An Australian camping company has come under fire for painting insulting, misogynistic, and racist slogans on its fleet of vans.
Wicked Campervans, a budget travel option marketed toward tourists looking to explore Australia on the cheap, boasts brightly colored vans outfitted with loud graffiti artwork. Its slogans are far less, cheerful, however:
“In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it just once”
“A wife: an attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done”
“Fat girls are harder to kidnap”
“To all virgins: Thanks for nothing”
‘A blowjob is a great last minute gift!’
‘I wouldn’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die!’
‘Save the whales, harpoon a Jap”
Paula Orbea, a Sydney high school teacher, became horrified when her 11-year-old daughter came home from a trip and started quoting the messages painted on the vans. She kicked off a Change.org petition calling on company founder John Webb to “[e]liminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery,” a push that has attracted more than 18,000 supporters.
“My daughter was upset by this because she felt, as a girl, that the slogan was refering to her and it made her fear being perceived that way — especially by someone she may cross paths with who may agree with that perspective,” the petition states. “ Slogans such as this ring too familiar to real life attrocities, such as the recent discovery of Rolf Harris’s sexual assaults; enacting on a girl as young as eight.”
Two other petitions have called on the company to remove offensive slogans such as ‘Kill the Poor’ and stickers advising motorists to run over kangaroos. In 2011, the company announced that “Following a week of intense protesting from Animal Rights Activists around the world, we have decided to remove the controversial ‘Kangaroo’ stickers from our fleet of vans.”