There is a growing movement among American men to flee any lasting connection with women. Casual sexual contact is encouraged, but only carefully and as needed. These men have decided to completely disengage themselves from all formal, legal, long term relationships with women. They call themselves MGTOWs – Men Going Their Own Way. They have been so badly burned by Western feminism that they have banded together to try to warn naïve, younger males from ever marrying.
MGTOWs maintain careers and fundraise to create safe places which bar aggressive intrusion of women into their conversations. MGTOWs continue to earn money, work, pursue careers and enjoy hobbies but only for themselves. Some have been forced by divorce courts to pay alimony but are barred from ever seeing their own children. They warn younger men to fear trying to create families. "Women will only use you for financial support and you will never have the chance to be a father to your child’. They declare that long-term connection with westernized women is too dangerous – both financially and emotionally. Perhaps a few are sad that this is the case, but they will not take the chance to be bankrupted financially or emotionally ravaged again. Western women just cannot be trusted.
Here’s the mission statement from the MGTOW website (1)
M.G.T.O.W – Men Going Their Own Way is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word: “No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn’t.
sov·er·eign·ty ˈsäv(ə)rən(t)ē/ Noun. Meaning: Supreme power or authority. Autonomy, independence, selfgovernment, self-rule, self-determination, freedom. Self-governing
In Japan there are factions of men who are even farther removed from traditional masculinity. They are called “herbivores” and are a relatively recent phenomenon of the 21st century. (2-7) As usual there exists a continuum of personal characteristics, but at the extreme the Japanese herbivore males are passive, not interested in women, sex or making money. They are not homosexuals. Herbivores immerse themselves in their own eclectic hobbies such as fashion, sewing, video games, personal grooming or eating dessert.
“ Yasuhito Sekine is considered a poster boy for Japan’s herbivore men. He runs an online dessert appreciation group for men. The group of 1,000 members debate things such as the virtues of different brands of strawberry shortcake.” (2, 3)
. . .dessert appreciation . . .for . . . strawberry shortcake . . . ?
Herbivores eschew high-powered careers reasoning, “Why work yourself into an early grave to give all your money to an angry woman.” The Japanese women on the other hand are called, “carnivores” because they have become such aggressive sexual predators upon men.
Japan has declining marriage rates, declining birth rates, and a declining economy some of which has actually helped to create the emergence of the herbivore culture among their young adult males. Herbivores represent only about 20-30% of Japanese men, but about 60%-75% of men in the 20 to 30 something age group. (7, 8) Japanese politicians are struggling to alleviate this problem because if carried to a logical conclusion it would only worsen their societal, political, military and economic woes. (8)
The Japanese response to the social enigma appears more extreme than that of the West. But I have heard it predicted that the herbivore culture will come to the West as well. Perhaps the American metrosexual is will become the new Western herbivore. (9)
Such is the effect of the ‘women’s liberation movement’ …..so called.
Feminism opened the door to the redefining of roles. Cultural responses vary, but in the end the result is the same - separation. We live in an age that feels it can recreate humanity, but we really, really cannot. Much the same as a tornado bursting through a slumbering village feminism has left an aftermath of chaos, loneliness, and emptiness. Men and women are going their own separate ways - independent, isolated, and self-absorbed. But wasn’t that one of the goals of second wave feminism? Remember Linda Gordon’s statement about the “destruction of the nuclear family”? (10) Well here we are.
It need not have been this way.
We must restore the whole counsel of scripture as the guide for our lives. God's laws compass all that He has created. The words spoken from Sinai are not the only expression of His will for humanity. Every part of creation is governed by divine order. Every word of God is creative and brings into existence systems that are an expression of His will. These arrangements are laws which speak without words. For instance, when the Lord created the world He designed the law of gravity. It is immutable. If we were to leap off a bridge to defy it, we have only ignored it to our peril. No human devising can dismiss it. We may only recognize, cooperate and if wise appreciate it.
We may also observe from the manner of creation His laws regulating relationships between men and women.
Need God speak these laws verbatim?
No, He has spoken through His actions.
Think of it this way. We have a tradition during the Christmas holidays when attending a performance of the Messiah. Everyone knows that when the Hallelujah Chorus is presented we stand. Why? Well, as tradition has it when the Hallelujah Chorus was first presented King George II, attending the London premiere of “Messiah’’ in March of 1743 was so inspired that he stood to his feet in honor of the music, the composer and the Lord. (11) Court attendants of the king then stood to their feet. No one sits while the King is standing. When the commoners saw the King and his court standing they stood to their feet as well. There were no formal degrees, proclamations or brochures handed out that night instructing the audience to stand. There was no need. The King had spoken by his actions. He did not need to repeat himself.
Need the King of the Universe speak before we pay attention to Him? Should we not watch His every movement and bring ourselves into harmony with Him? His actions are laws no less than His words.
God’s laws are all that He has said, all that He has done, all that He has created.
The laws governing our being are as immutable as the Ten Commandments.
The Lord brought into being man and woman, gave them marriage and procreation to fill the earth. Man was to be her protector and she was to be his supporter - a help “ meet for him” as we read in Genesis 2:18. (12) Masculinity was created first and with a stronger physical nature. Eve was given a softer physical nature. May we learn from our physical natures certain characteristics of our inner natures? Will our modern minds allow us to admit that women were designed to be soft and men to be strong? That the softness and ‘strongness’ of their natures extends beyond the physical but reaches to the emotions, the mind, the heart? That there is really nothing wrong with this, but it is in fact God‘s design for humanity?
But accepting this means we must let go of our own ideas.
My journey out of feminism has taught me that we can’t be everything alone.
Men and women really do need each other.
Alone and apart they can only represent a part of God’s image.
One may feel, “This is too old fashioned and just not true. Men and women are more complex than that. Women are also strong. We should be free to explore ways of relating and not be hedged in by restrictions. Lots of relationships work that are not traditional.”
Complex we are for sure, but distinct none the less. May I suggest that the restrictions of the traditional gender roles most natural to men and women are designed by God for our deepest pleasure and long-lasting fulfillment? Our sinful natures feel very comfortable functioning outside the perimeter of God’s laws. But the hedges of God’s laws are only meant to protect us from our innate tendency towards chaos.
Human devising may create nontraditional families which seem to work well for some people. But what happens when those principles are set in place for generations? Look at the MGTOWs. They are an example of feminist entitlement backfiring. Instead of capitulating to women’s demands for more control MGTOWs are just leaving women to fend for themselves. The natural male-female dynamic designed in Genesis is still functioning, despite the rhetoric of feminism for ‘equality, empowerment, entitlement and supremacy’. (This can of worms will be explored in a future blog.) How much suffering do we need to see before we take a step back? What are we doing?
Here’s a thought to consider - our roles are written in our genes.
One may respond, “Gender roles are a matter of choice not genetics”.
But is that so? "Can a man bear a child?”
“Of course not.”
We readily admit that this idea is preposterous because it is a physical impossibility. May I suggest that the physical impossibility is not the full extent of the gender distinction? Women are not only designed for child bearing, but designed for child nurturing. The emotional, relational heart so natural to women is needed to care for the newborn. She is more than an incubator for the embryo; she is mother to the child.
On the other hand, is the mother all that is needed? Are men only sperm donors and unnecessary for the home? Some folks think so. But we say no, no indeed. Men are in fact the center of the home. Though this concept is all but lost on the millennial mind it is nonetheless true. Men are the ‘bands’ that give form to the family. This is the literal meaning of ‘husband’ which may be translated “the band of the house”. Husband is the band that holds the house together, so without the band the house will fall apart. Without men the home will at best struggle for secure foundation. (By the way, feminism proposes that the government take the place of the husband – and the mother as well.)
Gender distinctions compass the full gamut of our natures – mental, emotional, and spiritual as well as the obvious physical distinctions, and all these distinctions are anchored in our DNA. What are some of those distinctions? Masculinity is strong, logical, law oriented, focused and courageous. Femininity is soft, delicate, emotional, relational, diffuse, intuitive, luxuriant, sensitive, and tender. These gifts when blended in marriage form a beautiful reflection of the image of God in humanity.
An interesting study came to light in December 2013 about the brain wiring of men and women. (13)
Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.
Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men's brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women's for social skills and memory.
It's quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are," Ruben Gur, a co-author on the study, said in a statement.
Our brains are “complementary”…Hmmm. Sounds like the minds of men and women were designed to work together. Have we stumbled upon just a bit of evidence that we were created to be one ….perhaps?
Inspiration offers an even more difficult thought to surround.
The woman was made for the man. (14)
She was created for him.
Women were created to help men.
Hard to swallow?
Yet it is scripture.
Genetics are the foundation for our gender roles in this world. Just as the man who jumps off the bridge to prove he can fly usually perishes, so we can only ignore our God-given roles to our own peril. Our roles are really written into our genes.
We live in the ’perilous’ times spoken of in scripture when the love of many would wax cold. (15) The image of God is gradually being effaced from humanity. A dark aftermath of satanic war upon all of nature has brought us to the brink of annihilation. Some environmentalists such as Jacque Cousteau believed that at the pace we’re going we can only last a few more decades, perhaps another century. (16, 17)
We are really in a war.
Would that our churches were a refuge for the wandering MGTOWs, isolated herbivores, and desperate carnivores. Would that they could find restoration in our midst and be healed. We can only hope and pray that these war-weary, battle scarred souls might somehow be led to the knowledge of God’s beautiful plan for humanity.
O that our homes were different from those in the world!
Only the Lord our God is able to make it so.
9) Metrosexual is a portmanteau, derived from metropolitan and heterosexual, coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrosexual
10) No Longer in Sheep’s Garb. https://asimplefemininity.com/?p=189
11) “Theories abound, the most common being that King George II, attending the London premiere of “Messiah’’ in March of 1743, was so moved by the “Hallelujah’’ that he stood up - and if the king stands, everybody stands.” http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2009/12/19/taking_a_stand_for_messiah/
12) Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
14) 1 Corn 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
15) 2 Tim 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
16) "The road to the future leads us smack into the wall," Cousteau wrote. We simply ricochet off the alternatives that destiny offers: a demographic explosion that triggers social chaos and spreads death, nuclear delirium and the quasi-annihilation of the species. Our survival is no more than a question of 25, 50 or perhaps 100 years.”