Men not going their own way: a thick big data analysis of #MGTOW and #Feminism Tweets
Online misogyny is growing at an alarming rate, constituting a violent backlash against feminist activism for gender equality. In our paper, we analyze misogynistic discourses on Twitter generated by #MGTOW (men going their own way) using Thick Big Data. This mixed research method involved a quantitative analysis of 167,582 tweets with #MGTOW and #feminism, followed by a qualitative study of 1,000 tweets of both hashtags. Our study reveals that despite the official narrative of MGTOW as a separatist community of men "going their own way," #MGTOW's central goal is in fact the fight against gender equality. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of the language, sentiment, tone, referred sources, and comparisons between #MGTOW and #feminism show that #MGTOW does not simply voice a separatist approach towards women but promotes violence against women and feminism. While feminist tweets are more oriented toward the creation of common identity by referring to shared values and having an internal focus, MGTOW tweets express opposition to "others" and emphasize an "us vs. them" mentality. Our study also shows that online misogyny is something larger than its common definition as a violent antiwomen expression in digital environments. It is a defense of a patriarchal system that allows men to claim gender, race, and other kinds of privileges to which they feel entitled.