere between a funny cat video and a dude in a loincloth shooting squirrels out of a potato cannon.