Have you ever found yourself crawling along the Hume at peak holiday season and ended up stuck behind a spraypaint-splashed campervan bearing “funny” slogans, and quickly rolled up the windows just in case herpes of the eyeballs is airborne?
If so, it’s likely you were tailing one of Wicked Campers’ fleet.
You know, the campervans, cars and 4x4s that bear the sort of eye-searing “art” you might see on a council-approved graf wall in the outer suburbs, or on the cover of a really terrible nu-metal album recorded in Frankston in 2001. The Australian company has extended its grubby reach worldwide over the past few years to include outlets in North America, the UK, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The terrible paint jobs would be just another eyesore were it not for the astounding politics the vans so often espouse - all in the name of “edgy humour”, mate, it surely doesn’t need to be said.
The company has been in trouble a number of times before for daubing their vans with racist slogans: in 2008, “Save a whale - harpoon a Jap”, and more recently, late last year for - impeccable grammar included, verbatim - “Its better 2 be black than gay, Cos you dont have 2 tell your parents....”.
(I’d really like to see how that second one would go down here in Los Angeles, and I’d really like to see it happen with the company board behind the wheel, driving through Compton. Unfortunately for that fantasy scenario, the Wicked vans I’ve occasionally seen in America tend towards a more generic “graffiti” paint scheme than their Australian counterparts’.)
The racist vans have made it into the news, but the company’s rampant misogyny has more or less gone unchecked since their boob-bearing vans started appearing on our roads.
It’s easy to assume that the only people who’d hire a Wicked Camper would be either desperate German tourists or dreadlocked “dudes” who like to play the same four bars of a Jack Johnson song for five hours every night (or bros like this), but evidently plenty of women think the company’s misogyny-’n’-racism on wheels shtick is “awesome” - at least according to a casual perusal of Wicked’s Facebook page.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a bit of spruiking for the company, since it seems they’re totally 100% female friendly.
Ladies, are you into viral hits? Perhaps you’d like to cruise around the country in a van painted with Psy of Gangnam Style fame? Small catch: Psy is depicted reaming a random hottie from behind (here’s a photo of said van; be aware that it is NSFW, and also not safe for eyes/brains). Oppa!
If you’re lucky, your van might come with some bonus interior decorating, like this charming figurative representation of the female form. Of course the company doesn’t mind that someone decorated the inside of the van, it’s all good fun, ladies!
...And so on.
This probably all sounds like shouting into a drain - after all, judging by the tone that appears to be Wicked’s company policy, they’d probably just tell me I need a good root; here’s one such example of an official response to one woman who dared to raise some concerns. (Sorry to rain on your comeback parade dudes, but I’m probably getting more action than anyone who rocks up in one of your grody vans.)
And yes, in some ways, there’s likely no point in making a complaint the next time you see a braindead sexist Wicked slogan in your rearview mirror. Instead, vote with your wallet: go to another hire company, because cheap rates or not, supporting a company that degrades women just so a few dropkicks can have a laugh with their tinnies on a camping trip isn’t worth saving a few measly dollars.