After 18 years as one of the world's foremost pro audio forums, Gearslutz has decided to begin a new chapter as Gearspace.
The move comes after a Change.org petition calling for a name change, wihch garnered nearly 5,000 signatures. The petition was started by user Cam Ran, who detailed the initiative's purpose in the description section of its Change.org microsite.
"Not every woman is offended by this name, but enough people are that it’s a frequent and recurring topic," she wrote. "Most of the engineers I know feel uncomfortable with the name."
Gearspace founder Jules Standen went on to respond to the petition shortly after it began. "The name was, and still is, not intended to send a derogatory message to women or to discourage them from participating in the forum," he said. "It was simply meant to poke fun at some people’s pro audio shopping habits."
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"It’s important to give the power back to musicians as opposed to having a middleman kind of control everything."
Still, Standen has opted to move away from the controversy, announcing the name change on the forum and on the "Working Class Audio" podcast.
“Our aim is for the new name to be more inclusive and better suited to professional environments and the audio education world," said Standen. "We are excited about this new chapter!”
Standen wrote that while the name of the forum began as a pun 18 years ago, it is "no longer acceptable." The blog will fully transition over to the Gearspace name by summer 2021, and though the name has already been changed, the Gearspace site will not be fully up and running until mid-April 2021.
A preview of the new Gearspace pro audio forum can be found here.