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Gearslutz forum

Gearslutz forum  ·  Source: Robin Vincent

Gearslutz founder Julian Standen has had a revelation: the name of his website might be a bit dated and perhaps it’s time for a change. The move comes in response to an online petition urging Julian to remove the reference to “slut” in the title of his widely read forum. 

What’s in a name?

After mounting pressure spearheaded by an online petition with nearly 5,000 signatures Julian Standen posted on his jauntily named forum:

We recognise and agree that the word-play pun in the name has gotten old and it is now time to move forwards.

It’s a welcome change of attitude from what he said just the other day when he had no intention of changing the name and explained that it’s all good innocent fun based on playing with the idea of being a slave to the acquisition of gear and back in 2003 no one batted an eyelid, or at least no one that they cared about. They were simpler times when educators and places of work didn’t mind accessing using web addresses with sexual slurs in them. The conversation never really included women because it wasn’t about women, it was just good old lad-culture harmless fun.

The name wasn’t a great idea then and it still isn’t now.

In a video posted on the Gearslutz forum Julian explains why they feel it’s time to change the name and highlights exactly what the problems have always been with it. He’s not an idiot or blind to the issues and seems like a really nice chap and of course no one believes or is suggesting that he meant any harm or disrespect to anyone. Good job mate.

Why now?

What really gets my goat is that we had this conversation a couple of years ago in the momentum of the #MeToo movement that was tackling sexism in many arenas. Music Technology is one area that desperately needs to take a long hard look at itself for the gender imbalance and why while there’s plenty of women working in the industry a far smaller percentage engage in the online communities such as Gearslutz. Women spoke out at the time about the exact same issues Julian highlighted in his video but nothing happened. Instead, ranks were closed and problems dismissed as political correctness “gone mad”. Nothing was done. It took a petition of forum members’ peers to make them consider the possibility that they might be on the wrong side of this issue and that in itself is a perfect picture of the institutional sexism inherent in these sorts of forums.

The petition was started only a week ago by “Cam Ran” and has garnered 4,952 signatures (at the time of writing).

Petition

Gearslutz Petition

It’s worth reading her full post on Change.org because it highlights why this is so important. Here’s a little bit for you:

While there has been much progress in the gear community and audio world for women, we still exist in a time where every woman I know who works in audio has been asked which band member she’s dating when she’s loading in gear. Every woman I know has been called a slut in a derogatory manner. Every woman I know who works in a male dominated field has felt objectified and patronized. And not every woman is offended by this name, but enough people are that it’s a frequent and recurring topic.

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.

It just goes to prove that petitions can work!

However, regardless of how we got here, we are here now and that’s awesome! The change should be celebrated but Gearslutz and Julian shouldn’t feel anything other than shame that it’s taken them so long to do something so easy that would instantly improve the online music tech environment.

Is it worth it?

Gearslutz (I hope that’s the last time I use that name) is a great resource with forums covering all angles of music production and gear where every question imaginable has already been asked and discussed. It holds a lot of knowledge and many experienced people offer invaluable advice in the discussions. It also has a prevailing “lad culture” that still needs a lot of work and a name change is not going to elevate the discourse overnight, but it’s a start.

Apparently, there’s some work to do in order to make the changes but a new name should be coming along very soon. You can already change the logo on the site to something less offensive via a drop-down box. The URL will take longer and they expect that to done by the summer.

Update: the new name is GEARSPACE. It’ll do.

Right, what’s next? I’m looking at you MuffWiggler.com

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51 responses to “Gearslutz forum to change its name after sexism row”

  1. Alex says:

    Wooowowoo woke police

    Hope they can maintain their SEO lol

    • JJ_Jettflow says:

      By “woke”, I guess you mean realizing that something you took for granted may be offensive to others? It used to be called common courtesy but I guess that was too complicated a phrase for the right so they went for the one-syllable “woke” instead?

      • stranger says:

        Being a slut is not a gendered thing at all. Any gender can be a slut. This is nothing but self-victimization to say that “gearslutz” really offends them.

        • Darren says:

          Yeah I guarantee for every person using the site and claiming not to have a problem with the name, there are 10 other people who never signed up and would never sign up due to the name. Then another 20 people who never signed up because of the user base’s skew toward that first 10%.

  2. James says:

    I was so used to the name that I forgot how embarrassing it is. Seems like a no-brainer decision, even though there is mountain of work ahead of them.

  3. Kyle says:

    Well put. Thanks for covering this here.

    As a gear enthusiast dude, I’ve often discussed things I’ve read on Gearslutz with women, and sometimes the question comes up, “Where’d you hear about that?”

    I’ve always felt lame saying, “Gearslutz”. Apart from it being sexist (#1 reason to change it) it’s just so juvenile.

    No one is perfect, and I can imagine the owner of the board never imagined it’d turn into the hub that it’s become.

    It’s good they’re now making the effort.

  4. WOK says:

    Maybe WIMP.COM is still available? Or WUSSY.NET?

    It’s so embarrassing to see people to be servile to ervery storm in a teacup raised by bumptious bra burners….

    • Robin Vincent says:

      Sadly, you’ve not just let everyone down, your family, friends and colleagues, but worst of all you’ve let yourself down.

  5. Slut says:

    I’m so sick of this modern shit… Change this, change that, this is offending someone, that is offending something… Fuck off.

    You will always be Gearslutz, period.

    • Robin Vincent says:

      I’ve never understood this attitude. If there’s something in the world that’s causing problems to people and you had the power to change it, why wouldn’t you want to change it? Especially as it has zero impact on your life. Even if you can’t comprehend how other people could possibly have difficulty with it wouldn’t the fact that they do make you wonder if there’s something that could help? There’s nothing to be gained other than a nicer world and broader range of engagement – why would you be anti that?

      • Paul says:

        It isn’t causing problems. You are,.

      • Proud Slut says:

        If a guy wants to change it – I don’t mind, that’s his right, and I would never forbid something like that even if I had the power to do so. But I will never understand that every single little thing is now forbidden if someone says he feels offended. Are we, as society, made of clay or excrement (won’t use s**t or c**p, that could offend someone)…

        • Robin Vincent says:

          I don’t think any laws are being broken and no one is offended. The name discourages people from using what is a useful source of information that puts itself out there as a business and a service to the community. However, the name is embarrassing and it’s also a word that’s frequently used as a term of abuse. Many people are not bothered as that’s not been their experience and they are not in a position where they have to give the URL out in education or access the site at work. There are plenty of people who have. None of this is difficult to grasp. No one wants to stop you taking a dump on your own carpet. But if the name changed it would reflect the idea that the forum isn’t just filled with childish idiots and might be a safe place to go for people who are regularly confronted by sexism in our industry. It’s a small thing, a tiny thing that would enable broader access to a great resource. There are no loses, nothing is lost, you can still fart to yourself while surfing the site in your underpants, but a very small corner of the internet would be brighter and in these dark days that is worth fighting for.

      • Confucius says:

        I can tell by the replies Vincent and JJ are not trying to voice their opinion but instead direct the narrative on here. The point here is offense can be had by anyone. At one point when we have AI the term “Gear” could become offensive or maybe someone starts using it for other purposes and that can be offensive. The issue I have is, if it was that offensive people would not join and use the forum. This shows that this a directive by special interests for the case of thought policing. Stop using the service and move on just like they say with twitter or facebook. If it is that bad, it will die, but that is not happening. Therefore the majority of customers do not care. Just a small portion. To me the name was diluting the term and removing the emotional context these individuals think it implies. I am a slut for gear, there is nothing wrong with that. Plus everyone in the replies directing this toward women. Men can be sluts too so this just shows where your mind is and not everyone else’s mind is right now. Out of every group of people a percentage will be offended by anything someone says. There is no perfect way to speak. The more we direct this the more we narrow the dialogue. Respect goes as far as intent not verbiage. Being scared of words is a bad path to follow. It has 396,803 members and the minority is driving the directive. Just remember, you think you are virtuous now but you will be offensive at one point. I hope at one point we can put in the breaks with this stuff and rather teach people to build the confidence to know words are intangible, an external source and we are responsible to how we individually put meaning to external information. For example, it would not be fair of me to say “seeing Vincent and JJ reply to everyone’s point continuously countering them makes me feel anxious and feels like harassment of other members”. That sure lines up with offensive. But I won’t because we all have a right to express ourselves how we want and others have a right to remove themselves from said situations to not be a part of those things they do not want to be a part of…this leads to social growth. Which should never be done with an authoritarian directive.

        • Robin Vincent says:

          Sadly I think you miss the point entirely as so many do. All I can suggest is that you read the petition which may give you a glimmer of insight into the reasons behind the action far better than I can. The majority of members you mention “don’t care” not because they are right but because it doesn’t affect them. Why can’t we be helpful to those it does affect? And the name is Robin, thanks. https://www.change.org/p/gearslutz-gearslutz-please-change-your-name

        • yooo says:

          “At one point when we have AI the term “Gear” could become offensive ”

          jesus stopped reading there lol

  6. William Paxson says:

    Probably the least important thing that happened today.

  7. iixorb says:

    I wondered when that was finally going to happen ! The name is a bit past its sell-by date.
    Also avoids the embarrassment of constantly having to explain to my wife and kids what type of site Gearslutz is…. or more importantly, what type of site it ISN’T !!!

  8. Jehudi Loozen says:

    Interesting thing. As a word always has a certain meaning. And gearslutz is in some kind of way a degenerate way of telling you love music and everything revolving around it.

    A few fun names to redirect it to?
    Gearindahouse, Gearsinheaven, LandoftherisingGear, TearsforGears, ChildinGear, …

  9. ferris says:

    It’s hilarious how precious the pro audio community is over the word ‘slut’. I was actually of the mindset that it shouldn’t be changed initially, but after seeing the outrage and downright vulgar comments that ensued after the name-change was proposed, I quickly understood why it was necessary. Not only is it cringe-worthy when referenced in educational establishments, but it also displays how much casual misogyny is thrown around the pro audio sphere. It was just yesterday that Bath Snacks, a music tech YouTuber, had to delete her most popular video after getting endless comments from drooling, creepy men. The idea that the name proves some kind of macho “we’re not offended because we’re not woke pussies” attitude is laughable. I don’t believe in censorship, but I also don’t believe in closed-mind elitism.

  10. Paul says:

    The extreme left have won. Communism for the west is in the Horizon.

    All we need to figure out is whether we need to start learning Chinese or Russian for what’s to come.

    • Analogue6 says:

      Actually Paul, perhaps you need to evolve or snuff your useless life out and extinguish your ignorance once and for all. This is not about being “woke” or “liberalism” moron. Initially I was not too pleased to hear this change yet after seeing the ignorance and misogyny that ensued since the announcement, the change cannot happen soon enough!

    • Retro says:

      knobdiddling.com?
      Doubling down on the juvenile is the right thing to do, all while strictly addressing what is ‘offending’ them.

  11. iixorb says:

    I don’t know how many of the comments here are from Brits, but the ‘S’ word is deeply offensive to the British. Perhaps it doesn’t seem such a big deal if you’re not a Brit, or if English isn’t your mother-tongue, but it’s ‘up there’ with the F word and almost as bad as the C word. Just saying’ …..

  12. Johny says:

    I am British and I don’t find it offensive at all…its just a bit of fun (at our own community) people should find more important things to do than this nonsense.

    • Robin Vincent says:

      And yet you felt this important enough to post a rebuttal? No one is offended, let me say that again, it’s not about being offended because no one is under the illusion that this is anything other than juvenile. It’s simply not very nice, unprofessional, cringe-worthy and aptly describes the laddish culture that exists within. Why not make it a better place that doesn’t project those things?

      • Johny says:

        ”It’s simply not very nice, ‘unprofessional, cringe-worthy and aptly describes the laddish culture that exists within’ – in ‘your’ opinion, you don’t speak for everyone, you probably don’t even speak for the majority, I didn’t care either way before, but after reading your post and feel more strongly now that they should not change their name.

        • Robin Vincent says:

          Why? For the sake of spite? What’s that about? I think if I write an article then it’s a given that I am expressing my opinion within it. Gearnews is based upon the opinion of the writers – that’s our basic function.

      • Paul R. says:

        Oh come on, Robin. You just wrote an entire article about how angry you were over the name, and now you’re trying to play the “actually, you’re the one who’s upset” card?

        It just comes across as really threatened by the fact that people who don’t agree that the name of a website is a gigantic problem and aren’t afraid to post a sentence stating their position.

        It may not be a communist takeover like that one dork above is saying, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything other than a small minority of people with deep inferiority complexes who pathologically seek out things to be offended over as a way of distracting themselves from just how messed up they are.

        • Robin Vincent says:

          Come on, where? Who’s upset sorry? I really don’t think that half the planets population is a small minority, or if you’re talking about our specific corner of music tech then 5,000 signatures isn’t a minority either. I believe that if something never applies to you then you’re on shaky ground having any kind of useful opinion on it. I’ve yet to find a woman for whom the culture behind technology is all lovely and nothing to be concerned about. That’s horrible – why would we put up with that? It’s like arguing against putting in ramps for wheelchairs because those stairs have always been there, never bothered me with my two working legs and no one really cares about a few people who can’t get in the shop. Why don’t we opt for the good thing rather than keep the bad thing even if it’s only bad for other people?

  13. Tom says:

    Sexism…

    Men can be sluts too. We’re all getting a bit gear fluid aren’t we.

  14. Joe Biden says:

    Wait, what’s offensive about “lutz”?

  15. Shania Pakil says:

    Vincent, you’re so right about gender imbalance in the music industry. Thankyou for highlighting this issue. I’m sure you’ll agree that a good first step would be for you to immediately stop making videos, and to resign from gearnews.com effective immediately. It’s privileged white males like you that are blocking other genders and POC from these positions. Again, thankyou for raising this matter and for being an ally in this important cause. Now please step aside and make room.

    • Voodu says:

      “It’s privileged white males like you that are blocking other genders and POC from these positions” – Shania

      This is solid 9 carat bullshit. People should be hired to do a job based on their ability – not their gender or race. The latter is just another form of discrimination.

    • Dindu N says:

      Yeah, lets organize a petition and gather 5000 signatures to cancel this bastion of manliness. So sad….

  16. nativeVS says:

    I felt originally rather indifferent to the name change, but after reading the vile comments made on so many platforms I now fully support it.

    With regards to Muffs. well that’s a very unique forum; it was named after the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi and Wiggler, so should EHX change pedal names as well or completely retire the range?
    But more seriously, I feel MW is a far more inclusive and less mysoginistic community than GS, however very far from perfect (there are the big dark sides of Muffs that one shouldn’t venture into). But it seems both websites have far outgrown their puerile names; I would go as far as saying that MW champions LGB indifference and T acceptance in music tech online forums (ok, I’m not setting the standard very high) and it is mostly a decent place for on topic discussions (unlike GS).
    Maybe we’ll see Muffs follow suit, but I doubt it for now given the poll on the forum.

  17. Nigel Tedbury says:

    All the comments saying it’s not a problem are actually proving why it’s necessary.

  18. blah says:

    It will now be called Gearcuckz.

  19. Eikon says:

    We’ll have Stylebot markup for the honourable, classic name within minutes. Or until the fervor of this puritanical epoch burns itself out.

    For all those sex-positive libertines who made music worth a listen.

  20. Phil Granger says:

    You won’t and can’t change the toxic nature of an Internet forum by changing its name.
    The world wouldn’t be at much of a loss if the site disappeared completely imo

  21. XanderL says:

    LOL at the people who are upset by the name change. You live in your tiny worldview bubble to think everyone else in the world is just like you. Forest > Trees

  22. Nini says:

    The whole discussion is just ridiculous.
    But now that we’re at i suggest Gearsnowflakes.
    Also let’s guilt Thomann in changing it’s name to Thogirl.
    We should also make sure 50% of all music being produced, released and played on the radio or in anyone’s home is made by non musicians.
    I think it’s unfair to the less musically gifted people that their output is ignored so vigorously.
    I also think it’s time for men to give birth to 50% of all children. This burden is a prime example of the patriarchy!

    To be honest i think there are way more important problems humanity is facing at the moment than some special interest forum name.
    People are still starving. Even in the richest regions in the world like the US and the EU!
    Why don’t people write petitions against that?
    Or maybe against our governments selling weapons to evil people who use them to bomb school buses?
    Or against wallstreet bankers ripping of the general public? Maybe against giving them billions of tax payer money if their gamble goes the wrong way?
    That is offensive to me. It should be to all of us.
    I think this whole gender/race/equality discussion is a way to keep people from thinking about important things so politicians/banker can keep scaming us.
    I mean seriously who the hell thinks females are less capable then males in 2021? Or asians, or black people, or white males?
    And what’s wrong with the word slut anyway? I don’t get it.

    Peace.

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