Why women should boycott Wicked Campervans

<i></i>

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.

<i></i>

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.

Advertisement

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’.)

<i></i>

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.

<i></i>

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!

Perhaps you’d prefer to wear your bits on the outside of the van? No problem! How about butts? Or bare breasts? No faces included, so the objectification can carry on at 100kph! Awesome!

How about a ‘girls only’ van, if you’re prepared to have it stamped with “VIXEN V”? (“V” for “vagina”? ROFL ROFL ROFL!!) Women, what are they good for? Rooting guys and making them sandwiches!!

...And so on. 

Look, I’m sorry, I thought it was 2013? Does nobody else have a problem with these bombs dragging their Wake In Fright-era sexual politics around the country (and, indeed, the world)?

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.

181 comments

  • Terrific article; I couldn't agree more. I will never use them.

    I spotted this van http://www.flickr.com/photos/82405581@N00/3204832694 a couple of weeks ago. It is neither clever nor funny and probably breaches trademarks.

    Commenter
    Haz
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    February 08, 2013, 2:28AM
    • Out of interest, have you just helped their business model by broadcasting their website name and phone number? By the way, I am not sure why any one would want to drive in a van decorated like that......

      Commenter
      Carstendog
      Location
      Here
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 9:32AM
    • "It is neither clever nor funny" - IYHO

      I, on the other hand, think it is clever and I had a mild chuckle. Everyone has a different sense of humour. I would not drive around in one of these but I can get a laugh at ones like this.

      FYI - Jim's franchises encompass almost everything. Not just the original mowing. I saw a Jim's antennas the other day and I followed a Jim's fencing just this morning. So in keeping with their blokey disrespect for all things PC then this van is clever. IMHO.

      Commenter
      Wal
      Location
      Bush
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 10:57AM
    • a guy driving this would be every girls dream boyfriend..not! Only immature, dumb dropkicks would drive around in somethig like this...or as you say a foreign tourist who doesn't really understand the english slogans.

      Commenter
      sunny
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 11:27AM
    • Perhaps they will change their attitude and lift their game like Aussie bag company Crumpler (to accommodate their global expansion perhaps?).

      They managed to attach a sexist/misogynistic 'story' to go with each of their bags. Any female who checked their (old) website before purchasing would have been mortified, must have made for a great joke for the lads running the company. I still cringe when I see women carrying their bags, if they only new I think.

      Commenter
      What's in a name
      Location
      Melb.
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 12:30PM
    • Don't get what this has to do with Jim's fencing, mowing or aerials...they don't seem unPC to me or disrespectful to women.

      Commenter
      miss worldly
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 1:39PM
    • miss worldly, how is Jim's Brazilians disrespectful to women? As far as I know Brazilians are the new black and (respectable) salons are popping up like mushrooms. So, this is simply a p@$s take on that. Do you take offence when you pass a shop called "Jane's Brazilians"?

      Maybe you are offended by the line "muff management". This is schoolboy/frat humour which only a boy with an emotional age of 15 would laugh at. It's certainly not misygonist.

      I personally think in keeping with the Jim's mowing theme "bushes trimmed" would have been better, but that is just me. A nice, simple, double entendre which only the humourless could be offended by.

      Commenter
      Wal
      Location
      Bush
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 3:09PM
    • You're totally right. Women should boycott this company. I'm sure some people hire these vans not realising the graffiti is so offensive - they're cheap and many people book online on price. Travelling as two women in Western Australia, camping in remote locations, we were relieved we'd chosen the more expensive Brits campervan when we passed a Wicked campervan with the slogan 'A hard man is good to find'. We'd considered booking Wicked - up to that point, we hadn't realised how crass the slogans are - or how dangerous. This kind of humour invites trouble for women travelling solo or in groups. Stay safe - don't book Wicked.

      Commenter
      orchid
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 7:10PM
    • Whilst I don't find find the slogans funny (childishly bogan), this article makes me feel very uncomfortable and I think highlights the overtly censorious climate that exists in Australia today (the endless whinging in Australia that occurs over everything nowadays is another story, however, the parallels to the outrage being expressed here are not lost on me). I have to admit I feel very lucky living in HK as this endless and monotonous itch to shut down any kind of speech that people deems to have offended them whether it is outrageous, dressed as outrage or otherwise is simply an excuse to camoflouge their political leanings. This thankfully does not occur in HK and this city continues to run smoothly and socially cohesive without the guilt and inevitable negative and unnecessary friction that is caused by these endless expressions of outrage. It is further evidence of the suffocating nannies who simply can't bear the freedoms available to many people in a liberal democratic society such as Australia. To this extent they feel an unspeakable urge to shut down that right to express oneself whether like these vans it be ugly, offensive or otherwise. Hell, I get offended a lot but more often than not I just wear it, rather than trying to shut down the offender.

      Commenter
      housemartin
      Location
      Hong Kong
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 7:40PM
    • If you find it funny, then drive around in it, if you don't, then don't, its that simple. There're plenty of other van hire companies for people without a sense of humour. Now you've brought the vans to my attention and let me know they're now available worldwide I personally will search them out next time I need a hire van. I am sick of people who get all upset about stupid little jokes and try to shut down any sense of humour in the world and I admire this company for standing up to political correctness. I have heard plenty of jokes about putting down men, many much worse than those you've shown on the back of your van, but I don't take offence, I see the humour in it. If you seriously believe Wicked Vans are making political statements about male chauvanism you've got to have a serious look at yourself. They're jokes, they're satirical and they're funny

      Commenter
      sense of humour
      Date and time
      February 08, 2013, 8:02PM

More comments

Comments are now closed