Women picket Wicked Campers over sexist van art

Journalist Lucy Clark criticised Wicked Campers and the company responded.
Friday, August 22, 2014

A group of women gathered in protest outside the Wicked Campers depot on August 16.

Wicked Campers is a Brisbane-based company that rents out tourist camping vans. The company has been criticised for the misogynist, racist and homophobic slogans that are painted on its vans.

The company has not responded well to the condemnation and has sought to punish those who have spoken out. In one case, it responded to a journalist by painting a slogan on a van that threatened physical violence.

Last month, a petition organised by a woman and her 11-year-old daughter attracted more than 100,000 signatures across the country in a matter of days. In response Wicked Campers finally agreed to remove one of the misogynist slogans from its vans.

The slogan, which read “Inside every princess is a little slut who wants to try it just once”, was also condemned by the Australian Senate in a motion initiated by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Wicked Campers boss John Webb claimed he would remove other slogans that had caused offence, but he would not specify which ones and gave the company a six-month deadline. Since then, Webb has refused to meet with Brisbane women who want the slogans removed immediately.

There is no guarantee the slogans will go.

They include: “Women are like banks — once you withdraw you lose interest.”

“I wouldn’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

“Dear Lucy … I can imagine the gaffa tape on your mouth.”

“Men have two emotions – hungry and horny…. If you see him without an erection make him a sandwich!”

“Fat chicks are harder to kidnap.”

These slogans degrade women and promote rape culture and violence against women.

The picket was made up of women aged 12 to 69 — symbolic of the widespread the outrage. Protesters were quickly asked to leave by a staff member. A small group then requested to speak to Webb and to be given confirmation that the slogans would be removed.

Webb made no appearance and eventually four police officers arrived to ask the peaceful protest to leave, on grounds of “intimidation”.

The group resolved to hold another picket on August 30 and to continue until the slogans are removed.

[Visit Wicked Picket on Facebook to find out more.]

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