The past few years have seen a growth of the feminine counterpart to the Manosphere — virtual spaces for women to discuss womanhood among themselves, without interference from dudes. The subreddit r/FemaleDatingStrategy (FDS) offers a cutthroat ideology for heterosexual women that classifies most men as low-value, earning the reputation of a gender-flipped red pill forum. They’ve also reversed specific concepts like “The Wall,” a theoretical age at which a woman automatically becomes sexually undesireable, applying them to men. Meanwhile, “femcels,” or female incels, were exiled from Reddit and now use a standalone website, ThePinkPill.co, much as male incels repeatedly violated community guidelines and had to move elsewhere.
Long before FDS and the Pink Pill, however, some women tried to establish WGTOW, or “Women Going Their Own Way,” as the mirror version of MGTOW (which was also banned from Reddit for hate speech). In theory, “Men Going Their Own Way” seek a complete separation from women and personal improvement for its own sake. More often, they just complain about women and their supposedly outsized influence on society as it functions today. The r/WGTOW subreddit, meanwhile, has been a mostly quiet place for eight years, never in danger of being shut down and full of threads that actually — amazingly — have nothing to do with men.
This month, one member shared an article about a “sologamist” in India who married herself.
A request for cottagecore channels on YouTube drew several comments. “Definitely Li Zi Qi!” replied a user. “She’s a beautiful young woman living on her grandparents farm in China preserving traditional cultural things of all sorts — cooking, gardening, homesteading, clothing, stitching, art, furniture, decor, etc. She does everything herself, and is super talented!”
Men do come up here and there — never mentioned in flattering terms, and venting is unavoidable. But often enough, the negative characterizations lead to acceptance and valuable changes. “Yes, they are lazy and want us to do all the work for them but they get the accolades,” writes one WGTOW under a post about having difficulty with male co-workers. “My life is so peaceful and drama free since I removed men from my life as much as possible. Now I’m working for myself, I mostly deal with male cashiers or related ones. It’s great.”
Another woman says she’s given up on the hassle and disappointment of dating, and the possibility of a doomed marriage with a husband looking to cheat. “I’m better off being single and celibate rather than putting myself through all of that,” she concludes. A commenter adds: “I’ve recently committed to at least 5 years celibacy and no romance. Sexual and romantic relationships are so overrated in our society and reality. You don’t need them to survive, thrive or create a meaningful life.”
It’s not that WGTOW posts — which can also be found at ThePinkPill.co and r/PurplePillDebate — are without sadness or bitterness. There are howls against the patriarchy (especially with the overturning of Roe v. Wade), along with stories of trauma and sexual assault. But these problems put into perspective how petty the usual MGTOW complaints really are, and the accounts of personal success show these women excelling at what the MGTOWs always claim they want to do: actually going their own way, finding purpose within. They’re also far more mutually supportive, and communicate better about the practicalities and benefits of this journey. The far larger men’s community wallows in a depressive funk, pushing one another to nihilism.
Have WGTOWs found a happy, healthy way to gain distance from the headache of gender inequality? It sounds like a few may have, and it wouldn’t be the first time women executed on a concept that dudes have struggled to master. All credit to men, however, for the catchphrase.