Gearslutz – one of the world’s most popular and longest-running music production and engineering forums has issued a statement saying it will change its name and drop the ‘-slutz’ following a Change.org petition signed by over 4,500 people.
Website founder Jules Standen – who initially defended the site’s name as “an ironic way of describing those who, like me, had no control over their desires for acquiring recording equipment” and that the name was “not intended to send a derogatory message to women or to discourage them from participating in the forum” – said on Tuesday, Jan 19th: “A recent petition for a forum name change has generated impassioned debate. We recognise and agree that the word-play pun in the name has gotten old and it is now time to move forwards. Gearslutz will be changing its name.”
The petition – started by Cam Ran – wrote on the Change.org page: “Every engineer I know has used/uses it, and most of the engineers I know feel uncomfortable with the name. I have been one of two women sitting in an engineering class and a professor has uncomfortably mentioned the website, apologizing [sic] for the name, but bringing it up because it has been an important resource to use when learning about gear.” He went on: “I’m looking forward to a brighter future where women and female-presenting people feel comfortable in all spheres of work and passion, and this small change would be a great step. If you’re angered or annoyed by this request, truly ask yourself why.”
Gearslutz is one of the world’s biggest resources for music production knowledge and discussion, with over 1.6 million monthly visitors from 218 countries. In 2011, Gearslutz added an alternative logo option of ‘Gearz’ when users claimed the logo wasn’t appropriate for work environments, though it’s not clear what the new site’s name will be. Standen closed his statement by saying: “This process is going to take a while as it is a significant technical task. Thus, we are asking you to bear with us as we embark on it.”