Sexual Harassment In Anime

This is not a post about the problematic trope in boys love or girls love. This is not about sexual harassment in anime taken seriously either; as an example groping on a train or name calling at the office. This is not about sexual harassment in hentai.

You all know how I feel about the rape trope in yaoi/boys love. I get very personal as to why that is and I am gonna get personal in this post too. Because this is a personal and very real matter, not only to me but to many females in this world.

There is one thing I loathe when it comes to certain types of anime; the boob grab. I know, some [many] of you think I am silly or even absurd to have such an abhorrence for such an innocent act. There is one huge problem though; there is nothing innocent about the boob grab. Not in the context of which anime you can find it.

As I said, I have no problem with hentai, where boob grab is mandatory too. It’s just a part of the game, you are supposed to get a boner from watching a hentai. Hentai is for grown ups, just like porn is. I’m not out to shame anyone who likes the boob grab but I need to address it with my experience and in my own words. Write down my thoughts on it.

I’m not talking about Melodias being an absolute asshole molesting Elisabeth in The Seven Deadly Sin’s here, I am talking about anime with cute girls doing adorable things. Anime kids, especially girls, would love to watch and be able to identify with.

I was probably around 12 or 13 when I realised the first time that my body, and especially my breasts, didn’t belong to me. I was with my family at a gathering with another family whom we had spent years and years with, ever since I and my 2 years older brother were born. At one point I reached over the table and until that moment I had never thought about how I came across in someone’s eyes but the dad in that family, around 50 or so, loudly chuckled; Our kids are getting old now. And then he gazed at my breasts and brushed them with his [left] hand. His excuse: He was taking something from the table too. He is in no way a pervert otherwise and I don’t know what possessed him to do that, that night. It was probably the booze, the adults had had plenty of beer and wine. It never happened again because I wouldn’t go near him. I don’t think it would either way but I was a cautious child.

I teach my kid everyday that her body is her own and that no one is allowed to touch it unless she says so. She’s ten. I’ve hammered that message into her since she was old enough to understand human language. I live in a liberal country where sex is okey to talk about, she knows that a boob grab is not okey. She doesn’t, by her own choice, watch that type of shows because she doesn’t understand how someone can disrespect another persons body like that.

Because in the end, the only thing a boob grab does is to teach children that it’s okey to disrespect a girls body and it gives a dude a boner. I might generalize but tell me, where in that particular action lies the cuteness? It is nothing more than harassment. Even a 10 year old understands that. Mine at least, but not all. Many will think that it is okey. I could have been one of them, my parents didn’t freely talk about sex and owning ones body.

I belong to #metoo. Not only because of my history with my ex boyfriend as you can read about in the post linked above. No, because I have encountered numerous guys who has taken the liberty to touch my body in places and ways I wasn’t comfortable with. And I didn’t have a voice to say no. To tell them off. And in hindsight, it would probably not have made a difference because they learned from an early age via cartoons and movies, and tv that it is okey to decide over another human beings body.

Skärmavbild 2018-04-07 kl. 16.15.47

What makes the boob grab in anime much worse is the fact that girls do it on girls. No, I don’t like anyone touching my breasts unless I say so and I don’t know anyone who does. Any girl knows it so the betrayal gets even bigger if a girl gropes another girl. I know what you are gonna say; it’s just fiction and affects no living person. But, that’s just it, it does. The anime community is very fastidious when it comes to telling people that anime is a real medium, for both children and adults. Well, take responsibility as adults then for the impact anime has. Children are watching this type of anime. Children are affected by this type of anime. Grabbing someone’s boobs are just as bad as if someone was to grab a dude’s dick randomly. You don’t see many, if any, anime with a dick grab.

I might sound stuck up and swaying up in the air on my high horses here but, it is still a fact; the boob grab is a horrible thing. You can’t compare it to much else in the anime world. Why? Because it is taken so lightly. Viewers laugh about it, they get turned on by it and find it cute. To watch something so real and see it as light and hearty entertainment is in my world not okey. But I might be biased because I have been in the real world situation of being sexually harassed. A world where women and girls doesn’t own their own bodies. A world where an anime or cartoon only increases the notion that it is okey to touch another persons body that way.

Thank you for reading.

15 thoughts on “Sexual Harassment In Anime

  1. Totally agree with you, I’ve never been comfortable with the boob grab by girls or guys. It’s just… tasteless at this point. You articled a lot of thoughts I’ve had on the subject as well. Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with Rise , the female boob grab is tasteless.
      On a more personal note the #metoo movement started well enough as a tool for social change, but now even a single accusation will destroy a career, Even if its proven to be fake.
      My boy Neil Degrassi Tyson was accused of sexual harassment after a pat on the back that made her feel uncomfortable. Im all for catching perverts that are sexually abusing women , but there should be accountability for women that are hijacking #metoo and claiming sexual harassment from a pat on the back . The only bulwark men have at thier disposal is to distance themselves from women thus removing any subistence for an accusation. I work at a physics lab and hiring a female experimental/theoretical physicist PhD has become a liability.
      I hope things take a turn for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Metoo didn’t start as a movement on Twitter. The founder never meant it to be used like it was. I think she was happy at first though but it went the wrong way with all the accusations going in all sorts of directions. It feels like everything became sexual harassment all of a sudden. You can feel uncomfortable by someone’s touch without it being sexual harassment but some people just can’t tell the different I think. However, I think some nationalities (men) takes this a bit too serious and are too afraid and are very happy to be able to blame metoo for denying women opportunities to evolve at their workplace. i know places that won’t even hire women. That’s just ridiculous. If you are afraid then sure, don’t touch the woman and await consent but don’t pretend it’s because you are afraid to be accused of sexual harassment so you won’t interact with them at all. In the end, women still have more cause to be afraid of men than the other way around, metoo didn’t change that.

        Myself, I never engaged in the tag anywhere. Much because so many people were using it the wrong way. Sexual harassment became some sort of normalized term and I think that’s wrong. Just because someone you don’t like looks at you doesn’t mean it’s sexual harassment but many people thought so. Same with normal touches. Even compliments turned into harassment. That’s what happens when emotions and feelings are mixed in. Real sexual harassment and maybe even more important sexual abuse has been clumped into the same severity as that other definition and in my eyes you make light of what is very serious insted of the other way around. In the end, people stop to listen when too many people whine about nothing. So when someone actually tells their story it is waved off. Just like before this whole thing started. So I am split; it is a very good idea but it got out of hand and was misused. The worst part of it all is that people doesn’t seem to understand. I’m glad though that so many people (not only men) got justice served for what they had done.

        This became long, sorry, I just have a lot to say about this. I know I am not in the majority about how I think about this, most women think it is a good initiative not thinking about the backside and the consequences for both (mostly) men (but some women, especially on women dominated workplaces. It actually goes that way too even if it isn’t just as usual) and abused/harassed women/men. Anyway, ramble done now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. I don’t really have much to say in response to this, I find it cute when there’s boob grabs and other shenanigans in anime, so does my missus. We’re all entitled to like what we like and dislike what we dislike and I’d never say you were wrong because a person’s own feelings on any given subject are too much of an important thing to be disregarded just because I disagree. Personally I think there’s way more harmful stuff that people overlook in everyday anime but that’s a topic for another day. Regardless, I appreciate your candid thoughts on the matter, it was an interesting read.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve always found the boob grab awkward and after being abused it became disgusting to me. I’ve realised that it’s a common thing in a lot of anime, especially comedic ones, so I’ve grown to just… not accept it, but acknowledge that it’ll be there, if that makes sense. Thanks for opening up and writing a post like this. It shines light onto a subject not many people discuss like this or realise can be such an alarming and uncomfortable act. ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading! Yeah, maybe the abuse has made me extra sensitive (although I don’t think so). I know it’s there in certain types of anime and so I usually avoid that type of anime. I have tried to find a cgdct anime that I like but I always get to an episode with the boob grab and then it’s over, I can’t continue. Of course, the boob grab is present in other types of anime too (even my baby Beelzebub has a scene with it but it is actually not at all there for fan service but more for mocking the phenomenon and it is hilarious. That’s the only boob grab so far i approve of.) Well, I just felt like I had to lift a side of the issue that not many think about, how it can, and do, affect the viewers, and especially young girls.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I appreciate your post and I feel like more people need to talk about things that make us uncomfortable, and things that are damaging to girls in ways that most people don’t think about. So thank you so much! 🙂

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  4. I couldn’t agree more! I’ve never really understood the boob grab in anime and I often find it a cheap tactic of fanservice and it makes me roll my eyes a lot and as a girl I wouldn’t want to experience it in a million years. I’m fortunate enough to say I haven’t experienced being touched without permission and it sickens me to hear when other people have to go through it. Whenever I see it I always just scratch my head because I’m like “why is this such a big thing? I mean there just boobs…” I’m glad you’re teaching your own child to understand that her body is her own! It’s such an important thing to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really cheap. I’m not at all against fan service but when it comes to boob grabs, especially when we talk about middle-/highschoolers I think it’s just horrible. It doesn’t fill any function at all. I’ve come to realise after this post that some people actually believe that girls are acting like this in real too and idk, but I don’t know anyone who would joke around like that like ever (unless drunk and/or horny). Sure, it might happen somewhere in the world but yeah, none of my girlfriends have ever played like that.

      I fortunately live in a country where schools also talk about your body and the police often have campaigns during festivals and such where they teach kids and teens about this too. So todays kids are more aware of the fact they own themselves than I and my friends or my parents were.

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  5. I actually witnessed my friend getting boob-grabbed by another girl from behind in high school. The latter girl called my friend “senpai~”, so there’s no question where that idea came from… I don’t think my friend was offended per se, but weirded out, definitely! If you’re close enough and do it as a joke (and no party feels uncomfortable), I agree with Cactus Matt that it’s still considerably innocent.
    If it was a rando who did that, it would have been very different though.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, if you are in a group of friends and everybody is consenting I don’t see a harm in it either. My point was though that in anime it affects the viewers and teaches especially girls that their bodies are okey to play with. What real people do with consent is another thing.

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