Attachment Styles: Monkeys, Molyneux and Single Moms


Inside the internet’s manosphere of Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) and Involuntary Celibates (Incels), the single mom gets the gold medal when it comes to lowlife degeneracy and stupidity. The Jews or blacks or gender weirdos thought they had it bad? Listen to a Freedom Radio/Stefan Molyneux podcast on single motherhood. Listen and then look at the comments. Or go through the MGTOW Reddit board looking for single moms and see what a depressing pit of misogyny and hate you’ve fallen into.

The point here isn’t to defend single mothers, per se. Rather, it’s to illustrate how having a scapegoat benefits one’s self-esteem. And how easy it is to show how scapegoats are caricatures. And to question of what benefit it is to characterize a group that, to any simpleton’s knowledge to the contrary, is far more complex.

Within the MGTOW/MRA manosphere, the following narrative of single-motherhood is fairly common. From Molyneux’s YouTube video An Honest Conversation With A Single Mother, we get the following comment from user SoulSc0rcher*:

Basic essence; guy likes girl but isn’t Alfa. Girl is young and likes Alfa. Girl & Alfa hook up and things go bad. As a hail Mary attempt, she gets pregnant in the hopes of turning unstable Alfa into stable Alfa using his energy towards her and their child. Hail Mary attempt fails, so now you’re alone and with child. Now suddenly, the guy that liked the girl all along is perfect for her. Classic Hypergamy; make babies with the Alfa, get the Beta to take care of it.

*note: SoulSc0rcher mostly likely meant alpha (as in alpha male) rather than Alfa, unless this author is unaware of a MGTOW/MRA referene to alfalfa sprouts or the Our Gang character (subculture references and lingo can be cryptic).


Within the manosphere, dudes are classified largely into alpha or beta (there’s also omega and sigma, the latter I hope to get to in another piece of writing soon).

The alpha is generally stereotyped as being the loudmouthed, confident, overbearing and obnoxious leader who receives success, accolades and pussy.

The beta male or cuck is the loser who, if he’s lucky, gets the alpha male’s sloppy seconds. He is weak willed and easily walked on. He is mostly spineless and too stupid to see his manipulation at the hands of the evil single mother.

And the single mother is stupid, similarly weak willed, manipulative and often lazy.

Note how all of these characters (alpha and beta male and single Mom) contrast to the narrator, MGTOW Man, who, by proxy, must be something other than these antagonists. Unlike the obnoxious and sometimes stupid alpha, MGTOW Man is more prone to stoicism and humility and intelligence. Unlike the weak and silly beta, he is strong and serious. And intelligent enough to see how the single mother wishes to entangle him in her web of government subsidies and domestic and family drama.

These are the main characters of our play/comic book, where good and evil are clearly and crudely defined, with the government and grandparents and siblings playing only minor roles. It’s the stuff of Marvel or DC or Disney. It’s the stuff of daytime drama/soap operas. It’s silly and stupid, willfully ignoring most of the complexity that we all know ourselves to be.

But bringing complexity into the  narrative debunks its black and whiteness. The easy villains and heroes become less clearly defined when they are at least in part guided by forces that guide us all, in ways both good and bad. In ways good and bad for the villains as well as the hero.

One way of explaining behavior that I never hear brought into the discussion is attachment styles. I’m not going to argue that Attachment Theory adequately explains single motherhood or those men who marry single mothers. I’m just arguing that it’s one of numerous theories that might offer a more robust explanation than “stupid and exploitative” and “spineless and weak” respectively.

Attachment theory in psychology originated with John Bowlby and was, arguably, brought to public consciousness more famously/infamously with Harry Harlow’s monkey studies.

The essence of Harlow’s studies showed that differences in rearing led to vastly different emotional and social outcomes for baby monkeys.

We humans are all born with different and complex temperaments and personalities. Those personalities are mixed into various environments for our rearing, most more or less conducive to harmony with our temperaments. A bad mix leads to a socially/emotionally maladjusted monkey. A monkey ill equipped to make sound decisions. The monkey reared by its real mother is relatively well adjusted compared to that of the monkey reared by the fake. But sometimes he’s just born fucked up or stupid, having nothing to do with fake or real mothers. Sometimes he’s born neither fucked up nor stupid but being reared by the wire and cloth mother makes him fucked up and/or stupid. And even when we’re reared by the real, not the wire and cloth mother, she and the father are themselves fucked up (in a variety of ways), which isn’t of great value to the offspring. So even if it’s born “normal”, there are rearing forces acting against it. Perhaps our fucked up rearing leads us to desire something better…a better attachment than we’ve experienced. So we grasp for whatever’s available. And the more fucked up our attachments and rearing were, the more desperately we want them replaced. And the replacement might be the most available man or woman. It might be a child.

We make mistakes in looking for fulfillment, especially when we’ve been given poor answers and solutions (by example) to the problem. There’s room for sympathy and understanding within this narrative. The villains become less black.

And if the hero comes to understand that his current lack of attachment could be explained by dysfunctional rearing too (or just being naturally fucked up/misanthropic)  just as much if not more than his own will and fortitude and intelligence, then his whiteness becomes less white. But even if he admits to a dysfunctional rearing, then it becomes the thing of a hero’s mythology…of the wise and noble lone wolf…not the pitifully boisterous alpha or weak beta or the conniving female. It becomes the legend of Wolverine, forsaking love because he’s on a hero’s journey, not because he never learned how or is too afraid to love. But you believe you are Logan minus his Jean Grey. You will remain Logan until you find one worthy of your lone wolf heroism. But it’s Hollywood and comic books, my MGTOW friend. Like you’re own stoic and understated heroism, it’s all just fantasy.

For, to have bought all that red pill propaganda – all the misogyny and hate and delusion of your own superiority – your rearing must have been about as bad as the monkey cuddling up to its “mommy” of wire or cloth.


There’s usually a reason for caricatures and scapegoats. The world is one of color. There’s usually a reason for making and keeping things black and white.

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