I just recommended In Praise of Folly over here on the 2019 reading list topic. Erasmus saw the “folly” of marriage long before today’s Men Going Their Own Way advocates. Here’s a quote from it that I doubt any of the MGTOW guys have used:
(Folly, personified, is speaking.)
In fine, that wise man whoever he be, if he intends to have children, must have recourse to me. But tell me, I beseech you, what man is that would submit his neck to the noose of wedlock, if, as wise men should, he did but first truly weigh the inconvenience of the thing?
The problem with MGTOW is, as my dad said to me recently, the same problem that the Shakers had. They will all be dead and gone soon, and nothing of their movement will be left. In contrast, I remember reading an article about Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, by Eric Kaufmann a few years ago. He makes the case that fundamentalists, such as the Mormons and the “quiver full” protestants were having children, and how they would dominate the globe soon.
Men like Aaron Renn can whine all they want about how we pastors are being too negative about marriage and driving men away from it. The fact of the matter is that God made men a certain way, and that way is to pursue a wife and have children. Cultures that manage to convince men that it’s bad to do so will die out quickly. Look at Japan, for example. True, if we live in a culture that is negative about marriage and children, we should boldly proclaim the beauty of fruitfulness.
But the marriage relationship is a picture of the relationship between Christ and his bride the Church, and pretending like the whole thing is not folly in the eyes of the world is not going to help anybody. For men to engage in such work requires them to deny themselves and lay down their life. That’s rather “inconvenient,” to quote Erasmus, and no amount of whitewashing it will ever fool selfish men who are unwilling to do the work and take the necessary risks.
Still, I’m not worried. Women are beautiful. Plus, they take your name and give you back children with your name, so your name will last longer than you will. Men want these things, and none of the MGTOW men can have them. Granted, many women don’t do these things today, but those of you who are single should not give up hope like the MGTOW dunderheads. Maybe start your own movement: MAFW—Men Avoiding Feminist Women.