Image credit: Change.org
A petition on change.org is gaining momentum with over 4000 signatures.
Cam Ran, who started the petition wrote: “Most of the engineers I know feel uncomfortable with the name.” She continues: “It might not seem like a big deal, and people will likely say that we should focus our energies on bigger issues of equality, but we can do both. We can talk about the things in our community that make us uncomfortable, starting with this website created by men, who have never been called ‘slut’ in a hateful and derogatory way. Who have never had to prove their merit in their field simply because of their gender. Who have never had someone assume that their level of success was due to the fact that they slept with the right person.”
Cam further states: “Aside from making some people feel a bit upset, it’s also just a very unprofessional name that makes people uncomfortable in an educational environment or workplace… If you’re angered or annoyed by this request, truly ask yourself why.”
Jules Standen, the founder of Gearsltuz recently responded but failed to acknowledge why the name may cause offence. In a statement he said that the name was “not intended to send a derogatory message to women or to discourage them from participating in the forum. It was simply meant to poke fun at some people’s pro audio shopping habits.” He continues: “If women who are put off by the name were to look at the forum itself, they would find it a very welcoming place. In fact, from the very outset, because male participants were in the majority, we have done our very best to make the forum a safe place for women in terms of site content and visitor behaviour.”
Naturally, there is a divide among the fanbase over the name change with some crying cancel culture. However, this isn’t the first time the site has had issues with its name. In 2011 the site created a SFW skin which replaces the logo “gearslutz.com” with “gearz.com“. This was due to users saying they were getting funny looks from family members and co-workers.
So it’s pretty easy to see that the name just isn’t fit for purpose, insulting and just inappropriate. Perhaps a name change would be better suited for the active users and wider community.