“Credit Carding” It’s Not What You Think!By
A cloud of laughter erupts from a bustling school hallway as a small pack of arrogant boys bounce triumphantly through the crowd. The female students stand covering their mouths, all looking sheepishly towards one little red-faced girl. “Katie got Carded!” booms a jaunting voice as the the girl scampers into a nearby classroom. If you’re over twenty-five, you probably haven’t heard the term. But if you’re in high school or junior school today, if you cruise the younger social networking sites or flip avidly through youtube videos, you’re bound to dread the day someone pulls the stunt on you.
“Credit Carding” is the act of inserting your bladed hand between the legs of an unsuspecting victim, then swiping up across the genitals or through the cheeks. The term first appeared in the Urban Dictionary back in 2006. Since then, its become popular for teens to not only “card” fellow students in public, but to record the act, and post the embarrassing video on the internet. A search on youtube or myspace will reveal dozens of videos with guys “carding” girls, girls “carding” guys and both sexes carding each other. With just a moment’s worth of research, you’ll find instructional videos, and even mockumentaries, desribing the “social-phenomenon” of Credit Carding.
For many, the act is just child’s play -the equivalent of having your pants pulled down in front of others. But for some, the act of being “carded” is more serious. The unsuspecting victim can feel horribly degraded, violated and embarrassed in front of their peers.
For the actor of this little prank, the consequences can be more severe as well. In most states, making non-consentual contact with another person’s private areas falls clearly within the realm of an assault. The fact that the victim is clothed at the time makes no difference, nor does the fact that the actor thought he was playing a prank.
The most important thing for parents to do, is to talk about this issue with your kids. Make sure that they know how to react if someone touches them in an inappropriate way. Laughing about it is not appropriate, nor is ignoring it. Mom and dad need to be made aware of it. Kids who express little or no reservations about making unwanted contact with another kid’s genitals are displaying anti-social symptoms that need to be addressed. Kids who are victimized by acts like this need to have the opportunity to express themselves, and be given the opportunity to regain their sense of self.