Sluts and soyboys: MGTOW and the production of misogynistic online harassment

Callum Jones, Verity Trott, Scott Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) are a separatist Manosphere group (digital manifestation of the Men’s Liberation Movement) who focus on individualistic, self-empowering actions as opposed to traditional collective actions typical of Men’s Rights Activists and Incels. This study investigates how the ideology and rhetoric of MGTOW propagates and normalises misogynistic beliefs through online harassment, using a multi-phased content and thematic analysis of 10,280 tweets from three of the most active MGTOW users on Twitter. The findings document a link between the MGTOW ideology and toxic masculinity, showing that the online harassment generated is deeply misogynistic and polices the boundaries of a heterosexual, hegemonic masculinity. The analysis demonstrates that while the misogyny and violence produced by MGTOW is not extreme in nature, their appeals to rational thinking make it seem like common sense. The article develops new knowledge about the heterogeneous nature of the Manosphere and its constructions of masculinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1921
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Digital violence
  • emasculation
  • gender
  • manosphere
  • MGTOW
  • misogyny
  • online harassment
  • social media
  • toxic masculinity
  • Twitter

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