For years, we have heard of the Men Going Their Own Way movement online. It's a movement that basically says that men get the "raw end" of the dating deal and that women are just no longer worth marrying for one reason or another. The movement itself is one that has long been known for its hatred of women, its inability to see women as people with feelings, and its highly vocal base that says that love is dead.
And, for the most part, it's a movement that never really had much of a female equivalent online. But, that's not to say that there isn't an equal trend happening among women. The only difference is that it has been, for the most part, a silent movement that has only recently begun picking up steam to the point that it's become noticeable.
It's a silent exodus.
Most people don’t believe that there’s a growing number of women avoiding the dating scene - and men - at all costs for one reason, and one reason alone. That reason, of course, is that women don't discuss it, nor do they feel the need to announce that they're "Going Their Own Way" in comments.
Much like the reasons they're leaving in droves, there are also reasons why women aren't opening up about ceasing their search for romantic partners. The most obvious reason is that many women just don't want to hear the backlash they'd face if they announced it. If you don't believe it, look at the comments you'll find about women who cease dating.
Moreover, unmarried women face a way deeper stigma than unmarried men - and most just aren't up for hearing that they are "unwanted" or "spinsters."
Socially speaking, women who choose to stay single are sick of being pitied, name-called, accused of manhating, or shamed for that reason. As a result, they may just hide the fact that they chose to be single from the world.
But the social blowback against women who leave isn't left to boards...
In fact, one of the most common reasons why women don't even tell men that they don't want to date anymore deals with the men themselves. It's scarily common to see men lash out when a single woman says that they've had too many bad dating experiences to continue trying to find "The One."
Obviously, not all men do this, but there's enough of an occurrence to make it a serious concern.
Rather than see it as a reflection of the general problem, the men who get angry about it see it as a personal affront to them. And, they react like they've just gotten the biggest insult imaginable.
Depending on the severity of the statement that the woman makes, the wrong man may verbally harass her, post her private information online, threaten her, or even physically harm her. And, the risk of men retaliating against a woman who says this is far higher than the risk of a woman doing the same - at least, statistically speaking.
Considering the risks, it doesn't take much to see why so many women stay silent about it.
The dating scene has become dangerous for women - and women are very well aware of it, and many no longer think the potential gain of a partner is worth the risk.
What's interesting about this is that the very reason that many women avoid talking about their decision to end their quest for marriage or love is the same reason that they also are increasingly turned off to male advances.
Most women know at least one girl who has been raped, sexually assaulted, beaten, or even murdered by a current or former lover. In fact, statistically speaking, domestic violence is on the rise. In many parts of the US and UK, police groups are almost overwhelmed with the abuse calls they get.
Moreover, most women also have heard of cases in which domestic violence victims have called for police aid - only to be refused help or protection from their abusers. Many of these cases result in the woman's death.
Though men are domestic violence victims as well, they run a much lower risk of being killed by a partner than women do. Also, they tend to have much more leeway to get away from an abuser than a woman may in many cases.
But, all of this still is up to chance, right? All a woman would have to do is not talk to abusers, right?
Not quite. Some experiences women face in the dating world are universal, and these experiences also contribute to women quietly quitting the dating world.
Once again, not all men beat women or become predators, but enough of them do to make many women who have had repeated bad experiences reconsider relationships altogether. After all, there's only so many times you can expect people to get hurt before they write it off as a universal loss for them.
The epidemic of online harassment is slowly killing women's opinions of men, too.
If you are female and on an online dating site, then you've definitely had at least one man approach you for casual sex, then insult you if you reject them. Or, in some cases, they may just start insulting you for no apparent reason. Along with the insults and harassment, most women have also received an unsolicited dick pic at least once in their lives.
Guys, this isn't charming.
Actually, it's horrifying - and it's a trend that shows absolutely no sign of stopping. Because of the way men have gotten used to treating women online, a lot of women have grown hopeless. And, most men who hear women's complaints will cluck their tongues and chastise them for not "dating a nice guy," or tell them that they "should've been gentler in their rejection."
When given the choice between being treated badly for even trying to find a decent man and staying the course, it's really not shocking that some ladies just got fed up.
The easiest way to avoid the insults, dick pics, and venom that men espouse when they can't take rejection is to give them as little opportunity to even get rejected in the first place. Sadly, good men end up paying the same penalty as bad ones when this happens - but what else can be done?
Then, there's the factor that modern dating etiquette has played into it - particularly ghosting.
If you look at the current statistics, over 70% of people have been ghosted in their online dating lives. Ghosting hurts, and at times, it's not even done in the early stages of relationships. Simply put, it seems like we no longer have empathy and character required to give people a proper breakup.
Men in particular tend to be brutal in their ghosting endeavors. There have even been occasions of men who have ghosted after years of dating a girl. After being ghosted by promising dates one too many times, it's hard not to want to throw your hands up in the air and call it quits.
Additionally, for many women, it also seems like what men want in women has become too filled with double standards to actually keep up with. Men often want women to be homemakers without jobs, but they don't want to pay for any expenses the women may have. The more you read up on what men want, the more double standards you'll find.
Exacerbating this is the way that men increasingly dislike the idea of committing to any one girl. Even if a woman is a supermodel and has a job but wants to do all the housework, it still won't be enough to convince every man out there to commit.
Then, there's also the emotional labor divide. Women are the ones who are typically expected to do the housework, the emotional support, and just the little things that keep couples together. If you think about it, all the expectations women are supposed to field make it an uphill battle.
Yes, there are men out there who would make things even and would treat their girlfriends well - but they aren't the problematic ones here. Though it's clear that there are good men out there who treat women well, it often feels like they are too rare to spot.
Women are increasingly wondering why they should even bother dating because of the way they're being treated. In the past, women had to rely on men for food, shelter, and everything else. Nowadays, they can make their own paycheck. So...what exactly are men giving that women can't get anymore?
Too much work, too little chance of reward.
The sentiment many MGTOW's seem to have about love and dating is that it's just not worth it. It's financially expensive, time-consuming, and the truth is that most of the time, it will result in hurt. If a relationship really goes bad, then it's very possible that everything you cared about could be lost in the breakup.
Putting in the work to find a good partner and contribute to a happy relationship isn't something people are always willing to do. So, even if you want a good relationship, there's no saying that others will be willing to work with you on that goal.
In this sense, it's really hard NOT to agree with the MGTOW movement - even if you're female. Relationships can offer vast rewards, but the risk you take finding the right one is too high for many. And, that's true for both women and men.
Is this the death of love we're seeing?
The problem with men and women increasingly eschewing the dating scene is that neither gender really wants to have to do that. The loneliness is palpable, and it's terrifying.
It's disheartening, because all that any of us want is love and companionship. Most people want to find that special someone to have a family with. But, how can we trust the opposite sex when so many of them seem unreliable at best, and hateful at worst?