NiceGuy's American Women Suck Turns 10!
Written by Solaris
How time flies... Today, NiceGuy's American Women (mostly) Suck celebrates its 10th anniversary! Who would have thought that what started as an early blog on Angelfire would become one of the web's longest continually operating men's sites, with thousands of readers and community members. As a tribute to the longevity of NiceGuy's writings, I thought it would be rewarding to recount the history of the site. I hope it will serve as a trip down memory lane for older readers, and a chance for new readers to get the whole story for the first time.
The eponymous NiceGuy first started a small website he simply titled "NiceGuy's WOMEN SUCK Page!" on the 1st of August, 2001 with page host Angelfire. Although he started writing as a means to deal with his frustrations with American women in his own day-to-day life, he soon found that he had an audience, and they started writing to him in increasing numbers. Within the first month, many of the site's seminal articles had been written, and NiceGuy had posted several sets of reader feedback.
Wouldn't it have been great to be able to see the site's beginnings for yourself? Well, thanks to the magic of the interwebs, we can do just that! If you'd like to see an image of the original site from September 2001, click here, or if you'd prefer an interactive version from the Web Archive, you can click here to check it out. With new articles coming thick and fast, there was always something new to read on the front page.
By early 2002, NiceGuy's site had come to the attention of veteran men's advocate Zenpriest, who wrote to NiceGuy with words of encouragement, and expressed his hope that the site would continue. Prior to his self-imposed retirement, he noted that "NiceGuy's site was one of the first self-sustaining men's communities I'd seen appear online." If you'd like to read more about Zenpriest, his famous essay "Hate Bounces" has been republished many times around the web, and continues to be quoted to this day. An archive of his entire old Geocities site, "eye of the mind" can be found here.
In July of 2002, after his move to Japan in April, NiceGuy met the lovely Haruna, and by September of that year found himself in a steady relationship with her. Concerned about her possible reaction to the site's content (specifically, the story he posted about their first date), he decided to scale back the pace of his writing and focus on his new relationship. An image of the modified front page that greeted readers from September 2002 onwards can be viewed here, or alternatively, you can view the archived page itself here.
The site was put on hiatus until December of 2002, with some readers concluding in the mean time that NiceGuy no longer had any intention of posting updates. That was not the case of course, and new posts once again began to come through steadily during the first half of 2003. It was about this time that NiceGuy met Joshua Dearing of dEaringfilm, who graciously volunteered to move the site to his web host, and set up a subdomain dedicated to it. Angelfire was left behind and most of the content was moved to the new address at http://niceguy.dearingfilm.com/. For an image of the site as it appeared in July 2003, you can click here, or click on the link above to view an archived version of the page.
The most notable addition to the site of 2003 however, was the forum. A large number of the site's regular readers quickly registered, and were able to communicate with each other for the first time, finding out just how much they had in common, and that they came from many countries, ethnic backgrounds and social groups. Although the forum's official name is "NiceGuy's MGTOW Forum", older members simply refer to it as "Mancoat" (for reasons that are known only to Joshua Dearing I'm sure!). The forum proved so popular with readers that by December 2003, a list of the latest forum topics was integrated into the site's front page. You can view an image of the site from that period here, or you can view the archived page by clicking here.
2004 and 2005 were busy and prosperous years for the site. NiceGuy returned to America, with Haruna following close behind and new members continued to pour in to the forum, many directed there by the screams of outrage coming from various feminist blogs. Among those to join during that time were the founders of the philosophy of "Men Going Their Own Way", known to others by their forum handles "Ragnar" and "Meikyo". Ragnar would later recount after the 2006 Mancoat Christmas party that he contributed the distinctive MGTOW road sign, which has become well recognised in the modern Men's Rights Movement.
The end of 2005 saw the site finally move to its own domain at www.the-niceguy.com, separating itself from dEaringfilm. The front page was again redesigned accordingly, though the layout was much more utilitarian that before. For reference, you can view an image of the site from late 2005 here, or browse an archived copy of the site here. Unfortunately, the move caused a severe impact on the site's Google ranking due to a problem with redirection of the old web address. This reduced the influx of potential new readers noticeably. At the same time, other men's issues sites had begun to crop up, and the explosion of services like Blogger and Wordpress meant that there were suddenly many blogs vying for the same readership.
2006 and 2007 were difficult years. The site, now titled "The NiceGuy's Women / Ameriskanks (mostly) Suck Page!" was being constantly hammered by spam, and several serious hacking attempts forced the closure of forum registrations to general readership. The forum become invitiation-only and the site effectively went into "stealth" mode in an effort to protect it from being flooded. Additionally, a number of long-time members moved on to start up their own activism projects. The loss of experience came as quite a blow, though of course those departing left with the goodwill of the entire Mancoat community.
Further bad news for readers and forum members came when NiceGuy announced his intention to retire. He posted a final update in January 2007, and made his final forum post on 17 December the same year. There was no grand send-off, but many forum members took the time to wish NiceGuy the best in his life ahead during the lead up to his departure.
With the site's founder gone, NiceGuy's American Women Suck languished in limbo for the better part of 9 months until the most active group of remaining senior members realised they would either have to let the site gradually turn into a sepulchre or make a concerted effort to bring it back to life. In late 2008, a quiet effort was launched to totally revamp the site's content and structure. As most of the original essays written by NiceGuy were contained in a (now partially broken) database, and others had been lost during the various site transitions, a lot of time was spent looking through old backups for content that had vanished. Further, it was decided that the actual html coding of the site's articles, much of it originally generated by Microsoft Frontpage, desperately needed to be re-written to be compliant with modern web standards.
The result, launched 5 months later in March 2009, was a much more professional-looking and reliable site. You can view an image of the site as it appeared then by clicking here. Unfortunately the copy held by the web archive does not render correctly, so the image will have to suffice. The 5 months of hard work paid off, and the forum was once again opened to member registrations. Traffic began to increase, and the site was saved from near-death. Shepherded by the remaining senior members, the site added a Chat Room, RSS Feed and the Contributors Corner section during the following 18 months.
Today, NiceGuy's American Women (mostly) Suck Page is just one voice in the choir of sites devoted to men's issues, but I feel privileged to have been a present for a small part of the history of the Men's Movement. To celebrate the occasion of the site's 10th anniversary, a new site header was commissioned, and produced by the talented Bobby N. For posterity, I also include an image of the site's front page as it stands today, and hope to raise a glass to its continued existence in another 10 years.
Onward and upward!
"For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive." -- D. H. Lawrence
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