I was very saddened to hear that the YouTuber Vention MGTOW died from cancer on 25th September 2021. I subscribed to his channel a few years ago as he was friendly with some other YouTube channels I followed that primarily explored men issues and identity politics. As his name suggested, Vention identified with ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ and most of his videos were focussed on MGTOW but also his life as a mechanic and his other interests like permaculture. MGTOWs are men who choose to avoid marriage and relationships due to society’s bias towards women in countries like the US and UK. Vention always ended his videos saying: “Don’t get married!”
I don’t identify as ‘MGTOW’ myself as part of me does want to get married and have children even though I’m aware of the dangers that can befall men who are in that situation. As a Millennial, I’m at the age when most men, nowadays at least, tend to marry and start a family so I do think about it from time to time. Nevertheless, being a bit of a loner, I don’t think I’d be too upset if I ended up being single and childless when I’m older as I think I would still be able to lead a productive and fulfilling life. I’d regret not being a father more than I would regret not being a husband in any case! However, I have no problem with other men who choose to go their own way so I consider myself to be ‘MGTOW friendly’ or a ‘potential MGTOW’. At the same time, I have no issue with men who are married, if they are happily married at least.
MGTOWs, which I explored a little bit in this previous post, are controversial not just to feminists but also to a lot of anti-feminists for a number of reasons. For feminists, MGTOWs are often accused of being angry and bitter misogynists who may want to oppress and harm women in some way. Alternatively, anti-feminists sometimes accuse MGTOWs of being weak and immature for, in their mind, giving up their purpose as men in society in order to lead a selfish, hedonistic and unproductive lifestyle. Vention didn’t fit into either stereotype of a MGTOW as he came across as a nice, cheerful guy who worked hard and was productive. Prior to his cancer, he had been working and saving money in order to retire early and live off his earnings. It shows you how cruel life can be that he only got to enjoy his retirement for a short time. Vention’s own reasons for never marrying was, I believe, due to observing when he was younger what happened to other men in his life going through divorce and also his own family background. In a sense, he was ‘MGTOW’ before the word was invented.
Vention had stage 4 colon cancer for a couple of years and continued making videos up to his final days when he uploaded his last video lying in a hospital bed. Whether it was the medication he was on or just his own personality, Vention frankly stated to his YouTube audience that he was about to die. I found this quite upsetting as it was hard to see him weakened and debilitated by his illness from the man he once was. As an aside, it’s strange how interconnected we all are now that we can be a witness to someone we vaguely know thousands of miles away at the very end of their life. Vention at least knew there were people out there who cared about him.
Instead of undergoing chemotherapy and operations, Vention chose to undergo fasting and alternative methods to try and treat his cancer. I once commented on one of his videos that I didn’t know if he was doing the right thing but that I admired his courage. He replied back saying that he believed his chances of surviving stage 4 cancer were the same regardless of if he had the standard treatment or not so he wasn’t doing anything courageous. I don’t know enough about cancer treatment to comment on if he would have lived longer had he gone through the conventional route but I still admired the stoic way he dealt with his situation. He could have easily despaired at what had happened to him.
There’s a scene in an early episode of the TV series Breaking Bad where Walter and his family are discussing whether he should receive treatment for his cancer. His sister-in-law Marie says he should do whatever he wants to do much to the shock of her sister and Walter’s wife Skyler. Marie says at the hospital she works in she sees cancer patients who are completely miserable and that some people don’t want to end their life being “picked at by doctors.” Walter also states he doesn’t want to spend his final days too weak to do anything because of cancer treatment although, in the end, he decides to go through with it. I imagine Vention had the same thought process with his illness. Again, I’m no expert on cancer and I believe sufferers should decide for themselves how they want to deal with it.
I’ll end this post with a link to one of Vention’s videos. Now that he’s gone I don’t know what will happen to his channel but I’ll link to one anyway. Instead of focussing on Vention’s cancer battle and his final videos, I want to show a video that I think shows Vention as he was and which resonated with me personally.
In this video, Vention talks about keeping a journal which I try to do as well. Vention said the purpose of his journal was to write to his future self and how, when you’re young, you don’t know who you’re going to become in the future. He noted that, now that he’s older, he doesn’t write as much because he has become the person he will be until he dies. Being younger than him, this felt like I was given a profound perspective from an older relative. In my journal I think I’m writing to the person I will become as well. It’s a little sad when he talks about his plans for the future now we know what happened to him but Vention kept smiling until the end.
You can watch the video here.
Rest in peace Vention.