More than 2,600 signatures have been aggregated in a Change.org petition to encourage popular pro audio platform Gearslutz to change their name.
"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," the petition's author Cam Ran wrote. "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."
Rain further elaborated on her experience with having to apologize for referencing the name of the company in an academic setting. Gearslutz is a topic of conversation she references within her engineering curriculum, but feels the website's name is unprofessional and does not adequately represent the gear community.
The website's founder Jules Standen has responded, disputing that the name is derogatory towards women. "I chose the name as an ironic way of describing those who, like me, had no control over their desires for acquiring recording equipment," Standen wrote. "The name was, and still is, 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."
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In his message, Standen goes on to point out a dropdown menu at the bottom left corner of the site which enables users to toggle a different display version of the logo which reads "gearsz.com" instead of the full name. His response did not suggest the company would be taking any further action at this time.