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Debagging (the formal name used in Britain, especially historically at the University of Oxford and Cambridge in England, and derived from "Oxford bags", a loose-fitting baggy form of trousers), also known as kegging, dacking, downtrouting/downtrailing, dudding, jocking, trunking or pantsing/de-pantsing (the North American term for the act,) is the pulling down of a person's trousers against their wishes, typically as a practical joke, but in other instances as a sexual fetish. The most common method is to sneak up behind the intended victim, grab the trousers' waistband, and apply a quick downward tug before the victim is aware of the debagger's presence. Sometimes, the trousers are completely removed, and perhaps left somewhere embarrassing to reclaim.
The corresponding term in Australia is dakking or dacking, which originated from DAKS Simpson, a clothing brand that became a generic term for trousers and underpants. In Scotland the process is often known as breeking from the word "breeks" meaning trousers. In New Zealand the act is known as giving someone a down trou; in Ireland jocking; in the north of England kegging. The act of pulling down a person's underwear, is called double-dacking.
Debagging is a common prank in high school gym classes as a form of bullying. Its most extreme form includes running the trousers up the school flagpole. Some U.S. colleges before World War II were the scenes of large scale "depantsing" scraps between freshman and sophomore males. It is also an initiation rite in fraternities and seminaries. It was cited in 1971 by Gail Sheehy as a form of sexual assault against grade school girls, which did not commonly get reported, although it might include improper touching and indecent exposure by the perpetrators. The United States legal system has prosecuted it as a form of sexual harassment of children.
Types of debagging
Debagging can be used as a form of bullying and is technically the crime of simple assault. The practice has been likened to a ritual emasculation. In 2007, British Secretary of State for Education and Skills Alan Johnson, in a speech to the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, criticized such bullying and criticised YouTube for hosting a movie (since removed) of a teacher being debagged, saying that such bullying "is causing some [teachers] to consider leaving the profession because of the defamation and humiliation they are forced to suffer" and that "Without the online approval which appeals to the innate insecurities of the bully, such sinister activities would have much less attraction."
Juanita Ross Epp is highly critical of teachers who regard pupils debagging one another as normal behaviour, saying that debagging makes pupils feel intimidated and uncomfortable and that "normal is not the same as right".
Sexual fetishism (sharking)
There is a fetish subculture in this type of debagging which is known as sharking which means males pulling up or down females' clothing for sexual reasons. This is considered as a criminal offense worldwide.
Videos of sharking are popular in Japan. The women who portray the victims of the offense are either credited or uncredited actresses but the majority of them are paid.
Debagging is commonly performed in schools by both boys and girls, and is a popular form of attack. Girls will collude with dominant boys in targeting weaker boys for debagging, and may also single out those boys that do not share attributes with the dominant male group without the help of or the instigation of boys, according to an article from 1999.
- Oxford English Dictionary[dead link]
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