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.

37 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 3 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 2 people

      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.

        Liked by 1 person

  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 3 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 4 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 2 people

      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! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I never thought I would get so much response on the post that actually agrees with me. I have always felt a bit lonely in my opinions about that before. It bothered me that so many take sexual harassment so lightly in the community so it was nice to see that I am not alone. No one though seem to dare to talk about stuff like this which is a shame. It needs to be addressed. So thank you for reading and commenting. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Encouragement of Climb is “cute girls doing difficult things” and I think you will love it. I did not see one single boob grab. The whole thing is about girls growing to be strong by climbing mountains. Even the one hot spring episode had a positive message.

        Liked by 1 person

  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 2 people

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  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 4 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.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I often end up rolling my eyes at it when it happens most of the time in shows. It’s a silly anime trope and comes with the territory of this art form. Now, I don’t have any real-world experience with such things, so I come at it from an outsider perspective, so there’s that.

    I was glad to see that this post didn’t come off as moral grandstanding, but just explaining something from a different viewpoint.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would never judge anyone based on what they watch and I really tried to just get my point across. I think it’s important to get across that these are my feelings on the trope. I know some people have been a bit sour about it but that’s just how it is I suppose. Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s interesting to hear others view too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I often think the proper response to most boob grabs, at least in anime, is to see the grabber thrashed soundly and for them to learn the lesson. The accidental boob grab is the stupidest thing in anime, right up there with the accidental kiss. (I think of a kiss as more intimate than a boob grab. YMMV.) The ongoing boob-grabbing in Railgun is the one thing about the show that bothers me. She keeps getting thrashed but doesn’t change her strategy. There should be some learning and some character development. But at least it is a not a powerful person grabbing a helpless person.

    I haven’t had any boob grabbing. I have had some butt patting and grabbing by both genders. It doesn’t bother me emotionally but it can be an irritant. (Pinch me and you WILL regret it.)

    But I am a person without solid boundaries. There are times when it doesn’t matter and times when I will voice objection. (If one doesn’t, it may be construed as affirmation. Stupid or obsessed people will then escalate.) All depends on the context of the situation and whether it is a playful pat or an actual grab and who is doing the grabbing and why. Maybe a woman’s boob is more personal than a man’s butt. And being a nudie, my state of dress may make a difference.

    Yet I am a *male* version of a “me too”, having had such experiences with both my adoptive mother and from a hairdresser as a boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you have gone through sexual harassment/abuse, especially as a boy. No one should ever have to deal with that, still so many youngsters are exposed to it every day. And as a boy I imagine it can be harder to talk about and if you do I can believe that no one really takes it serious.

      I do think boobs are more sensitive than a butt. Breasts are after all one of a woman’s erogogenous areas on her body. They are a vital part of both ones sexlife but also they feed your infant. As for being patted on the behind, it’s as you say, depending on the situation. A playful pat where you know the person getting it is okey with it doesn’t really hurt. But there is no such thing in my world where a boob grab is playful, unless you have sex or am very intimate with the counterpart. Accidental kisses yeah… It depends on how it happens really. Stumbling and falling on each other might be okey (I can after all happen in real life *says me who happened to end up in one*) but it all depends on situation and such. Just for the thrill or fun I am not so sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The only time a boob grab is okay in my opinion is when it’s a girl doing it to herself or when it’s a mutual moment of exploration between two people in love or lust. Even then I’m not comfortable watching the latter, but boob grabs are hard to avoid sadly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If they are going to do a “not OK” boob grab, it needs to be shown as a not OK boob grab with repercussions. Clearly “not OK” and the victim and/or the perp come out the worse for it.

      Boob grabs that are “OK” might include consensual lust or a voluntary breast cancer examination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That raises the question of, is it ok to show the common (sometimes accidental sometimes intentional) boob grab where the grabber then gets slapped/kicked that has fallen into the territory of only being there to service fans? In my opinion, even though the perpetrator is “punished” the fact that it is a common tool used only for the purpose to pleasure the audience (even in shows that I would otherwise feel comfortable showing my children) that does not make it ok. Especially since it is shown so often.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If it’s only for fan service I’m not comfortable with it. I do however find it somewhat amusing at times if there is a guy stumbling and accidentally touches a girls boobs but it is done with the intention for comedy and he blushes and everything gets crazy, and not shows the usual groping. It’s a fine line though and I can’t really think of such a scene at the moment. At least not in an anime I would show my kids.


  9. I’m with you, there is almost never a good reason for this kind of thing and it almost always is off-putting. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like ecchi shows that much, because the trope is so common.

    Great article, and thank you so much for submitting this one to the showcase 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for featuring it. 😊 Yeah, I am not that into ecchi either. I think it’s such unnecessary fan service. The only ecchi-esque anime I watch is Shokugeki no Soma and that is not for the half naked ladies/men and their moans when they eat good food. I can tolerate it because the rest of the show is good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love, Election, and Chocolate was weird in that all of its fanservice was plot relevant, like it seemed frivolous, “because that’s just the genre” but it wasn’t. So I get what you mean, sometimes there are exceptions, but largely…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. it was really nice to read this article! i’ve never been a fan of the boob grab and that’s why i tend to stay away from certain types of shows, it especially annoys me when it’s among girls bc i know that’s not what girls do to each other and idk, fanservice like that is grating to me. i think it really does open up the door to bad habits, especially when a younger person is watching it and they don’t really understand that it’s wrong to do those things (my family never taught me anything about sex or consent or about our body and schools only go so far during health class)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have certain anime I stay away from too just for the sake of this type of fan service. It’s a shame really because many of those anime would be good without all the fan service. I just have to realize that they aren’t aimed at me or my 10 year old daughter though. Not with that kind of fan service. :/


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