Wicked Pickets is a community action to remove the sexist, racist and homophobic slogans on Wicked Vans. You can like the Wicked Pickets Facebook page. This particular protest group is based in Brisbane. There are many other similar protest groups around Australia.
On Saturday April 10, I gave a speech at a rally against Wicked Campers (no I will not link to their website thereby helping enhance their SEO). I also read out a statement on behalf of Greens Senator Larissa Waters as she was unable to attend the rally.
Below is a YouTube video from the day. I make a brief cameo appearance. 🙂
Great summary below of the cause from the YouTube vid:
Wicked Campers is a tourist van company, owned by John Webb, that promotes violence against women because they denigrate and objectify women. Over many years women and men have asked John Webb to remove his slogans. He has always refused. In July 2014, a petition condemning the slogans quickly collected more than 127,000 signatures.
In an initiative of Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Senate unanimously passed a motion condemning the slogans. In response, John Webb removed one of his slogans and said he would remove the other offensive slogans within six months. He hasn’t.
Slogans such as the following continue to roam Australia’s streets: “Fat Chicks are Harder to Kidnap”, “She Can’t Wrestle but you Should see her Box”, “Random Breast Testing” (accompanied by drawings of women’s breasts). The slogans are offensive and dangerous, they need to come down.
I thought I’d post my speech here for you. I haven’t included Larissa’s statement as that’s up to her to share.
Wicked Pickets Rally Speech
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and I pay my respect to elders past and present.
In the last week, for supporting this rally, I’ve been called a:
– A Fascist
– A censor
– Anti freedom of speech
– The stasi
Suffice to say, I’m not friends with him anymore.
Disagree with me, sure. But don’t dare – for one moment – accuse this progressive, feminist woman standing right here of being something that I am most certainly not.
Standing before me are a whole range of men and women with different views on what equality means. My view as a feminist may differ from your view as a feminist. And that’s OK.
For example, I’m OK with men who hold the door open for me. My view is ‘This is the way they’re showing me respect and at least they’re not raping me’ so I’m OK with it. And then I’ll go and open a door for someone else. I get there is a whole academic discourse around this and the reasons why it’s often frowned upon. It’s just not something I choose to fight against.
But when it comes to these sexist, violent slogans, there’s no grey area for me. I just see no need for a business to be printing them and placing them in the public eye. Where children can view them. Where adults can view them. We encourage our kids to read and then they’re forced to read this? Let kids be kids.
There is no need for sexist slogans that disrespect women to become a cultural norm – something we accept as part of our every day lives.
As someone who’s worked and studied in the area of corporate social responsibility and social business, these sexist, anti-women slogans aren’t the responsible way to go about doing business. They’re not edgy. They’re not cool.
The artwork is zany and colourful. THAT kind of edgy, THAT kind of eye-catching zany deserves words of peace and non-violence to be attached to them. Peace and non-violence is one of the Greens four core principals and a reason I’ve been a member of the party for 11 years. In my local society and the greater globe, I support non-violent actions that bring us closer to peace.
Let’s give young men and women from all over the world who have chosen to travel Australia a reason to live harmoniously together. Let’s inspire the rest of us who see the vans to travel. Tourism apparently contributes $96 million a day to the Australian economy.
Larissa shouldn’t have had to get into parliament and raise a motion like she did. The petition happened. The women folk spoke. The company should’ve swallowed its words.
I am media, marketing and public relations professional. Have been for 17 years.
Online this week, a group of us has been trying to figure out what kinds of slogans should go on the vans. Slogans that are meant to interrupt the sexism and violence that’s being promoted.
I’ve decided to take a marketing track instead. They’re a travel company. Rather than shock people into noticing them, why not simply inspire people to go on an adventure and travel…?
And I know these slogans are popular to the masses as I found them on Pinterest!
- When something goes wrong in your life just yell ‘PLOT TWIST’ and move on.
- As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.
- If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.
- You’re beautiful on the inside like … your brain and stuff.
- I adore spontaneity, providing it is carefully planned.
- I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring – David Bowie.
- I think it’s time to leave this all behind.
- The trouble is, you think you have time. – Buddha.
- If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.
- I need a six month vacation, twice a year.
- And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.
- Only dead fish go with the flow.
- I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it.