David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Wicked Campers sexual term banned by Chief Censor

A new ruling from the Chief Censor has banned from the road one of the vans carrying a term considered to be degrading to women. Photo / Supplied
A new ruling from the Chief Censor has banned from the road one of the vans carrying a term considered to be degrading to women. Photo / Supplied

Wicked Campers has been whacked again - and this time the Chief Censor's office has banned its use of a sexual term.

A new ruling from the Chief Censor has banned from the road one of the vans carrying a term considered to be degrading to women.

It's the first time a sexual term has been banned from being displayed on the campervans with the three previous orders classifying the campers as "objectionable publications" because of the depiction of drug use.

In this case, the Chief Censor was dealing with a Japanese term which described a group male sex activity.

Wicked Campers, represented by Ford Sumner lawyers, said the term "may cause mild offence to some individuals who are aware of its translated meaning" but it was "simply one word" among others which were not offensive. It also told the Chief Censor not many people would be offended because not many people knew what it meant.

"Furthermore, the phrase is used for humorous purposes, and this characteristic prevails over any other potential sexual characteristics that may be interpreted."

But the police submission, which led to it being banned, said the term "details a very explicit and demeaning sexual act where a woman (or man) is deliberately subjected to a degrading act for the sexual gratification of some men". The word described "a very misogynistic sexual fetish", the police submission stated.

The Chief Censor ruled the van objectionable (banned), saying other content depicting the practice had been previously banned. The censor's ruling found the act "an expression of misogyny that degrades and dehumanises women".

"By blatantly referencing explicit sexual subject matter on the back of a van it contravenes accepted standards, but is also a joke at the expense of women rather than just a joke."

The ruling stated "early exposure to knowledge of an extreme sexual practice that humiliates and degrades women" would likely impact on children's development of attitudes to sexuality.

Slogans on two other campervans were found to be not objectionable.

- NZ Herald

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